"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Paul's Missionary Policies (14:21-28) INTRODUCTION 1. Following the attempt on Paul's life in the city of Lystra... a. The next day Paul and Barnabas went on to Derbe - Ac 14:20 b. Where they preached the gospel and made many disciples - Ac 14:21 2. At this point, Paul and Barnabas began to retrace their steps... a. Visiting many of the places where they had established churches b. Finally returning to Antioch of Syria where they had started [In this lesson we will review "Paul's Missionary Policies" that we can glean from his first missionary journey. But first, let's briefly summarize...] I. THE RETURN TRIP HOME A. VIA LYSTRA, ICONIUM, ANTIOCH... - Ac 14:21 1. Lystra - where Paul healed a lame man, but then was stoned 2. Iconium - where Paul had spent some time, but the fled an attempt to stone him 3. Antioch of Pisidia - where Paul preached the gospel in the synagogue until expelled from the region B. STRENGTHENING THE DISCIPLES - Ac 14:22 1. Exhorting them to continue in the faith 2. Telling them to expect tribulations for the kingdom of God C. APPOINTING ELDERS IN EVERY CHURCH - Ac 14:23 1. With prayer and fasting 2. Commending them to the Lord D. PREACHING IN PERGA OF PAMPHYLIA - Ac 14:24-25 1. Perga - from where John Mark left them earlier - Ac 13:13-14 2. No mention was made of them preaching before, but now they do E. VIA ATTALIA TO ANTIOCH OF SYRIA - Ac 14:25-26 1. Attalia - a city on the coast of Pamphylia 2. Antioch of Syria - the place from which they began their journey F. REPORTING WHAT GOD HAD DONE - Ac 14:27 1. To the church that had sent them - cf. Ac 13:1-3 2. Telling how God had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles [At this point Luke mentions that Paul and Barnabas stayed a long time with the disciples at Antioch of Syria (Ac 14:28). Looking back over Paul's first missionary journey, let's glean what we can about...] II. PAUL'S MISSIONARY POLICIES A. PREACH THE GOSPEL... 1. He preached the gospel of Jesus Christ - Ac 14:7,21 2. As commanded by Jesus Himself - Mk 16:15-16 B. MAKE DISCIPLES... 1. He made disciples by preaching the gospel - Ac 14:21 2. Not just baptizing them, but teaching them as disciples - cf. Mt 28:19-20 C. ESTABLISH LOCAL CHURCHES... 1. Today, missionaries often establish missions (i.e., parachurch organizations) 2. Paul's policy was to establish churches - Ac 14:23; cf. Ro 16:16 D. STRENGTHEN AND EXHORT BRETHREN... 1. Which may explain why he retraced his steps - Ac 14:21-22 2. Which explains why he visited them again and again - Ac 15:36,41; 16:1-5; 18:23 E. APPOINT ELDERS IN EVERY CHURCH... 1. These were bishops (overseers), also known as pastors (shepherds) - Ac 14:23; 20:17,28 2. Older men who had to meet certain qualifications - cf. 1Ti 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9 3. The quick appointment may be due to Jewish converts, already well versed in the Word and who may have served earlier as elders in the synagogues F. COMMEND THEM TO THE LORD'S CARE... 1. The early church did not practice "apostolic succession" - Ac 12:2 (James was not replaced) 2. Instead, apostles left the churches to the grace (providence) of God - Ac 14:23; 20:28-32 G. REPORT TO THE CHURCH THAT SENT THEM... 1. The church at Antioch of Syria had sent Paul on this journey - Ac 13:1-3 2. It was only proper to report back to them what took place - Ac 14:27 CONCLUSION 1. Paul's missionary policies were actually those of the Holy Spirit... a. Who sent Paul and Barnabas on their journey - Ac 13:1-4 b. Who undoubtedly guided them in the work that they did 2. Today, many churches and missionaries involved in foreign work... a. Establish missions instead of churches b. Create paternalistic oversight of indigenous churches 3. Such practices are without scriptural authority... a. Paul and Barnabas established independent, autonomous congregations - Ac 14:23; 20:28 b. They commended such congregations to God's Word and God's care - Ac 14:23; 20:32 If we desire to increase the kingdom of God (and not denominations of men), then we do well to study carefully and apply faithfully the policies of those like Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey...!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012