The Church With a Long Reach

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Acts 11:10-26
Acts 13:1-3

I envy the church in Antioch. It was growing rapidly and had a talented staff including Barnabas and Paul. God was blessing that congregation. This is every pastor’s dream. The Antioch story takes a surprising turn. Paul and Barnabas suddenly left, and they did so with their congregation’s encouragement! Obviously, the church desired more than its own growth.

The churches in Acts proclaimed the gospel in their communities and in faraway places. Their commitment to obeying every word of the Great Commission is seen in Antioch’s commissioning of two leaders for mission service. Mission is not an either/or proposition. I want my church to do local evangelism and grow, but I also want to commit significant resources to world evangelism. The Great Commission isn’t about building big churches but about being faithful witnesses. Personally I try to model the comprehensive nature of my witness by being involved with ministries that reach beyond my congregation and community. I give these ministries my time, my skills and my financial contributions. I hope you will do the same.

PRAYER

Jesus, help me to care as much about the ends of the earth as I do for myself and my own.