This article would discuss in brief the strategies used by Paul in accomplishing the greatest success in missionary work in the Bible times, and how these strategies fit into missionary works in our dispensation.
The Church In Mission Strategy-Then And Now.
St. Paul received his commission directly from the Lord (Acts 9:15) and did not need to have instruction from the apostles in Jerusalem about what he was to teach (Gal. 1:15-17).
Paul describes his mission in terms of movement (sent to the Gentiles) and in terms of intentionality (to proclaim Jesus Christ) [cf. Gal. 1:1, 15-15].”
This manuscript would discuss in brief the strategies used by Paul in accomplishing the greatest success in missionary work in the Bible times, and how these strategies fit into missionary works in our dispensation.
What do we mean by “strategy” first of all? “Strategy” is a combination of two Greek words stratia (“an army”) and algein (“to lead”), and thus it denotes the leadership of an army.
The Oxford Reference Dictionary gives a secular meaning: a plan of action or policy in business or politics and how those plans and actions can and should be realized in specific operations.
To the Christian mission, “strategy” means a well-organized plan of action or policy to be followed in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and consolidating the believers in their faith.
G. Van Rheenen defines mission strategy as “the practical working out of the will of God within a cultural context”, because, for him, all missiological decisions must somehow be rooted in theology and take into consideration the cultural context in which the mission is carried out.
QUESTION ON MISSION STRATEGIES.
Question is often raised as to whether we need to adopt a strategy at all in a Christian mission. The reason for such skepticism is the misunderstanding that following the importance of strategy. people saw strategy as outside the leading of the Holy Spirit. If ‘strategy’ is essential in the army, in games and sports, and also in political or business circles, then it is hard to believe that it is not needed in Christian circles.
Missiologists insist that it is wiser to do some strategic planning. H.R. Cook, for example, indicates that there is a need for having a personal strategy and so also for having a mission strategy.
Van Rheenen argues that there is no missiology without theology, the study of the cultural context, and strategy. However, he cautions that strategy must be a servant, and never be a master, to the mission of God. If the strategy is accepted as an integral part of the Christian mission, then the question arises: had Paul, the first Christian missionary, worked with some strategies?
If so, what are they? An inquiry into these will help us to find ways in which contemporary missions could be made more productive. Even a cursory reading of the Book of Acts and Paul’s epistles will show that Paul worked with some strategic plans and that they were governed by the Holy Spirit (cf. Act. 16:6-10; 19:21; 21:11-14; Rom. 15:18-19).
Three Steps To Developing a Church Mission Strategy
Many churches don’t have any strategy or organised approach to supporting world missions. I’ve never seen a church with a good local outreach program that didn’t also have a serious approach to Local, national and international missions in one way or another. So, here are three steps that a church could take in order to develop a sustainable approach to involvement in world missions – which includes having a live link to a mission partner or some other direct contact.
There is a need for a collective prayer asking God to enable the church to participate in what he is doing globally. This might entail a small amount of repentance, and it might be connected to a sermon series on a biblical mission. There are a ton of resources available online and offline that can aid in prayer but focus on being more focused than broad. I would strongly advise against keeping a prayer list where you pray for a different nation or circumstance every Sunday. The congregation will only be confused by this. Provide them with something to chew on. Adopt a people group that is unreached and pray for them for a few months, using resources like films and other materials to guide your prayers. Alternatively, select a nation and
In my experience, the biggest blockage in churches developing an interest in world missions is the minister. This isn’t because ministers are opposed to world missions (well, some of them are) but because they are too busy to take a lead on this question given all of the other calls on their time. The advantage of delegating is that there may well be people in the congregation who have a connection to countries or situations that could provide the basis for in-depth prayer.
Things To Avoid.
While there is huge value in both missionaries and mission agencies, I’m not convinced that this is where churches should start. There are many ways in which churches can be involved in God’s mission. If we fixate on sending our own missionaries or working with an agency, that can easily end up limiting what it is that we do. There are many ways in which churches can be involved in God’s mission; through prayer, supporting national Christian workers, receiving missionaries from other countries, working with overseas students or asylum seekers, and so the list goes on.
