Scripture: Acts 8:1-8; 25; 40
The early church in the book of Acts scattered for the purpose of church growth! Every steadfast, glorious, accountable church should be a “scattered church.”
A scattered church means (a) leaving your comfort zone (Acts 6:2, Acts 6:7, John 3:16-17, Acts 7: 1, Acts 7:2, Romans 8:28, Acts 8: 4-8) and heading into the desert (Matthews 28:19, Matthew 19: 29).
A scattered church is led by the Spirit. Included are Spirit-filled waiters (Acts 6:3-4) and Spirit-filled evangelists (Acts 8: 26, Acts 8:27, Acts 8:29, Acts 8:30).
Spirit-filled leadership led by the Spirit involves: (a) seeing your responsibilities (v. 25) – Phillip was already doing what he knew to do, (b) Surrendering your rights (vv. 26-28) – Phillip didn’t demand his own way, but remained flexible. He left a revival to go to a desert, (c) sensing your revelation (vv. 29-30) – Phillip listened to the Spirit. God may speak through people, scripture or spiritual intuition, (d) sharing your relationship (vv. 31-34) – Phillip approached the need from a relational perspective, not just a result perspective, (e) showing your relevance (v. 35) – Phillip started where the Ethiopian eunuch was and connected with him there. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, and (f) securing your response (vv. 36-39) – Phillip led the man to a point if decision and saw results.
A scattered church means telling the story of Jesus: (a) the question asked – Acts 8:30 – “Do you understand what you are reading?” (b) the question answered – Acts 8:31 – “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” (c) the scripture read – Isaiah 53:7-8 is the same as Acts 8:32-33 (d) the truth explained – Acts 8:34-35.
Therefore, every steadfast church, going back to the basics, should be a scattered church. A scattered church is always scattered from its comfort zone. A scattered church is always led by the Spirit. A scattered church is always telling the story of Jesus – A witnessing church!
Bishop Jonathan J. Young, DMin., is the executive pastor of Miracle Temple Church of God Pentecostal in Inglewood, California.