Paul as church planter 8
‘Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles,’ Acts 13:46
Paul fully gives himself to the proclamation of the Gospel in the synagogue of Antioch Pisidia. Weeks on end he tries to persuade the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. In the end it becomes clear that a majority of the Jews do not want to put their faith in Jesus. Paul tells them that from now on he will focus on the Gentiles.
This is an important aspect of Paul’s ministry as a church planter. As long as there is openness for the Gospel, he pours all his energy in the work there. As soon as people are not longer willing to listen, he finds other people.
The Lord Jesus had given his disciples the command to ‘shake the dust off their feet’ if they wouldn’t be welcomed in a place, and to move on. Paul uses the same principle.
So church planters need to be willing to travel. To reach new areas with the Gospel you need to move on continuously, until you’ve found a ‘man of peace’ who gives you an opening in a community to talk about Jesus.
It is easy to think and to say ‘the Lord has called me here’ while the real reason is ‘I have a home and I like it here’. It sounds spiritual to continue evangelizing in the same place even though there is no response at all. But is isn’t, because it is contrary to Jesus’ command.
Paul kept on moving on, always seeking out new places. That is the way God has ordained to let the Gospel sound until the ends of the earth.
Are you willing to travel and to give up your conveniences to spread the Gospel?