An organised approach which goes for depth more than breadth helps church members get involved and grow their commitment. I’ve never seen a church with a good local outreach program that didn’t also have a serious approach to international missions in one way or another. The question is why have some sort of organised strategy?
The church needs to develop an authentic urban mission strategy for ministering in informal settlement communities. The church must develop strategies to reach specific ethnic communities and multiply churches among them. Many poor people have remained unministered by Christians for years because they were insulated by language and cultural barriers.
Networking provides one of the major forms of social organization in the middle level of the city. In the Christian context, this is the intentional and systematic visit of people in an urban community by the Pastor and church worker. Ray Bakke: We must encourage the poor to form networks with other structures in their communities.
If a church is to reach out to its community, it is not at all relevant to what the church perceives as its community’s issues. One must begin where people are, with their issues, and the only sure way to do so is to ask them. Very rarely are the elected or business leaders of a community the real leaders, and that is particularly true in an informal settlement community.
Church Community organization strategy
Church Community organization strategy is the process by which the people of an urban or Rural community organize themselves through the church to deal with the primary forces that are exploiting their community.
1. The new church will feel a particular commitment to its neighbourhood and community. It will be the church in the community only because its brick and mortar happen to meet the ground there.
2. churches are concerned with both evangelism and social action because they must be concerned about the needs of their communities. “It is inadequate to be concerned with people’s soul (of the poor) unless the church is also going to be concerned about their social and economic needs”.
3. A church should be the church with the community. This means that it enters into the life of the community and becomes a partner in addressing its need. It respects the people and joins them in dealing with the issues they have identified as their own. Community organization is a process of mobilizing the people in a troubled neighbourhood to take action together to identify and defeat the social and spiritual forces destroying that neighbourhood. The church must come alongside them, support and work with them in the endeavour, and share with them the particular gifts and strengths it has to contribute.
The Christian response to these poor people should be evangelism and mission. What every settlement and community needs most are the Disciples of Christ. People who would normally be unreceptive to the gospel hear it from their community partners because they trust them. Only the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary’s cross can do that.
Jesus’ key strategy for the salvation of the world was disciple-making. Discipleship in the informal settlement community means getting serious about issues like good schools, responsible sanitation, and clean streets. Jesus made disciples so that through them the movement of God’s kingdom might pass on to the world with growing power and scope. This is the key to what the church needs in terms of discipleship and renewal for the mission. The gospel message is an inseparable mix of life, deed, word, and sign.
The need for incarnational ministry strategy
First and foremost, the mission is God’s creation. God is already among people before we arrive, preparing their hearts to hear God’s Word, revealing that Word to them through the activity of the Holy Spirit, and transforming them by the might of the cross. As a result, we must become incarnate of him in doing the kingdom works. The community in which we serve will be better when the salvation of souls and kingdom life is our main goal. we can only best understand the poor if we:
a. Go to the poor
b. Live among the poor
c. Learn from the poor
d. Work with the poor
e. Start with what the poor have
And build upon what the poor have
f. Teach by showing
g. Learn by doing.
Despite our resources, we must interact with others on their level rather than existing in isolation from them. When people recognize that their community is also your community and that you are facing the same problems as they are, they become more receptive. Understanding your neighbourhood has additional advantages.
> Knowing the needs of the community is necessary to establish a comprehensive ministry there and to minister there in both word and deed. We refer to this as a needs assessment. If we don’t have firsthand knowledge of the community, it can’t be accurate.
> Second, in order to be relevant in our presentation of the gospel, again in both word and deed, we must contextualize all aspects of our presentation, and this requires an intimate knowledge of the community and its people. Although we are advocating incarnational living, we must remember that being incarnational in itself is not
enough; our goal goes far beyond that.
