Acts: How to Advance a Gospel Movement

Jun 10, 2018 | Thad Key, Senior Pastor

Advance a Gospel Movement

The church is designed to be a growing Gospel movement where the Gospel is actively transforming both those inside and outside the church. 

Gospel Movement Begins With… 

Radical Devotion in the Church (41-42)

Baptism is the outward sign of an inner transformation as you leave behind your old life to receive Jesus’ eternal life (41; Acts 8:36-38; 10:38, 16:33; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).

The radical commitment to follow Jesus requires you to be “continually devoted” to Jesus and his church (1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 5:1; Phil. 1:27; 2 Pet. 3:17). 

Kirby Woods’ mission of making disciples of Jesus begins with the “foundation of the apostles and prophets” whose writings form the authoritative truth of what the church believes (orthodoxy) and how the church lives (orthopraxy) (Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 Tim. 4:13, 16; Tit. 1:4). 

“Fellowship” is not built on commonalities like culture and customs but is grown through sincere relationships centered around Jesus that encourage and edify one another (1 Cor. 1:9; Eph. 4:5; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Jn. 1:3).

The “breaking of bread” during the Lord’s Supper refocuses us on the Gospel of who Jesus is, what he did and who we are because of his sacrifice (Mat. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:24-25; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 5:2; Tit. 2:14).

Prayer is our open line communication to our heavenly Father to move his hand for his glory and our good as he is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). 

The church in Jerusalem is often seen praying asking God to supernaturally empower them to lead a Gospel movement as they “speak [God’s] word with all boldness” (Acts 2:40; 4:29; 4:23-31).

1)  Radical Devotion Requires the Church Community

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”-Heb. 10:24-25

You need the church community to stir you to experience internal Gospel transformation.

2)  The Church Grows Your Devotion

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”-Ephesians 4:14-15

For Kirby Woods to lead a gospel movement in Memphis, we must know what we believe, and how to live it in our own lives with one another. 

What Gospel Movement Requires…

God’s Supernatural Presence (43-45) 

When Jesus moves powerfully in a church, it causes people to pause in awestruck wonder at God’s presence working supernatural “wonders and signs” (43).

The supernatural confirmation of God’s presence among his people draws broken people hungering for God (Ex. 34:10; Ps. 33:8; Acts 5:12; 9:34-42). 

“God, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”-Augustine of Hippo

Being “together” in unity is the supernatural by-product of living out Jesus’ gospel in our relationships with one another (1 Cor. 5:10).

God’s presence gave the church an endearing fellowship and unity of the church which led to believers liquidating assets, property and possessions (Acts 4:32-37).

1) Pray for Signs and Wonders

“Grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”-Acts 4:29-30 

When the “word” is boldly communicated, God’s transcendent power is confirmed through the undeniable evidence of transformed lives (Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:2).

2)  Discover Your Life’s Calling

“And [Jesus] gave...pastors and teachers to equip the saints to do the work of ministry...Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”-Ephesians 4:11-12, 15-16 

You have a unique Gospel gift from God, that when you use it, lives are eternally changed by God’s presence through you (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10; 1 Pet. 4:10).

What Gospel Movement Brings…

Increasing Gospel Growth (46-47) 

The corporate worship of the church was intentionally public-in “the Temple”-maximizing the church’s witness to unbelievers (46).

The church must be a people whose Christian witness is on display before a watching world with the consequence of “having favor with all the people” (47).

Gospel movements cause the church to grow by multitudes as it went from 120 disciples to 3,000 disciples (Acts 1:15; 2:41) while within a few months numbered 5,000 men (4:4) which led to even greater growth (9:31; 11:21). 

1)  Live Out Our Gospel Witness

Outsiders will never believe what we say until they first see it powerfully transforming the way we live. 

“The people held them in high esteem.  And more than ever, believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women were constantly added to their number…”-Acts 5:13-14

2)  Desire to Be Faithful and Fruitful

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”-Jesus in John 15:16 

Kirby Woods must pray bold prayers asking God to bring the fruit of unbelievers experiencing Gospel transformation (Rms. 1:13). 

Challenge-Am I radically devoted to experiencing Gospel transformation in Kirby Woods?




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