The Switchboard Mission, part 2

This post is part of a week-long series taking a deeper look at the mission of Switchboard. Put simply: What does Switchboard do? We are going to break it down, point-by-point. (Spoiler alert: we didn’t come up with this idea on our own.) This is Part 2. (Click here to see Part 1.)

But when the disciples gathered about him, he [Paul] rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. (Acts 14:20-23, ESV)

This scene in Acts 14:23 summarizes Paul’s entire missionary method. When the apostle entered an area, his first and only concern was the preaching of the gospel, the making of disciples, and the equipping and unleashing of indigenous leaders to lead these new churches that were forming. 

Paul did not appoint leaders that he brought with him from another area. Instead, he trained those who were already there for the job. Paul understood that the church would only thrive under indigenous leadership; therefore, he identified local converts who possessed the ability to lead the church, trained them, appointed them, and then left, “committing them to the Lord.” 

Paul trusted the process of discipleship. He trusted the training he was giving these new converts. Most importantly, though, he trusted the Holy Spirit to guide these new believers and churches. He could give away leadership because he knew these new believers were being led by the best trainer of all: the Holy Spirit.

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Join us tomorrow for Part 3 – Multiplication.