Early lessons in church planting from Paul
S - Acts 14:19-23 (NASB)
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
O - This, the first missionary journey of Paul, had shown Paul and Barnabas many valuable lessons, that through Luke's account in Acts we can learn from on what it means to be a missionary and church planter. This first trip started with Barnabas picking up Saul in his hometown of Tarsus, and heading up to Antioch, where the spirit was working to deliver the good news. Paul and Barnabas spent time teaching and discipling, until a group of people drove them out at the threat of death. This causes them to venture up toward Lystra, where their teaching begins to bring great understanding with the locals, who are so impressed by what they say and do, they attribute to them as one of their god's, and attempt to worship and sacrifice to them. Eventually Paul and Barnabas are able to teach them about the one true God, but once again some Jews come up and come against them , getting them stoned and kicked out of the city. But the amazing part is after they leave, they come back, even to the cities in which their persecutors where from, and appointed Elder's over the church.
A - The application for me is to example myself and experiences after Paul's tenacity and wisdom in His calling to plant and build church's. I must like Paul, understand the tribulations will come in ministry, expecting they won't come is ignoring what Christ forewarned us about. But I must also press on to ensure whatever fruit I have produced through ministry is shepherded well following my departure. I should follow Paul's example and leave a mature believer behind who can carry on the ministry. Investing and staying connected with these folks is a good way to ensure kingdom investments continue to grow long after your departure.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your tremendous gift of your word, and your spirit. I pray that today's lesson from Paul and Barnabas would be sealed to my heart. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.