Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Sending Off the Best
The church at Antioch made a bold decision concerning missions. They took their best people and commissioned them to go. We might not be so bold. Would we be delighted if our pastor left to go on missions because he was so bad, or would we be delighted for others who would receive the gift that we have received.
As Christians we want to show the world what God is capable of doing. this means that we might consider sending our most capable people. My home church, The Chapel, has sent very capable missionaries to serve in Kenya. One of them was formerly appointed as a campus pastor before being sent out.
Have you even considered that God want might to use you in a context where they need your skills. Many people serve out a dull career and risk nothing because they would rather play it safe. Paul and Barnabas were not playing it safe. However, great stories, like the Book of Acts, are rarely written about people who played it safe.
May we be prepared to send our best people on missions. May we be prepared to go ourselves. May we embrace the adventure that you have called us to no matter where it leads.
- What kind of people were Saul and Barnabas?
- Why would they be successful missionaries?
- Why do you think that God sends pairs?
- Who are the most able people in your church?
- Where might they serve on mission?