Tuesday, November 17, 2015
1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 "You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything."
Just as reaching outside of ourselves to share Jesus with other people results in spiritual benefits; church-wide this same principle holds with regards to churches. Paul’s opening remarks in 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 expresses how one church’s spiritual growth can serve to be a witness and encouragement to others. Paul requested that the Colossian church pray for him in his continuing efforts to bring the gospel to the frontiers of the mission fields.
Whenever we look at Paul’s missionary efforts in the book of Acts (13-14; 16-18; 18-21; 22-28); we find the establishing of local churches to be the key in expanding the boundaries of God’s Kingdom work. As Paul would revisit the churches he planted, he would encourage those churches and pastors to train elders who in turn would be ready to assume leadership roles (such as he did with Titus in Crete or the Ephesians Elders). Whether by church planting, encouraging other Bible believing churches in the same city or equipping Christians with a Kingdom vision in one's own church, the need for establishing local churches has never been more urgent. If such convictions can ever be a part of local churches – the kingdom vision that is so needed in church congregations will be attainable.