The goal of incarnational ministry is not that people understand the gospel. It is that they respond to God’s invitation and are transformed by his power. They become new creatures through Christ and members of a new community, the church”.
In ministering to the informal settlement community, we need to remember that Jesus is our role model for mission, His impact lies in the fact that “the Word became flesh and made his dwellings among us” (John1:4). For our ministry to be relevant we must minister to the poor closely and not from the distance. Jesus interacted with those to whom He
ministered including the poor. The incarnation was a profound historic symbol for Jesus. It is from such symbols of humility, sacrifice, and love that men and women are emboldened to transform them. The incarnation was a profound economic act of Jesus. It reversed values, defined jubilee principles, and demonstrated the active intervention of the heavenly Father in providing for needs.
Incarnational ministry among the poor is the primary step to transforming the economics of the emerging Christian community on earth. Incarnational for the poor means getting close, sharing pain, working over the long term, making local commitments and loving poor people, all these will contribute significantly to the effectiveness of our ministries. Because the church is Incarnational, it also knows that it will always be called to express the gospel within the terms, styles, and perspectives of its social context.
Understanding the community strategy
The basic goal of incarnational ministry is to help us comprehend the needs of the community from the inside. We cannot make wise judgments on their ministry plan if we do not understand the community’s members or what the community is all about. To help us comprehend this wonderful, intricate, and perplexing phenomenon we name a city, we need to employ both micro and macro perspectives.
A walk-through is a deliberate stroll around a section of your neighbourhood, during which you record all of your findings. Having a companion makes it easier to formulate questions and discuss what you observe. In order to spot trends, more than one stroll should be organized on various days of the week.
Shop in the community stores, and chat informally with the storeowners. Greet people on the street and ask them how they enjoy their community. Find out what kind of activities may be planned for that community. This is where you are becoming part of the community and why Incarnational living is so important.
Another step is to identify the community institutions and interview representatives of them;
> Are there schools in the community or are they far away?
> Are there social service agencies or medical facilities nearby?
> The first step is to identify the community as it fits into larger systems- the entire city, state, country, and even the world. It is important to know the history of the people’s homeland and the culture of that culture. One will realize that there might be similarities between the settlement communities and there are also major differences in language, political activism, leadership, religious influence, and even the existence of gangs. These differences are directly attributable to the systemic structures influencing these communities.
The Need For Evaluation
When we are active in missions, we should be worried about whether we are actually carrying out the strategies we made or whether the resources available to us are being used effectively.
A mission statement, strategies and attainable goals should be written at the start of any missionary activity. A timeline indicating the date of the first evaluation should be included in the plan. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations should both be used. Evaluation takes time, and churches have bypassed it often leading to incomplete success in the mission.
Mission To the community of the poor
Street children, the jobless, those living with HIV/AIDS, prostitutes, and the homeless are the main particular groups. Large-scale community requirements include access to running water, sewage, schools, healthcare, power, streetlights, and church structures. missionaries should stress the need for Governmental agencies, Christian churches and all religious bodies to take care of both their own needs and those of others. The sending church needs to establish a fund to assist missionaries in obtaining the materials they will require for service. They ought to collaborate closely with the agencies that offer jobless people free skills, free education, and grants.
Mission To HIV-AIDS Victims
Christians serving as missionaries must carefully consider how to handle the missionary opportunities given by AIDS. Because of the stigma associated with AIDS, there are numerous ways in which ministering to individuals who are impacted by it is different from ministering to those who have other illnesses. When selecting whether to start an AIDS ministry, the prerequisites of Christian discipleship, medical teachings, awarenesses, sensitizations, and treatments by the mission’s medical team serve as the ultimate rule to success.
When selecting whether to start an AIDS ministry, the prerequisites of Christian discipleship, medical teachings, awarenesses, sensitizations, and treatments by the mission’s medical team serve as the ultimate rule to success.
