August 7, 2019
Acts 11:25-30 (in context)
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus,stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
1) Plant churches in the middle of the action. Antioch was a growing city, a hotbed of all sorts of religious activity, and was increasingly becoming a center of culture. Some called it the Rome of the East. No better place for a church than places like this.
2) Send your best players; both seasoned veterans and top draft picks. Barnabas arrived from Jerusalem and quickly recruited Saul to join the team. Why is it that today’s models tend to send single planters? That’s one thing I love about this team based church plant. Love Chapel Hill, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, started with several “all-in” players, all of whom were paid something and yet they all had second jobs (see more on church-planting here).
3) Take seriously Jesus’ command to “teach them to obey all I have commanded you.” Barnabas and Saul “taught” the church. The CEO model of church leadership has taken a toll on a leader’s ability to practice the three-fold ministry of Jesus—preaching, teaching and healing.
4) Welcome the influence of the Holy Spirit through the influences of other servants he is using across the church. I love this note about Abagus coming through town with a word of prophecy. I picture Antioch as a constantly cross-fertilizing intersection of teachers, missionaries, prophets, apostles, and evangelists. They were incubating something really powerful.
5) Send blessing and provision to parts of the Body of Christ who are in need.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
Where and how do you see these “five things” at work today in churches throughout the world?
P.S. We published a phenomenal discipleship resource that rose up out of Love Chapel Hill, the church referenced above. Check it out here.
For the Awakening,