“But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city. One might think that Paul would take a vacation from ministry to heal. No! The body of Christ came together to revive, strengthen, and support what God was doing through His servants. “On the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra” (14:20). Why did Paul go back to the very city where he was stoned and left for dead? They were not distracted from their goal to “strengthen the souls of the disciples, encourage them to continue in the faith, saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (14:22). They did not leave Lystra, Iconium and Antioch until “they had appointed elders for them in every church” (14:23), the hall mark of a strong indigenous church.
NOTICE PAUL’S MODEL: PREACH THE GOSPEL – MAKE DISCIPLES – STRENGTHEN – ENCOURAGE – APPOINT ELDERS/LEADERS
This is effective missions! The time spent was very short and even persecution could not stop the progress God was making through His servants. I urge you to carefully consider whether our churches and mission committees/boards are following Paul’s model.