The church may express its mission, vision, and identity through serving others. The severity of the situation, the intricacy of the task, and the level of commitment necessary to involve and manage this in your mission strategy must all be kept in mind.
Since AIDS affects people of all religious backgrounds, all religions have a duty to run AIDS ministries. Significant time, financial, material and human resources are all necessary to minister to AIDS patients in a holistic way. The people of God have a responsibility to take care of the ill and afflicted. In order to handle the HIV/AIDS issue, a congregation selects its health experts. These are highly secretive professionals in the healthcare industry who practice professional ethics and conducts.
Mission to the Street Children And the Homeless
Within the constraints of the mission’s constrained financial resources, the needs of the homeless must be fulfilled. To address the complicated requirements of the homeless, public social services such as medical care, IDP public housing agencies, mental health services, and therapeutic adult care should be engaged. People without homes should be given access to emergency housing. An experienced missionary should;
1. First, try to comprehend the issues that affect the poor.
supporting the homeless and providing them with direct services on the
2. Second, churches need to be ready to address the needs of
Homeless individuals may knock on their door at any time.
3. Christians should dedicate themselves to professions in missions.
among the unsheltered. Rescue operations and treatment facilities
ought to be created.
4. Start a soup kitchen near budget motels and back alleyways, fourth.
places homeless people can sleep
Street children are essential because they are the future of the community. Some street children are as young as 6, and they spend their days hustling for money. Children who are malnourished and illiterate are hardly a sign of things to come. Values are formed during childhood when children also develop their athletic strength, mental acumen, and overall health.
> First, we must provide them with food in order to draw them in. By doing this, you may meet a real need in their life. A quick Bible lesson or quick Bible story is delivered along with the food along with some singing.
> Second, another strategy for attracting kids on the street is to offer to take them to a campground. various programs will be
structured in a way that includes a mixture of Bible teachings, Scripture memorization, Swimming and games. The kids spend four days at the program and spend the entire day participating in camp activities. The disparity between showers, food, beds, and activities is striking. to a life of deprivation and working hard to get what they need. Because the gospel message begins to resonate once their brains are clear, and so Many people have had their lives completely changed.
Mission to the Drug Addicts
Drug abuse victims and their families are being helped through diaconal programs. The proportion of alcoholics and drug addicts among the homeless is higher. It takes the strictest authority structures and discipline to minister to drug abusers in the diaconate. Every day, our churches ought to preach and model moral behaviour for the community via their advocacy and public witness.
Our religious community is obligated to teach morality, observance of the law, respect for human life, and mercy. Our approach to the drug problem must be based on our values of respect for human life and dignity. The humanity of both victims and criminals must be respected. We think society ought to safeguard its members against addiction and hold offenders accountable. These same principles lead us to advocate for rehabilitation and treatment for offenders, God’s wisdom, love and commandments can show us the way to live together, respect others and ourselves, heal victims and offenders and renew communities.
Mission To Family Abused And Offenders
Pastoral care for Abusers and the victims (abused) must be sympathetic and ongoing. Victims and their families frequently seek assistance and support from their local churches. Missionaries risk losing the trust of the church if they are unable to act promptly and effectively.
Reach out to offenders and their families, advocate for more treatment, and provide for the pastoral needs of all involved.
Our spiritual presence is also necessary for the offender’s family. For ex-offenders, mentoring programs offer a setting that is full of love, support, and practical help. Programs for family group counselling are useful in reorienting young people in such families. Expert counsellors may give alternative methods of communication and help families create stronger family bonds by assisting them in identifying their problems. The Missionary must be prepared to assist both abusers, the abused and the entire family in learning about the Gospel and how it may change their life.
Mission to the illiterates
Before tackling formal education, the missionary must start with elementary domestic education on modern methods of doing things like; how to prepare food, how to eat in public, how to dress, shave, sanitary etc. Many people, both young and old, need small business training to become skilled employees, and this is one aspect of missionaries’ work (helping people recognize their skills) because Marketable skill holders will be able to support their churches for God has been good to them.
