The Book of Acts: The Birth of a Movement

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The term "movement" is overused. It is not made up of social media attention or public fanfare. A movement is a force that sweeps over multitudes of people, with major transformation in its wake.

Acts is the story of the Jesus Movement. When a small band of disciples become empowered by the Holy Spirit, their lives are radically transformed. In obedience, the disciples preached, taught, loved, and ministered in Jesus' Name. Jesus called this movement his Church: a family of believers swept up in a movement of the Holy Spirit who love Jesus by loving others.

ACTS OUTLINE

Week 1: Acts 1 - The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Week 2: Acts 2 - Birth of the Jerusalem Church
Week 3: Acts 3:1-6:7 - The Church Grows into Jerusalem
Week 4: Acts 6:8-9:31 - The Church Grows into Judea and Samaria
Week 5: Acts 9:32-12:24 - The Church Grows into Antioch
Week 6: Acts 12:25-16:5 - The Church Grows into Asia Minor
Week 7: Acts 16:6-19:20 - The Church Grows into the Aegean Area
Week 8: Acts 19:21-26:32 - The Gospel to All Peoples
Week 9: Acts 27-28 - The Gospel Reaches Rome

In addition to the above outline, this timeline might also prove helpful in getting a grasp of the flow of Acts:

"RUTS" IN ACTS

As you teach through Acts, people will invariably ask questions. In particular, Explorers and Learners - those making their first few steps with Jesus - will wonder about tongues and miracles and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. These can turn into "ruts," places where people can get stuck on minor questions with complex answers. These questions are good, but they often take weeks to walk through and years to process.

You can be ready for "ruts" in three ways:

  1. Take the time to listen to people's questions without rushing to an answer. Many times, people need to ask their question out loud just to understand it better.
  2. Defer as much as possible to outside conversations. Difficult questions are difficult for a reason, so don't think you can answer it right then. Grab coffee or arrange a phone call.
  3. Encourage people to go back to the Bible and help them on their own search. Don't forget the point of teaching the Bible this way is that it invites people to read for themselves.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

On the particular issue of speaking in tongues, you can read through some basics on speaking in tongues to begin a discussion (over coffee, maybe) with someone who becomes inquisitive.