There is a term talked about in regard to the Church, the “Acts 2 Church”. Before we talk about this in the terms of Women’s Ministry, let’s define what exactly that means for the Church overall.
When someone refers to an “Acts 2 Church”, they are talking about a church that it is structured based on the example in Acts 2 of the New Testament.
In a nutshell:
They were gathering regularly, dependent on the apostles teaching and leadership, selling off their materials to support the Kingdom work, etc. This was an early church that lacked maturity and so in it’s formation they were consistent in teaching well and often. They were supporting the work, they were taking care of one another, and fellowshipping with each other often.
Over time, as they matured, the apostles were able to disciple leaders into positions of authority to elders, deacons, and into the body of believers. They were able to meet less frequently because they had the tools to study at home, daily gatherings moved to weekly. They moved from selling off all their excess to setting aside money to support the work being done. The teaching church became a missional or evangelizing church as the gentiles became members of the body. All of this leading to the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 where the apostles began to clarify the expectations of believers now that gentiles were part of the mix. They wanted clarity so that all of the churches shared the same foundational beliefs.
Maturity took time to establish. Establishing knowledge through regular teaching. Establishing connection by regular fellowshipping. Establishing the standards for giving and serving.
If I were to try and establish a Women’s Ministry (or other internal ministry, sub-ministry) in the Acts 2 Church… what would that look like if we assume the same principles would apply?
- CONSISTENCY – I know that a lot of ministry leaders look at the task ahead and think we’ll start with 1 event and work from there, because a full calendar looks intimidating. Consistency is important because it establishes habit. There is a reason why the model of having a regularly scheduled event (like a brunch on the 1st Saturday of the month) works. It helps the women get in the habit of gathering. It is expected, we know… even if we don’t know the details of the event… that something is happening with the women of the church. We can plan for that, put it on our calendars. We teach the women how to interact with the Women’s Ministry, even if that means coming on strong at first and then scaling back.
- TEACHING – It is good to gather as a community, but we must not forsake the reason we are gathering. To worship, honor, and glorify God. This doesn’t mean that every single event has to be a deep theological college course, or workshop on systematic theology. It does mean that there is purpose and intention behind every event that is in line with bringing people to the feet of Christ.
- FELLOWSHIP – We gather to as a community, a family. Fellowship binds us emotionally to one another, aware of each other’s hurts and struggles so that we can help, able to celebrate victories and milestones as a family, and to safe guard ourselves from the temptations of the world. The lone sheep is far more vulnerable to attack than the ones packed into a tight flock, under a Good Shepherd.
- PRAYER – A community that is united in consistent teaching and fellowship will result in a group that is also consistently united in prayer. They know how and why to pray through the Word, they are compelled to pray for one another as fellowship connects their lives, and they understand that prayer is an active form of Worship.
- WORSHIP – A healthy community that is meeting regularly, well taught, deeply connected, and steeped in prayer will also be a community that Worships with abundance.
The lone sheep is far more vulnerable to attack than the ones packed into a tight flock, under a Good Shepherd.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to break down those 5 points into more specific detail and application to the Church and to our Women’s Ministries.