A close look at Acts 14:19-23 reveals four strategic phases of ministry that we must connect together in expanding God’s work and planting churches. Note how they develop and build on each other in these verses.
· Verse 21 – they preached the gospel.
· Verse 22 – they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them.
· Verse 23 – they appointed elders in every church.
· Verse 23 – they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
As we follow the development of the Early Church, there is no question that Paul’s method led to complete confidence in the Lord about leaving a new church plant in His hands. This fostered rapid expansion and growth of the church. I am convinced that long time-lines for planting churches works against the spontaneous work of the Spirit and we place more confidence in our own strategies than in the Lord’s faithful Headship of His church.
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