Good News (Editor’s note: Four separate 90-minute sessions with Bishop Frank J. Beard drew close to 500 persons into Conversation. Bishop Beard expounded on much of the following column. It may be viewed online at: https://vimeo.com/667873239)
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” – Acts 5:42
Good news seems to be in short supply!
Bad news is everywhere from Covid-19 and its variants, gang violence, mass shootings, opioid addictions, and the list goes on and on. The world is hungry for good news. And it is the job of the church to care for the demand.
In Acts 12:5 – “They prayed earnestly…” There is a great need for focused and passionate praying. There is a great need for increased prayer time in our churches and ministries. To pray earnestly means to pray as if Jesus was looking over our shoulders.
In Acts 1:4 Jesus instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem and to pray for the promised Holy Spirit. The early church gathered in an upper room in prayer. They waited with anticipation, expectation, and uncertainty. But they were obedient and because of their obedience the power of God visited them in a new way and the church was born on Pentecost.
God does God’s best work when things are dark! I believe these are the best days and we have the greatest opportunities world-wide to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The model from the early church was simple: 1) They preached with Power. 2) They preached with Passion. 3) They preached with Purpose. 4) And they covered their ministry with Prayer.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised them power. The early church relied on the power of the Holy Spirt. If we are to achieve success, then we can do no less.
They preached with passion. Their passion was reflected in the words of the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation.” If we are not ashamed of Christ, we will be intentional in lifting Him up in our churches and ministries.
They preached with purpose. Jesus gave them the great commission in Mathew 28:16-20, sending them into all the world to make disciples. The purpose of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
There are two recurring questions that every church should ask on a regular basis: 1) What is our business? 2) How is business? 2
My hope is that as we are intentional in preaching with power, passion, purpose, and as we earnestly pray then we will be successful in our mission in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Let us focus on sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in hopes of attaining our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The good news is we have good news.
Bishop Frank J. Beard