In addressing the problem of illiteracy, the church should take the
following into cognisance:
1. first, it is important to respect the people’s native tongue (give them a bible translation in their language and try to learn it)
2. The church should also deal with the civilization of their character, and the spiritual, social, and educational needs in a modernized fashion; the church will change the lives of its youths and have an effect on the entire community.
3. Third, the church ought to prepare educators for ethnic
diversity in their communities.
Mission to the prostitutes:
All of the church’s members receive ministry in various ways. In the time of Jesus, there were many prostitutes in Palestine. Scripture makes God’s righteous displeasure against adultery, as well as his ability to pardon and redeem those who have sinned in public, abundantly evident. Prostitutes need to know that kind individuals are ready to assist them in leaving prostitution and starting a new life. It makes clear that we are all rescued by grace via the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
The church is ministering to us regarding prostitution when it speaks to us about our brokenness and the Scriptures. However, the Gospel reveals that sinners and prostitutes went out to hear John the Baptist speak, and many of them replied (Mathew 21:32). Effortless ministry is what this refers to the ministry that aids those who are prostitutes in locating their position within the body of Christ. Each church must carry out its own ministry.
Among Jesus’ followers were fallen women, and to one of them, a Samaritan, he imparted deeper lessons about God than are almost only found elsewhere in the New Testament (John 4:7-29). Jesus once remarked that more prostitutes join the kingdom via repentance and faith than do religious leaders, who are widely regarded as respectable, at that time (Mathew 21:3).
Given our knowledge of prostitution and how it is often used as a form of slavery, we can better understand Jesus’ sympathy for the adulteress.
Imagination, or the capacity to put ourselves in another person’s shoes and understand what it’s really like, is the mother of compassion. Every church has the ability to serve prostitutes, however, some build full-orbed ministries geared toward individuals who are looking for recovery. Love and sympathy will be beneficial.
Nevertheless, extra caution should and must be used in accomplishing this, regardless of your level of spiritual development and years of experience in mission work, lest you stumble like many others.
Some practical ways to Convert Sinners (Prostitutes and Furnicators):
a) Prostitutes are mentioned in congregational prayers along with the need for them to repent.
b) Mention particular sins, like engaging in prostitution, by name during liturgical confession. Make reference to the fact that Christians are tempted by, battling, and caught up in a multitude of sins through scripture and prayers. Train worship leaders to speak in a way that shows all sin is offensive to God, all sin is pardonable, and that God’s power can end the dominance and cycle of sin. Mention wicked acts of conduct and speech as well as depraved attitudes and thoughts, such as libel, theft, assault, and murder. Confessions of sins should include those that are frequently seen as routine and unimportant.
c) When preaching, discuss various evils, such as prostitution, Extramarital affairs and other forms of extramarital sex. Give illustrations of God’s mercy and consolation for those who struggle with brokenness as well as instances of those who have overcome the sinful prostitution power.
d) Instruct small groups to talk about some of the problems that In their biblical studies, there was sexual behaviour.
Paul’s Missionary Journeys
According to the Book of Acts, which was written by Luke, Paul undertook four missionary journeys ending in Rome. It is possible that he undertook further missionary journeys but we have no proof. In studying Paul’s missionary journeys, we shall understand more, about his approach, drive and strategies in all his mission. The following accounts are taken from the book of Acts:
Paul’s First Missionary Journey:
1st Missionary Journey in the year 46AD (Acts 13-14): Answering God’s call to proclaim Christ, Paul and Barnabas left the church at Antioch in Syria. At first, their method of evangelism was to preach in the town synagogues. But when many of the Jews rejected Christ, the missionaries recognized God’s call of witnessing to the Gentiles.
Because of his bold testimony of Jesus, Saul the persecutor became Paul the persecuted. Those who rejected his message of salvation through Jesus Christ tried to stop and harm him. In one city, he was stoned and left for dead. But God spared him. Through trials and beatings and imprisonments, he kept on preaching Christ.
