So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. ~ Acts 13:3
READING: Acts 13:1-5
Ministry was never a solo journey! This is clearly revealed from the earliest days of Christian ministry as modeled by Christ and the Apostles. Jesus sent the disciples out on their first forays into ministry two by two!
The Antioch church had been greatly blessed when the capable team of Barnabas and Saul came to minister in their midst. The church loved them both. When the Holy Spirit directed the church of Antioch to set apart these two men and send them out, they obeyed, sending off not one, but two, of their finest teachers so others might hear. The Christians at Antioch continued to support the ministry of Paul and Barnabas as they received reports of how God was blessing others through them.
A closer look at the text shows that John also went along as their helper. Right from the beginning, church planting ministry was done by teams. A minimum of two, but teams up to six, are mentioned in Scripture. As churches were planted, a plurality of leaders was appointed to minister in the local congregations (see I Timothy 3 & Titus 1).
The isolation and loneliness of a solitary leader is one of the greatest weapons of destruction in church planting ministry. If this is your struggle, ask the Lord for a team to stand with you. Although working with others may be challenging for pioneering leaders, team ministry has always been God’s pattern. As you read the Book of Acts and the rest of the epistles you find this principle reinforced again and again.
Father, Help me to be a team player, a team member and a true team leader. Please give me the team you desire so we accomplish your purposes together for your glory. Amen.
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