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									                       Small Group Edification
                               Edification 12
                            The Omniscient God

                  Introductory Notes for the Facilitator

Focus Thought
      The early church stands as a glorious God-given miracle to
mankind.

Focus Verse
Acts 2:47, New King James Version
Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to
the church daily those who were being saved.

Background Notes for the Group Facilitator
       Research several historical examples of individuals who made
great achievements and were successful in life, and prepare to share
those with your group. A few examples are provided in the edification
below to assist you.

Suggested Meeting Schedule
     Open with Prayer
     Icebreaker (5 minutes)
     Optional Worship Session (5-10 minutes)
     Edification (5-10 minutes)
     Discussion (20-30 minutes)
     Wrap-up and Reflection (10 minutes) soft background music suggested here
     Share Prayer Needs for the Week
     Close with Prayer




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                Secrets of the Early Church’s Success
                       Small Group Edification

Icebreaker (5 minutes)
      What is a secret about you that you do not mind sharing with the
group? Maybe you have a secret to success in your devotional time, or
maybe you have a recipe secret that you would be willing to share with
us? Maybe you have a secret place that you get the best deals and sales
but you have not shared it with your brothers and sisters.

Edification (5-10 minutes)
        Many individuals have been successful in this life. Some examples
are: Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine; Roger Bannister for
breaking the four-minute mile record; Neil Armstrong for being the first
man to step onto the moon’s surface. These and many others will leave a
legacy that will continue to shout of their achievements in life.
        When we consider the subject of success, however, no human
achievement can compare to the wonderful works of God! (See Psalm
40:5.) Just imagine the wonder of a rainbow, the miracle of a newborn
baby, or the momentous power of Niagara Falls. Only God can
accomplish such breathtaking achievements.
        The early church also was wildly successful in its quest to build a
church for the name of Jesus Christ. The church is another one of God’s
creations. He planned the structure and the destiny of the church. We
can do our best to successfully advance it, but God alone actually builds
the church. (See Matthew 16:18; Psalm 127:1.) Moreover, Jesus Christ
bought or redeemed the church by shedding His own blood. (See I
Corinthians 6:20.)
        The early church had several secrets to its success. In just a few
short years, the group of believers had the reputation that they had
turned “the world upside down” (Acts 17:6), though we know they actually
had turned it right side up! We can observe at least five secrets to their
success: (1) the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42); (2) fellowship, or
community (Hebrews 10:25); (3) ministry and service to one another
(Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Romans 15:14; I Thessalonians 4:18;
5:11; Hebrews 3:13; John 15:12); (4) worship to God (Acts 2:47); and (5)
evangelism of the lost (Acts 2:47).
        The church consists of individuals who care for each other as well
as are guiding the lost to Jesus Christ through intentional discipleship.
Believers must engage in daily lifestyle evangelism and commit to a
lifestyle that closely follows the Scriptures.

Matthew 16:15-18, New King James Version
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the living God.



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17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon
Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father
which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Acts 2:42-47, New King James Version
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,
and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were
done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as
every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and
singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord
added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Discussion (20-30 minutes)
       1. Read Matthew 16:15-18. Discuss what Peter said to Jesus and
Jesus’ response. What rock was Jesus Christ referring to in verse 18?
       2. Read Acts 2:42-47. The disciples did many notable feats in this
passage. Discuss the many things in which the disciples participated.
       3. Why is Jesus Christ so passionate about His church? Why
should we be so passionate about His church, which is our church?
       4. Consider the five areas that could be considered secrets to the
early church’s success. In what areas could we seek to improve, both
personally and corporately?
       5. For a church to continue to grow, the members must be
committed to lifestyle evangelism. Discuss what lifestyle evangelism
means and why it is not the pastor’s responsibility to be the only
soulwinner in the church.
       6. In your opinion, are you proficient at explaining the doctrines of
the Bible? Why? Discuss ways to improve any lack of proficiency.
       7. What is a secret of your local church that you want your
community to know about? How do you get the word out? Discuss.
       8. If everyone in your local church were just like you, what kind of
church would your church be? Discuss ways to improve the corporate
presence of the local church.

Reflection and Wrap-Up
       What do you contribute to your local assembly? Are there
ministries that the pastor desires to begin but cannot because of lack of
commitment or involvement by people? What could you do to help?



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       As an individual, are you pleasing God with your church
attendance and contributions of finances and time? In what areas could
you use improvement, and how can you help to make your local church
stronger and better? There is a saying that if everyone swept their own
sidewalk, the whole world would be clean. That is true in the church body
as well. Let us all sweep our hearts and lives and commit ourselves to
the work of Jesus Christ, and then the church will be better!
       Take five minutes of this quiet, reflective time to examine your
heart while the music plays softly.
       Take five minutes for prayer needs.
       Close with prayer.
       Optional: Time of fellowship with light snacks.




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