Paul’s ministry to Gentiles brought controversy over who could be saved and how to be saved. Between his first and second missionary journeys, he participated in a conference in Jerusalem discussing the way of salvation. The final consensus was that the Gentiles could receive Jesus without submitting to Jewish traditions Act 15.
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey:
Paul began his second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-18:22) around 49-52AD from Antioch in Syria where his first missionary journey had begun. The intention was for Paul and Barnabas to return to the cities where they had established congregations in their first missionary journey to see how they were getting on and to offer spiritual encouragement and guidance (Acts 15:36).
However, the issue of the young John Mark was raised who had deserted them on their first missionary journey. Paul was not prepared to allow him to accompany them on this journey and this decision caused a split between Paul and Barnabas, for now, there were two missionary teams. Barnabas went to Cyprus with John Mark, and Paul took Silas to Asia Minor (Acts 15:37-39).
God providentially redirected Paul and Silas to Greece, bringing the gospel to Europe. At Philippi, the missionary team was beaten and imprisoned. Rejoicing to suffer for Christ, they sang in jail. Suddenly, God caused an earthquake to open the doors of the cell and free them from their chains. The amazed jailer and his family believed in Christ, but the government officials begged Paul and Silas to leave.
Paul taught those who believed in Christ and established them in churches. During this 2nd missionary journey, Paul made many disciples from all backgrounds: a young man named Timothy, a businesswoman named Lydia, and the married couple Aquila and Priscilla.
Paul’s Third Missionary Journey:
Paul stayed in Ephesus for about two years, for the first few months he and his brethren concentrated on preaching to Jews in the synagogue but with very little success and some Jews publicly spoke out against Paul’s message and ‘The Way of The Lord. So, he decided to leave the synagogue and begin preaching daily in the house of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9). After the uproar at Ephesus had died down Paul called the disciples to him, embraced them, and departed for Macedonia (Acts 20:1). Paul celebrated Pascha (Easter) in Troas with the brethren and then quickly passed through several cities before heading for Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost (Acts 20:14-16).
(Acts 18:23-20:38): During Paul’s third journey, he fervently preached in Asia Minor. God confirmed his message with miracles. Acts 20:7-12 tells of Paul at Troas preaching an exceptionally long sermon. A young man, sitting on an upstairs window sill, went to sleep and fell out the window. He was thought to be dead, but Paul revived him.
Once involved in the occult, the new believers at Ephesus burned their magic books. Idol-makers, on the other hand, were not pleased with their loss of business on account of this one true God and His Son. One silversmith named Demetrius started a city-wide riot, praising their goddess Diana. Trials always followed Paul. The persecution and opposition ultimately strengthened true Christians and spread the gospel.
At the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, he knew he would soon be imprisoned and probably killed. His final words to the church at Ephesus display his devotion to Christ: “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:18-24).
After saying farewell to the elders at Ephesus, Paul and his brethren set sail and after a few days sailing, ‘landed at the harbour of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload. We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week’ (Acts 21:3-4) These disciples prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem.
Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey:
Paul was kept as a prisoner for about two years at Caesaria before the time came for him to be sent to Rome. He was then placed in the charge of a centurion named Julias for the journey to Rome. Luke writes, ‘When the time came, we set sail for Italy. Paul and several other prisoners were placed in the custody of an army officer named Julius, a captain of the Imperial Regiment. And Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was also with us. We left on a boat whose home port was Adramyttium. It was scheduled to make several stops at ports along the coast of the province of Asia’ (Acts 27:1-2).
Some Bible scholars see a fourth missionary journey as well, and early Christian history does seem to attest to the idea. At the same time, there is no explicit evidence for a fourth journey in the Bible, as it would have occurred after the close of the book of Acts.
Paul’s Core Purpose in Mission
Saul was born at Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, southern Turkey, which at the time of the Bible was a part of the Hittite kingdom, according to the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 22:3). It was a large, prosperous trade city with its own government, elected judges, and even its own money.
