I’m no expert on this. I’ve only started one of these things. But I know someone who is. The Apostle Paul started a bunch of these.
What are some lessons from the greatest church planter that could help us plant more effective and heathy churches today?
From the story in Acts 18 and the start of the church in Corinth let me offer a few, hopefully, helpful and encouraging lessons…
Target the Right Location – v. 1
“After this, he left Athens and went to Corinth.”
Corinth was an important and strategic location for a new church. It has a booming population (750,000 plus at the time of Paul’s visit). It was at an important intersection of trade and commerce which made the proliferation of the Gospel more likely.
Tony Merida says in his commentary on Acts, “The city was a strategic spot for gospel advancement due to the city’s influence and to the mobility and diversity of the people there.”
In real estate it is all about “location, location, location.” This is somewhat true in church planting. Make sure you target the right location.
Build the Right Team – v. 2-5
Starting a church is an exercise in team building. For a while Paul has been building his team. He would bring Silas, Timothy, and Luke with him to Corinth. After he arrived he would meet Aquila and Priscilla and further add to his team.
The effective church planter must be able to recruit, build, and inspire a team of people to work alongside him!
Maintain the Right Attitude – v. 6, 9-11
Remember this is going to be hard. There are going to be bad days and big disappointments.
Paul later wrote that when he came to Corinth that he, “Came to them in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.” 1 Corinthians 2:3
But he was encouraged to continue by the Spirit of the Lord.
Every church planter needs an Acts 18:9-10 moment!
Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” Acts 18:9-10
Share the Right Message– v. 5, 8, 11, 13
Paul knew that the main thing was to preach the Gospel.
As church planters we can get caught up in a myriad of different things. Incorporation papers, URL addresses, marketing plans, securing meeting space – these and other concerns can crowd our day. But remember our primary job is to make Jesus known!
Paul knew that when he went to this important city and started this church.
“When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2