So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. ~ Acts 13:4, 5 (ESV)
READING: Acts 13:4-12
Jesus is Lord of church planting. Not only does He select the right leaders, but He guides them into the right strategy.
I know a Filipino church planter who moved to a distant city with no contacts. God guided him to the marketplace where he waited till he saw other Filipinos. Then he simply introduced himself: “I’m starting a Filipino church. Would you help me?” He has led many people to Christ and planted a fine church.
Paul and Barnabas launched into unfamiliar territory, but God gave them the strategy: First go to the synagogues and preach to the Jews. So even in foreign cities, they found a ready audience among displaced Jews. The synagogue afforded a built-in opportunity to share the Scriptures. And part of their audience would be “God-fearers,” Gentiles who were becoming converts to Judaism (see 13:43). Then if the Jews turned away, the larger Gentile community began to open up.
God led them; it was His strategy. Sometimes He used unpleasant circumstances to guide them (like the split between Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15:36 – 40). At other times He used supernatural means such as the Macedonian vision (Acts 16:9, 10).
God blesses certain strategies in some regions that He doesn’t in others. This keeps us humble and prayerful, and compels us to seek the Lord of church planting for His strategy in our church plant.
Lord, This is Your church plant and I am Your servant. Please guide me to the strategy You want to bless in this particular church plant. Amen.
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