In Romans 15:15–16, Paul describes the goal of his mission: to present the Gentiles to God as “an acceptable sacrifice, purified by the Holy Spirit.” Paul was able to develop plans and Strategies that will accomplish his purpose since he had a clear goal in mind. Our Strategies to actualize the Mission goals we establish often determine our mission success. He describes his work as “priestly service of the gospel of God” in so stating (cf. Act. 9:15-16; 26:16-18; see also Act. 20:24 and Phil. 3:13-15a for other kinds of purpose statements of Paul).
On the road to Damascus, when Jesus revealed himself to Paul, God had called him to go on a mission among the Gentiles. He had heard this call directly from Jesus, and the apostles known as “pillars” had given their approval (Gal. 2:9).
As it is stated, “They shall see who have never been told of him,” Paul connects his mission to the Gentiles with the Old Testament quote taken from Isaiah 52:15b (Rom. 15:21). This phrase emphasizes that the eschatological benefit of God’s salvation, promised to the Jews, has come to the Gentile nations with the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. The New Testament often emphasizes that Gentiles will share in Israel’s blessings.
The purpose of all of Paul’s missionary journeys was the same: proclaiming God’s grace in forgiving sin through Christ. God used Paul’s ministry to bring the gospel to the Gentiles and establish the church. Paul’s letters to the churches, recorded in the New Testament, still support church life and doctrine. Although Paul’s missionary journeys caused him to sacrifice everything, they were worth the cost (Philippians 3:7-11).
Paul’s Successful Mission Strategies.
Choice of Principal Cities for Evangelization; Paul identified in each region the key cities such as Antioch of Pisidia, Paphos of Cyprus, Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Macedonia, and Caesarea to carry out his mission. Finally, he landed as a prisoner in Rome, the capital of the Mediterranean world, where he was teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered for two whole years (Act. 28:30-31). Thus Paul was engaged in mission by journeying from one place to another and taking the gospel to the whole eastern half of the Roman Empire, from Jerusalem as far as Illyricum.
1. First to the Jews and also to the Gentiles
In many cities, Paul approached the synagogue first where he could present the gospel to the Jews. I Dr Godspower Kelechi Nnokwara appreciates this as a good strategy, for by reaching out first to the Jews, the people of the covenant, Paul was acting in accordance with the theological principle that “salvation is from the Jews”.17 He had a deep concern for the salvation of the Jews, for his heart’s desire and prayed to God for the Jews was that they must be saved (Rom. 10:1). Although some Jews did accept Paul’s message, often it was the Gentiles (mostly the Greeks), the “worshippers of God” or God-fearers, the devout converts to Judaism or the proselytes, and many others who had been attracted to Jewish monotheism who accepted the gospel preached by him (Act. 13:43; 14:1; 16:14; 17:4; 18:7).
2. Paul’s holistic concern for the churches.
Paul’s mission was not narrowed only to preaching the gospel, but it included a demonstration of pastoral care and concern. He was not satisfied with just planting churches, but he was keen on constantly nurturing them with the Word of God through teaching, counselling, and writing letters of ethical exhortations to grow the churches (cf. Act. 15:36,41; 18:23).
3. Paul’s strategy of working as a team with men and women
As a missionary, Paul never wanted to be alone in fulfilling God’s mission, but to work as a team. His strategy was to recruit men and women into missions with him. Luke shows that Paul took along with him one or more of his fellow workers on all his missionary journeys. During his first missionary journey, which started and ended in Antioch of Syria (ca. AD 46-48), he was accompanied by Barnabas and John Mark (Act. 13:1 – 14:28); in his second missionary journey, which too started and ended in Antioch of Syria making in-roads into Macedonia and Achaia in Europe (ca. AD 49-52), Paul took Silas along with him (Act. 15:36 – 18:22) and in his third missionary journey, which started in Antioch and ended in Jerusalem making two to three years of work possible in Ephesus (AD 53-58), Paul took, perhaps along with Silas, Timothy, Erastus, Gaius, Aristarchus, some Macedonians, and others.
