“In little more than ten years, Paul established the Church in four provinces of the Roman Empire; Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia. Before AD 47 there were no churches in these provinces; in AD 57 Paul could speak as if his work there was done, and could plan extensive tours into the far west without and anxiety that the churches which he had founded might perish because of his absence or lack of his guidance and support.
This is truly an astonishing fact. That churches should be founded so rapidly, so securely, seems almost incredible to us today considering we are accustomed to the difficulties, uncertainties, failures, and disastrous relapses of our own missionary work. Many missionaries in the last two centuries have received a larger number of converts than Paul; many have preached over a wider area than he; but none have established churches as he did. We have forgotten that such things could be. For too long we have convinced ourselves to accept it as an axiom of missionary work that converts in a new country must be submitted to a very long probation and training, extending over generations before they can be expected to be able to stand alone. Today if a man suggests that there may be something in Paul’s methods that would give such wonderful results worthy of our careful attention, and perhaps of our imitation, he is in danger of being accused of revolutionary tendencies.
If we accept the authority of Scripture, this is not how it should be. We must also accept the fact that the account carefully given by Luke in Acts of planting churches in the Four Provinces should cause us to have more than a mere archaeological and historical interest. Like the rest of the Holy Scriptures it was 'written for our learning'.”
Roland Allen, Missionary Methods – St. Paul’s or Ours? (page 3), (Edited for clarity).
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