The Marks of a Biblical Church

Series - Something New: A Study Through The Book of Acts
Scriptures - Acts 6:1-6, Acts 2:41, Acts 4:4, Acts 11:21, Acts 16:5, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Matthew 9:38
Presenter - Pastor Matt Surber
Date - September 12, 2021

Pastor Matt Surber looks at the attributes of a biblical church and how God desires to use us to make His name known.


Sermon Notes

Jesus didn’t just leave – He went to heaven – to prepare a place for us and He left so we could have the Holy Spirit – MISSION  – His followers follow His mission.

“It isn’t that God has a mission for His Church, it’s that God has a church for His mission.” 

-Ed Stetzer       

  • You are the church – this is a personal and corporate challenge!

A Biblical Church Cares For The Vulnerable

Acts 6:1-3

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

  • God didn’t reveal Himself to the rich and powerful – He revealed Himself to the powerless and vulnerable (who is this in your life?)
  • Widows and orphans – those who can’t take care of themselves

A Biblical Church Reaches Those Not Part Of God’s Family (unconnected)

Acts 6:7

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts obsessed with #’s and growth… (Some churches spiritualize lack of reaching)

Acts 2:41

and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Acts 4:4

But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

Acts 9:31

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

Acts 11:21

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.

Acts 12:24

But the word of God increased and multiplied.

Acts 13:49

And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.

Acts 14:1

Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.

Acts 16:5

So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.


The NONES: do not attend church (Barna)

1990’s = 30%
2000’s = 33%
2010’s = 45%
Estimated 2021 – 65%
28% – elders (born 1945 or earlier)
35% – Boomers (born 1946-1964)
40% – Busters (born 1965-1983)
48% – Mosaics (born 1984-2002)
Worse for Millennial over 50%
36% under 30, no religious identity at all.
Average size church in North America is 75 people
*7700 churches will close each year (148 per week)
85% of churches are plateaued or declining

Problem: Every number has a name

   ​​               Every number has a story

    ​  ​​                     Every number is a person

​     ​​​                               Every person matters to God!

  • We can’t settle for American Churchianity – We can’t do that and be faithful to the mission of God!
  • Some People: “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church.”

You can’t truly love Jesus without loving His bride! (Church)

  • We can’t allow ourselves to become INTERNALLY FOCUSED ONLY – reach- disciple – reach (transform)

For the church in Acts, reaching wasn’t a program, reaching was a way of life!

  • Mission City Church -Keep reaching out – keep equipping You to be on mission – Keep inviting – Keep starting new campuses and churches – keep growing!  GOAL: LIVES TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL!

A Biblical Church Empowers Its Leaders 

  • We live in a culture that loves to be skeptical and critical of leaders – anyone in charge 
  • Our effectiveness rises and falls on Holy Spirit-guided leadership.

Acts 6:5-6

…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.

  • These are just faithful leaders open to be used by God – NOT ROCK STARS – They are people empowered by the Holy Spirit
  • Everyone is given a spiritual gift to be used for the church in all types of leadership

Two Categories of Spiritual Gifts

1 Peter 4:10-11

10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

Speaking Gifts and Serving Gifts

  • We all use our gifts to serve and further the ministry of the gospel through the church
  • Leaders grow or get stagnant – (We all need to step up)  

Every member:  In a GROUP and with a JOB

  • We have a great call – a world that needs Jesus – He gave us His mission
  • You can live with God forever and you can know God now!

Matthew 9:38

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

  • This is about you today! – How will YOU step up in these areas and be used by God in His Mission – Invite, serve, teach

What We Have Learned About The Church From Acts

Pastor Matt Surber reviews what we have learned about the Church from the Book of Acts so far.

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An Amazing Church

Pastor Matt Surber studies Acts 20 and unpacks the three foundational values that make up an amazing Church: Love Jesus Christ, Love Truth, and Love Eachother.

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How To Explain The Gospel

Pastor Matt Surber looks at Acts 17 as he unpacks how we, as witnesses, can effectively contextualize the gospel to those around us.

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