Paul as church planter 17
“And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house”, Actss 16:32.
Paul continues his journey through the area of what is now Turkey, but was then largely a Greek-speaking environment. He wanted to proclaim the Gospel in some provinces, but the Holy Spirit led him elsewhere. Finally, after having walked another 800 kilometers, he arrived in Troas on the coast. There he received a vision in which he was called to cross the see to Macedonia. In this way his missionary work in Europe started.
Philippi was the first city in Europe where Paul preached. The reception was not much different from Asia, and soon he found himself in the city jail. After an earth quake he got the opportunity to talk to the jailor and “to all who were in his house”.
When you are planting churches it is important to use existing social structures as much as possible. If one person from a family comes to the Lord he will experience a lot of opposition. If a family comes to the Lord at the same time, they can support each other. So we often read that Paul is teaching in the houses. In this way he reaches whole households.
In my own missionary ministry I have done quite a bit of children’s ministry. I enjoyed it immensely, and I trust that the seed that has been sown one day will bear fruit. At the same time I have to admit that none of the children who took part so enthusiastically in our children’s clubs followed God through puberty if their parents had not become Christians. If you want to build a church, you need to reach whole families with the Gospel.
Do you speak the Word of the Lord to the people in your own house?