At Peniel, we’ve been doing a study on the Apostle Paul as part of our Wednesday night series of how to become missionaries ourselves. Second only to Jesus himself, Paul is the ultimate example of a missionary as one who is unrelenting in his drive to share God’s message of redemption through the cross. There is a great deal that we can learn from his travels about how we ought to live and serve.This study deals with the way he interacted with people in different areas. His message was always the same, but his approach was not. The methods he used in Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica, Athens, and the other cities he visited were different, even if just slightly so.
Studying his life, we can discern some steps we should consider when trying to reach a community for Christ.
1. Recognizing the call of Christ
“And Saul said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you persecute. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And Saul, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what would you have me to do?’ […]” (Acts 9:5-6).
2. Discovering where God is already at work
“And after Paul had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go to Macedonia, gathering assuredly that the Lord had called us to preach the Gospel to them” (Acts 16:10).
3. Understanding the community you are called to serve
“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city entirely given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16).
4. Connecting with those to whom you are ministering
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, ‘You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very superstitious'” (Acts 17:22).
5. Sharing Christ in a way that makes sense to them
“For as I passed by and beheld your devotions I found an altar with this description: ‘To the Unknown God.’ Therefore He Whom you ignorantly worship I declare to you” (Acts 17:23).