If you read Acts you will realize how difficult it was for people to make the changes necessary to become the church.
First, they received the Holy Spirit. Strange and exciting things happened to them.
Then, they formed small groups in homes. They shared out of their poverty to meet the needs of those they knew. (You know what happens when you really get to know others. Lives are changed, prayers are deepened, and people facilitate changes of heart and mind.
Later they appointed deacons — for the first time, to meet the needs of the Hellenist's widows.
Peter and Barnabas discussed with the Pharisees in the temple, that the long held tradition of circumcision need not be imposed on the new Gentile converts.
Soon, enough, they met Lydia, a successful business woman who became a baptized member of the body and felt the Spirit deeply move in her. Women were being drawn into leadership in a culture of patriarchs. (Unbelievably amazing for the day and time.)
Paul and Timothy offended the "wrong" people and found themselves stripped, beaten and thrown into prison.
When an earthquake caused the cell doors to open, they stayed, to keep the jailer from getting in trouble. He was converted by the men who acted differently than anyone the jailer had ever seen.
Now, we are on a path to Renewal here at the church. Are we willing to be bold in our work together that the world will see the extraordinary power of God's spirit at work in this body?
Moving to the deeper places,