Summary: This sermon shows how Paul impacted the community of Ephesus for Christ. This sermon gives a Biblical example of how to impact our community for Christ.
Paul called the elders from the church in Ephesus together to review his dealings among them. He told how he had worked in that group of people. We know Paul had a major impact in Ephesus. From his description we learn much about how to impact a community for Christ.
1. The greatest way to impact a community is through personal relationships. Paul said "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you" (vs.18 NKJV)
A. Relationships should be intentional. Intentional relationships are planned with a goal of stair stepping a person to faith in Jesus Christ.
B. Relationships should be characterized by involvement. We should be involved in people’s lives.
2. To impact a community we should be consistent in our commitment. Paul said "with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews".(vs.19 NKJV) Paul was consistent. His commitment was not a hit or miss proposition. He was there through the thick and thin of ministry. People knew they could count on him.
3. To impact a community we should be filled with compassion. Twice in Acts 20 we read of Paul’s tears. (vs.19,31)
The Psalmist also spoke of tears of compassion. "He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Ps. 126:6 NKJV)
Paul’s compassion was not limited to those in his comfort zone. He had compassion for all people. The Bible says Paul testified to "Jews, and also to Greeks." (vs. 21 NKJV)
4. To impact our community we should be comprehensive with our approach. In Acts 20:20 we read that Paul
"taught...publicly and from house to house."
A. There should be a strong public ministry. Paul taught publicly. We do this through evangelistic crusades,revivals and the like.
B. There should also be a strong private ministry. We should go into people’s homes.