In the market place

Paul as church planter 19

“Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said…” Acts 17:22

In Thessalonica a fairly large church came into existence within three months. After that Paul had to flee because the Jews organised a mob against him. After that he planted a church in nearby Berea, but he had to flee from there as well. Then he went by boat to Athens. After a short time he was invited to speak to the Athenians on the Areopagus. This was the center of Athes where all important public discussions were held.

The church  mainly grows through social networks, most of all through relatives. The reason for that is that most people only start to take the Gospel seriously when they see how it changes the life of someone close to them. Yet it is also important to let the Gospel sound in the public square, like Paul did on the Areopagus. The teaching of the Bible about abundant life for time and eternity, is a strong contender in public discussions.

As a simple missionary ministering among rice farmers in the country side, I do not have a voice in the public square. But praise God, by now this role is played by some Thai Christians. An example was the highest anti-corruption official in Thailand. She was a Christian who, surrounded by corrupt politicians, showed what it meant to obey the Lord.

When we serve the Lord like this in responsible positions, we are not fighting for our own narrow group interest. We are seeking the good of the city and we bless the people we meet. That is the way to present the Gospel as trustworthy and attractive.

How do you contribute to making the Gospel visible in society?

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