How To Build a Great Church

A Study of Acts 19

In Acts 19, Paul traveled to the great city of Ephesus and planted a church, which arguably became the strongest church in the New Testament. Three of its first pastors were Paul, Timothy, and the apostle John. Several New Testament letters were written to people in Ephesus: The letter to the Ephesians; 1 and 2 Timothy; and the book of Revelation. Several other letters were written from Ephesus, including 1 Corinthians (which was written sometime during this chapter, Acts 19; and probably 1, 2, and 3 John). That means that eight of the New Testament books were written either from or to Ephesus. The planting of the Ephesian church is recorded in Acts 19, and here we find what it takes to build a great church.

  1. Spirit-filled People (Acts 19:1-7)
  2. Kingdom Proclamation (Acts 19:8)
  3. Ongoing Teaching (Acts 19:9-10)
  4. Spiritual Warfare (Acts 19:11-20)
  5. Missionary Zeal (Acts 19:21-22)
  6. Societal Opposition (Acts 19:23-40).
  7. Mutual Encouragement (Acts 20:1)

Conclusion: All those elements are at hand now, here, in our local churches. We can still build great churches, and they can still stir the world for Christ.

PS – I took the picture at the top of this blog while visiting Ephesus several  years ago. It’s the very theater where the riot took place described in the last half of this chapter.