S (Scripture): Acts 20:3b When [Paul] came to Greece, 3 he stayed for three months. Because the Jews hatched a plot against Paul as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided instead to return through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater, Pyrrhus’ son from Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 They went on ahead and waited for us in Troas. 6 We sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread and met them five days later in Troas, where we stayed for a week.
O (Observation): Paul did Church with other people. He didn’t travel alone, like some solo salesperson. He did life together with folks who travelled with him. They ate together, worshipped together, they did everything together.
This journey included disciples of Jesus following Paul and learning from one another.
Paul’s mission planted Gospel seeds and included workers for the garden. And when a certain amount of growth and fertilization had taken place, they moved on, leaving behind some to tend to the garden.
A (Application): How do we do Church in 2019? Are we like the early church? Like Paul? Do we tend to be more about individuals who are talented and show promise to create a free-standing, independent organization known as a local congregation? When new leaders are called to lead, who goes with them?
These questions start to reveal the nature of the organized Church of 2019. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m just curious about it’s sustainability. Many congregations, like the one I serve, is fairly stable and will continue on.
I make the most of building relationships where I am, so that on days when I am sick (like I was yesterday) I could rely on others to tend the garden God has asked me to oversee. And the results were wonderful…fruitful, you might say.
What are we doing to bring others along? Who is receptive to the ministry you are doing? Are you receptive to the ministry that others are doing? Are you leading others? Following others? Are you going it alone?
Please see how God’s abundance supplies for you and your loved ones. See that God gives you (time, talents, treasures) is enough to connect you with others with whom you can work to tend to God’s garden.
P (Prayer): Lord: gather us, feed us, send us. Together. Amen.