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


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.


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.

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