I was taught early in ministry that prayer is not the preparation for the greater work, It is the greater work. Such was the case for Paul and Barnabas’s 1st missionary journey. While they were out literally changing the world, the folks back home in Antioch were praying and fasting and supporting Paul and Barnabas. The results were amazing. All across Asia, people were being changed for Christ. Additionally, the conversation about how to become mature men and women of God and how to sustain a community of believers was taking place.
The churches were setting up governance and people were looking at their communities with eyes for growth and change. This once crazy idea of spreading the great news of Jesus across the globe was quickly becoming a reality. But, now it was time to return home and report to the people who sacrificed so the mission could happen. Paul and Barnabas returned to various churches to assure their stability but then they went back to Antioch to report their progress and to thank those that sent, supported and prayed for them.
In our lives, we need to remember those that stand in the background and provide support. The warriors are not the ones on stage only, they are also the ones in the back room on their knees praying, providing child care, financial support and administration. It is critical as we minister to provide them with the credit they deserve and the thanks they will never seek. We need to keep them apprized of what is happening and make them a part of the celebration of victory.
Ministry is so much bigger than what is seen on the screen–Be a part and be grateful for those doing the greater work.
God Bless You
21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.