The Book of Acts for Today
|1. Acts 1:1-14 – “You will be my Witnesses”|
|2. Acts 2:1-42 – Filled with the Holy Spirit|
|3. Acts 4:32-5:11 – Life (and Death) in Community|
|4. Acts 6:1-8 – Change for the sake of mission|
|5. Acts 6:8-7:2a, 51-8:3 – The scattered church|
|6. Acts 8:26-40 – “What is to prevent me from being baptized?”|
|7. Acts 9:1-25 – Meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road|
|8. Acts 10:1-48 – Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit|
|9. Acts 16:16-34 – “What must I do to be saved?”|
|10. Acts 17:16-34 – Paul and the Athenians|
|11. Acts 20: Paul’s Farewell|
|12. Acts 27 – Shipwreck!|
Deleted from thesis:
The sermon series was well received in my congregation, based on informal conversation and survey feedback from parishioners. Out of 30 respondents to a survey, when asked, “Did this sermon series on the book of Acts help you to know the story of the early church better?” 12 (40%) responded by checking “Yes! Strongly agree,” and the other 18 (60%) responded by checking “Pretty much. Somewhat agree.” When asked, “Did this sermon series on the book of Acts help you to see yourself and your church as part of the same, ongoing story of Jesus’ church that began in Acts?” 12 (40%) responded “Yes! Strongly agree,” 17 (56.66%) responded “Pretty much. Somewhat agree,” and 1 (3.33%) responded “Not much. Somewhat disagree.” When asked, “Would you like to hear more sermon series on books or characters of the Bible in the future?” 19 (63.33%) responded “Yes! Strongly agree,” and the other 11 (36.66%) responded “Pretty much. Somewhat agree.” The survey respondents were evenly divided (15 and 15) male and female, with a good balance (again, 15 and 15) of long term members (members for 11 years or more) and newer members (members for 10 years or less). Most (24, or 80%) were willing and able to articulate a short description of the Book of Acts (finishing the sentence “The Book of Acts is about…”), and 8 (26.66%) wrote a suggestion for a book or person of the Bible they’d like to hear more about.
For me, personally, the new practice of focusing on an extended narrative proved to be enriching for my preaching and teaching at the beginning of my journey towards this thesis. End results of this series for me were to know the book of Acts more intimately and to be shaped by its narrative more fully – and I hope the same could be said by many members of the congregation. As one member of the Preaching Response Group noted, we don’t consciously remember much from all of the sermons we hear. With the practice of returning to a continuing narrative week after week, however, the members of my congregation got a sense of the story of the early church as the story of our church and all churches together.
 The other two possibilities in each survey question, “Not much. Somewhat disagree” and “No! Strongly disagree” each received 0 checks.