Acts is broken down into 6 panels with each panel ending with a summary statement telling the reader that the Church was expanded and established. Studying each of these panels, the reader will begin to note several keys that contributed to and unlocked the summary statement. The Acts course in the Antioch School assigns a project to write an annotated list of the keys to establishment and expansion of the 1st century Church for each of the 6 panels of Acts. Here is an attempt at the first panel:
Keys to the Establishment & Expansion of the 1st Century Church
1. The Church in Jerusalem (Acts 1:1-6:7)
2) Before it was an Acts 2 church, it was an Acts 1 church gathered together in prayer (1:12-14).
3) There was recognition of the importance of Apostolic leadership (1:15-26).
4) Spirit-enabled communication of the redemptive plan of God and His invitation to repent and believe and join the new community of Christ-followers was how the community would be expanded (2:1-41).
5) Identification with Christ and His new community through baptism was the prerequisite for discipleship (2:41).
6) There was unity through intentional fellowship by syncing with the Apostle’s teaching, breaking bread, prayer , meeting needs,& sharing possessions (2:42-46).
8) Meeting needs through Jesus’ power gave opportunity to proclaim the good news and invitation to repent (3:1-26).
9) Boldness and prayerful dependence on God in the face of opposition and persecution enhanced the church life and sacrificial love for each other and the mission (4:1-37).
10) The leaders through the Holy Spirit confronted revealed sin and kept a purity and accountability with the Church (5:1-11).
11) Persecution was seen as a privilege to identify with Christ and the leadership was faithful to proclaim and live for Christ no matter what the threat (5:12-42).
12) Meeting the spiritual needs and physical needs of the Church was so important to the leaders that they provided leadership in both areas by seeking wise solutions to issues (6:1-7).
Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.