Let’s begin to answer this question by looking first at Paul and his example. He is stoned at Lystra and they “dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead” (Acts 14:19). After “the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and entered the city” (14:20). Notice carefully that in just four months, devoted disciples were made in this place. The degree of their commitment is seen in how they treated Paul. They were committed to the message and the messenger.
Wouldn’t Paul need a couple weeks at the beach to recover from stoning? NOT AT ALL! “The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe, (about 50 miles). When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra” (14:21). THE WORK MUST GO ON! It wasn’t just any work, because Paul established a pattern that followed Jesus’ example which was effective in every place. Preaching the gospel and making disciples are two functions that go hand in hand! What Paul and Barnabas did in Derbe also took only four months.
Rick Wood comments, “Every professed Jesus follower who is willing should be equipped, trained and apprenticed for the work of ministry as a disciple-maker and church planter” (page 5). Our Western practice has dragged out training over 2, 4 or even 6 years. It can be done in four months! Tomorrow I will discuss how this method is then passed on to others just as rapidly.
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