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This week, we've been walking through a set of travels that Barnabas and Paul (formerly Saul) experienced. People will often refer to this as "Paul's First Missionary Journey." He went from place to place sharing the Good News of the Gospel. People responded, coming home to the Father through the Son, receiving forgiveness for their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then, they moved on to the next city.
Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. (Acts 14:23 NLT)
These local church congregations continued on, however, even after Paul and Barnabas left. That's because some of the people they built into were not just new "infant" Christians. They were more mature in their faith and practice. They were people who walked together with God. Before leaving, Paul and Barnabas would pray over these people, entrust them into God's care, and point the rest of the church congretation to them for wisdom and direction.
Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia. 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. (Acts 14:24-26 NLT)
Paul and Barnabas built into people who would ended up solid enough in their faith to build into other people. They built builders. These builders would plant seeds of truth, water them in prayer, and care for the people as a shepherd cares for his flock. These builders buit into people, some of whom would end up solid enough in their faith to build into other people as well. They were builders who built builders, too. This pattern continued for thousands of years, bringing the Good News of the Gospel to us today.
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 14:27-28 NLT)
How about you? Do you build builders?