If anyone can offer tips on Christ’s call to missions, shouldn’t it be the greatest missionary and theologian of the early church? What can we learn from the Apostle Paul when it comes to modern missions?
- Go in Teams. – Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs because He knew that ministry and mission trips could bring intense discouragement, challenge, and even persecution. Paul initially set out with Silas on his own missionary journey, before Timothy and later, Luke joined the team.
- Be Culturally Sensitive. – When Paul asked Timothy to become circumcised, it wasn’t because obeying the Jewish laws earned him salvation, rather it showed respect and cultural sensitivity to the Jewish people they would meet along the way. By adapting culturally, Paul knew that Timothy would have a much stronger platform to share the Gospel.
- Be Flexible. – Paul had a clear plan to take the Gospel to Asia when God rerouted him towards Europe. We might not always understand why one door closes and another opens, but when our plans DO change, will we choose to follow God’s leading or our own?
- Expect Surprises. – The first European convert was an influential businesswoman and her entire household. You can be sure that in the first century, a single, career-driven woman wasn’t the norm. For Paul and Silas, Lydia probably wasn’t the person they expected to launch the first European house-church, but God had other plans. As you seek to share the Gospel, be prepared for God to move in ways you least expect.
How is God leading you to take part in sharing the Gospel? Maybe it’s starting spiritual conversations with colleagues at work or in your neighborhood. Maybe it’s volunteering in your community. Perhaps it’s taking part in a mission trip like Paul and Silas. Will you go? It might not look exactly the same, but your step of faith could be just as eternally significant.