This fall I am going through the stories and letters of Paul in chronological order with some our network leaders at Gateway. We are trying to determine the characteristics that made him so catalytic so that we might grow in this as well.
We are looking for the ways Paul sensed the moving of God’s Spirit in the following ways:
- Miraculous methods of guidance
- Performing miracles
- Discovering receptivity and accepting suffering
- Pursuing God and His righteousness
- Reaching out to others and empowering others
Here is the order we are reading through and discussing:
- Week One – Acts 7-16
- Week Two – Galatians
- Week Three – Acts 17, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians
- Week Four – Acts 18, 1 & 2 Corinthians
- Week Five – Romans
- Week Six – Acts 19-20, Ephesians
- Week Seven – Acts 21-28, Colossians, Philemon
- Week Eight – Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy
Here are some of the Week One highlights:
- Saul heard Stephen share the story of God and later shared the same story.
- Saul saw Stephen killed and personally persecuted the church.
- Persecution was needed for the church to advance through the message of those who were following Christ (rather than the apostles).
- Saul came to Christ in a miraculous way, but he seemed to focus more on the message than the miracles.
- Luke and Paul wrote half of the New Testament even though they weren’t part of the 12 disciples (a reminder to us that you don’t have to be one of the 12 disciples to make a significant impact).
- Paul was invested in by Ananias and Barnabas and the apostles.
- Paul trusted and submitted himself to his leaders.
- Paul invested in others as he was on mission (“on-the-go mentoring”)
- Paul advanced the church further than anyone at that time in history, but he was not alone.
- Paul was not a superhero nor a great speaker, but he was fully surrendered to Christ.
- The early church worked through conflict in the context of a trusting community.
- From Acts 7-16, what do you notice about Paul that made him catalytic?
- What can we apply to our own service and leadership?
- Have you noticed ways Paul served the people in a way unique to their context?