Most of us in churches that send out missionaries are familiar with those who come home from the field giving a report to the sending church. It is usually a very exciting time to hear first-hand what God has done through His servants. Food and fellowship are usually part of these events.
In Acts 14:24-28, Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch “where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had fulfilled” (14:26). Based on the churches that were planted in the area of Galatia, they could say with confidence that “the work [was] fulfilled.” Remember, this first missionary trip for Paul and Barnabas was only over about a five-month period!
There was another feature about their work that must be noted. Not only did these two servants plant churches and establish disciples and leaders in them, “they declared all that God had done with them, and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). This was a major turning point for the Early Church. Up to this point, the Church had been ethnically Jewish. Now God had spread the gospel of grace to the Gentiles and brought them into the body of Christ.
It is my firm conviction that if we return to the methods of church planting proven by Paul and Barnabas, we would see the last unreached people group taking their place in the Body of Christ very quickly. This is the way to increase Christ among the nations and glorify God!
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