4. Not to build on another’s foundation
Paul made it his ambition to preach the gospel not in the places where Christ had already been named (i.e., proclaimed, acknowledged, and worshipped), lest he builds on the foundation already laid by other missionaries (Rom. 15:20). By “laying a foundation”, he means the initial proclamation of the gospel on which the church is built up and established (1 Cor. 3:10-12). That is, Paul desires that he would preach Christ where he had not yet been preached. The early missionaries followed suit, what can you say about missionary work today?
5. Paul’s strategy in hostile situations.
A notable aspect of Paul’s mission strategy is his use of the hostile situation that arose in the churches as an opportunity to make the gospel known clearly and to consolidate his teaching. Soon after Paul left Corinth after his first visit, there came certain false teachers who claimed to be “apostles” and who questioned Paul’s law-free gospel and the genuineness of his apostleship. They seem to be Jewish Christians who insisted that the Gentile converts should accept circumcision and follow all aspects of Jewish law to be fully saved. yet paul feared no hostile situation, he faced them and departed only when it is necessary to depart (even operating at a higher anointing), he applied knowledge and never neglected the directives of the holy spirit to be able to accomplish his missions in hostile and crisis areas.
Paul’s Core Missionary Strategy And Achievements.
- Paul was deputized/commissioned by his home church Acts 13:1-4, 15: 39-40
2. Paul went to the people and evaluated their needs Acts 13:14-16, 14:1, 18:19, 19:1, 8, 9
3. Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in Acts 13:17-41, 16:31, 19:4, 9-10
4. Paul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, gained converts in Acts 13:48, 16:14-15, 19:5, 18
5. Paul gathered the new converts into churches Acts 13:43, 19:9-10
6. Paul instructed them in the faith Acts 14:21-22, 15:41, 20:20, 27
7. He chose leaders Acts 14:23, 20: 17, 28
8. Paul entrusted believers to the grace of God Acts 14:23, 16:40, 20:1, 25, 32
9. Paul continued his relationships with the new churches Acts 15:36, 18:23, 20:17
10. Paul returned to the sending church Acts 14:26-27, 15:1-4
My thoughts on the Pauline Cycle (Just in case you were wondering):
I believe the key to Paul’s successful missionary history is fully credited to the fact that, without fail, he submitted his action to the absolute authority of the Spirit of God. Clearly, many books, articles, and dissertations have been penned by great theologians about the Pauline Cycle and all we can learn from this great missionary. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-12).
Jesus asserts in Luke 4:18-19 that he has been sent by the Lord God to the Jewish people (movement) to bring good news (intention). He then commanded that we should do the same by proclaiming the good news to the world at large. A typical way of accomplishing this is through mission work. There can be no substitute for the testimony of a changed life in Missions. Teaching the world is of no use if we deny our faith by our lifestyle. Jackie Pullinger, called to work among the drug addicts in Hong Kong, said that she had no success in telling people about Jesus until she became Jesus to them (incarnate).
Missionaries communicate the news of Jesus the Messiah and Savior to people who have not heard or accepted this news at home and abroad; they also communicate a new way of life that replaces, at least partially, the social norms and the behavioural patterns of the society in which the new believers have been converted. In general, they integrate the new believers into a new community. The new converts become disciples.
In order that missionaries to achieve these, strategies and tactics are required. This manuscript has been able to discuss successful strategies used by Apostle Paul and successful world missions to achieve success in their missionary works. now that you have read this, my prayer is that; the spirit of Matthew 28: 18-20, Mark 16:15-18, and Acts 1:8, sink in you and run your missionary works for you through this little pilgrim life of ours on earth.
I SHALL STOP HERE FOR NOW, TILL THE NEXT UPDATE.
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