After Paul’s conversion, his time in the desert of Arabia, and his ministry in Tarsus, the Spirit uses Barnabas to join Paul to a ministry team in Antioch of Syria, where they serve the Antioch Church in leadership with a team for a period of time.
As we study Paul’s first missionary journey, the basic elements of his strategy loom into our vision and a pattern emerges.
1. From the home base of Antioch, Paul and his teammate are sent out for the mission the Holy Spirit has for them.
2. They target certain cities in a loop pattern to declare the gospel and call the inhabitants of those cities to repent and believe into Christ.
3. They target the Jewish centers first by going to the synagogue in virtually every city they enter.
4. After presenting Christ as the resurrected Messiah, when the majority of the Jews reject the message, Paul and Barnabas move on to the Gentiles.
5. When disciples are made, they are instructed on the first principles of Christ and the Apostles to form unity and purpose.
6. These disciples are formed into congregations.
7. The congregations have elders set over them to shepherd them and lead them into unity.
8. These elders are to replicate the work Paul had done with them.
9. The church is to continue in unity the work of evangelizing, establishing believers, and entrusting to emerging leaders as they plant other churches to saturate the area with the gospel.
10. In summary, Paul’s missionary strategy is to evangelize strategically, form local congregations, and entrust the congregation to faithful men who will replicate the process.