Paul & Silas – Trust God’s Strategy for Ministry

According to Wikipedia, “A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand by its nature of being extensively premeditated, and often practically rehearsed." … More

Strategy

Paul and Silas traveled 100 miles from Philippi to Thessalonica.  According to verse one they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, but didn’t minister in those cities. Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia, with a population of about 200,000. Paul’s master plan for missions was to evangelize the main city of an area, leave behind him a mission-minded church, move on to another population center, and leave the evangelization of the rural areas to the new church.

Much of our missionary activity, since the days of David Livingston, has been concentrated on the jungles and bush country. Somehow the fascination of wild barbaric tribes and untamed tongues has exerted a big influence on the Western mind. It is true that such areas need to be evangelized, but in my opinion, all too often we have bypassed the cities and headed for the hills. It would seem that in more recent years the strategy of many missionary organizations is to evangelize the people who live in the cities, where the seats of power and influence are found.

Paul worked at the tent-making trade (Acts 18:3); however, as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and there ministered to both devout Jews and Gentiles. In verses two and three, Paul reasoned (give and take conversation with questions and answers) with them out of the Scriptures, opening (explaining and proving, by evidence) that Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. As a result, a large number of people believed, especially Greeks and influential women who traveled with Paul. Among the men were two, named Aristarchus and Secundus who later traveled with Paul (Acts 20:4). The unbelieving Jews began persecuting the believers. They wanted to drag the missionaries before the people but because they were unable to find them, the mob took Jason and some of the believers instead. They were charged with having “turned the world upside down.

Application

Today Christians need to have the reputation for “turning the world upside down.” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Lord, help me to constantly be asking myself, “What am I doing to make Christ known to others?”

Acts 17:1-9 (English Standard Version)

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More Acts commentaries

Acts 14:1-7
Opposition/Rejection From the Iconium Crowd

Acts 14:8-12
Paul and Barnabas Refute People’s Worship

Acts 14:13-20
From "God” to "Stoning” – Paul Still Committed to Preach

Acts 14:21-28
Paul and Barnabas Share their Ministry with Supporters

Acts 15:1-5
Jerusalem Council–Divisions Re: Circumcision

Acts 15:6-11
Jerusalem Council–Discussion Re: Moses’ Law

Acts 15:12-18
Jerusalem Council–Decisions Based on God’s Word

Acts 15:19-29
Jerusalem Council–Decisions for Unity

Acts 15:30-41
Paul and Barnabas Disagree About John Mark

Acts 16:1-5
Paul & Timothy – New Ministry Duo

Acts 16:6-10
Paul – Flexibility in the Itinerary

Acts 16:11-15
Lydia–Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered

Acts 16:16-34
Paul & Silas – Praising God While In Prison

Acts 16:35-40
Paul’s Ministry Produces "People” Change

Acts 17:1-9
Paul & Silas – Trust God’s Strategy for Ministry

Acts 17:10-15
Obstacles that Hinder the Work of the Lord

Acts 17:16-34
Religion ... Ridicule ... Results

Acts 18:1-4
Paul Adapts to His Audience

Acts 18:5-11
Opposition Enhances Ministry Results

Acts 18:12-17
Paul’s Roman Citizenship On Trial

Acts 18:18-23
God Works His Will in His Servants

Acts 18:24-28
Tactfulness–Words That Work Mightily

Acts 19:1-7
The Holy Spirit is a Person

Acts 19:8-16
Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication

Acts 19:17-22
Beware of Cult Practices

Acts 19:21-41
Results of Religious Greed

Acts 20:1-6
Discipleship Despite Difficulties

Acts 20:7-12
When, Where, How & How Long to Worship

Acts 20:13-21
Paul–An Example of Faithfulness

Acts 20:22-24
Paul’s Determination To Go To Jerusalem

Acts 20:25-31
Paul’s Warning to the Ephesian Elders

Acts 20:32-38
Paul Shares About Giving