We’ve all read the testimony of Saul of Taursas. We’ve marveled at the race of God so evident in his conversion. Likewise, we’ve read the rest of his story as he went on to become of the greatest missionaries this world has ever seen.
Want to hear something exciting?
Paul’s missionary service began in the local Church. Thats right! Antioch!
Antioch was the first predominately Gentile Church. The membership there served as even more proof of gods truly global mission to advance His Gospel in every culture, race, language and nation. Gods family is multiethnic and diverse. The crowd that would assemble throughout Antioch gave credence to this mission as it was a collection of all sorts of believers with various backgrounds (remember, Antioch was a busy port city).
If Gods family is multiethnic and diverse, shouldnt the church be?
What are some challenges you see when it comes to building a multi ethnic church?
Is there a people group that you’d RATHER NOT share the Gospel with? Explain please
READ Acts 13:1-3 – Given a task that had never before been intentionally attempted, do you think the action was difficult for the church?
During a worship service, while several, full of the Spirit, were praying and fasting….here we go again…the supernatural took place….The Holy Spirit told the church to send Barnabus and Paul out to advance the Gospel and plant new churches throughout the region (and world). Evidently, as the tone of the narrative indicates, the church acted promptly (Acts 13:3). This, my friends, is where church sponsored missions were born!
The result of this FIRST Church sponsored mission trip…new churches were planted in Cyprus, Pisidian, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Eventually, the missions team returned to Antioch , gave report and continued discipling the believers in Antioch (Acts 14:27-28)
Antioch, again, was the first SENDING church. What are some characteristics of a good sending church? How did Antioch demonstrate this?
How can we, as individuals, become SENDERS?
Make no mistake, this trip wasnt an ending point for Antiochs missions thrust…it was just the beginning! Eventually, Paul and Barnabus went their separate ways (Paul partnering with Silas and Barnabus with Mark) but Antioch maintained its missions emphasis.
Read Acts 15:36-41 – What do you see as the continued passion from Antioch?
What does their response indicate about the way they viewed the Gospel and it’s advance?
Points to Ponder
*What are the top priorities of your church?
*Are these priorities reflective of your own?
*How can you work participate in Gospel advance on a deeper level?
I Love You All & Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor