From my reading in Acts 14 in the One Year New Testament.
Recently I wrote two posts about lessons from the church in Antioch, and how to be a sending church like Antioch. Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas out well, but they also cared for and stayed connected with them.
“Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed. Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too. And they stayed there with the believers for a long time.” Acts 14:26-28
Welcome Missionaries Back And Listen To Their Stories
When Paul and Barnabas returned from their journey they were welcomed back. The believers who sent them were able to celebrate the stories of lives that had been changed! Paul and Barnabas gathered the people and shared a report about how the ministry is going.
My wife and I just got done doing a similar ministry report with a group of our supporters. It is a joy to share with others the great things God is doing. I feel more connected to my supporters after getting to share with them personally and those that support us also have a better idea of how they are investing in the kingdom of God.
Hearing the stories of missionaries can invigorate members of the church to go out and do similar things. Also it shows the sending church that the resources and prayer they send are not in vain.
Welcome them back for rest and rejuvenation.
It says that Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a long time before leaving again. Missionaries and church planters have exhausting work. It is helpful for missionaries to have a home base where they can rejuvenate after being on the front lines.
The church in Antioch is a good example of a church that cares for those they send. Let it be a remainder to sending churches today to not only send people out but also provide a caring home base for them to come back to.
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From my reading in Acts 11 in the One Year New Testament.
The church in Antioch was an good example in several ways.
Antioch’s members were some of the first to preach to the Non-Jewish people.
“However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus.” Acts 11:20
They understood that the good news was for everyone, Jew and non-Jew!
Antioch’s members preached with God’s power.
“The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.” Acts 11:21
They were so filled with God’s Spirit and power that a large number of people were being saved. When you have God’s power in your preaching it can change lives.
Antioch was generous toward other churches.
This is perhaps the greatest difference in the Antioch Church and many churches today. Often churches are all about their own agenda and not concerned about the bigger movement of God.
When the Antioch church heard that the Jerusalem church was going into a severe famine they took a collection and gave generously.
“So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the brothers and sisters in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could. This they did, entrusting their gifts to Barnabas and Saul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.” Acts 11:29–30
They didn’t just give, they gave as much as they could! This type of generous giving to another church is evidence of God’s work and a kingdom minded church
How can your church follow the church in Antioch’s example?