Summary: The church of Antioch characterized a successful church because of its quality leaders. You can determine the quality of most organizations by the character of their leadership. The Antioch church proved to be the most influential and illustrious of all t
1. The church of Antioch characterized a successful church because of its quality leaders. You can determine the quality of most organizations by the character of their leadership.
The Antioch church proved to be the most influential and illustrious of all the first century churches because of men like Barnabas, Saul, Simeon, Lucius and Manaen (Godly precedent setters for the Christian church). Unless a church has the ability to attract and develop quality leaders it is merely surviving.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you draw quality leaders who are committed to the great commandment to love and the great commission to make disciples. The Antioch leaders excelled in both of these essentials.
2. The church of Antioch produced quality multipliers. When a congregation can produce a missionary, a writer or an evangelist they have made a contribution to the building of the kingdom of God which may outweigh the production of another church with ten times its number of members.
Application: Ask God to help your church produce multipliers not spectators.
3. The church of Antioch had prophets and teachers who were in close communion with the Spirit and the word of God. The preaching and teaching elders of the Antioch church were able to hear the Holy Spirit say,
"Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I called them." (Acts 13:2)
Godly leaders will frequently receive direction from the Spirit and the word of God regarding ways of increasing the qualitative and quantitative growth of other fellowships.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you work through mature, wise, and courageous men and women who are dedicated to enlarging the kingdom of God in quantity and quality.
4. The church of Antioch helped mobilize Saul and Barnabas where for an entire year they "met with the church and taught considerable numbers." (Acts 11:26) The work of evangelism, disciple-making and edification consistently went on in the Antioch church.
Application: Ask the Lord to help your fellowship have a healthy variety of teaching, disciple-making and edification ministries for your people to grow in all aspects into Christ.
5. The church of Antioch encouraged diligence in personal devotions. "While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting·" (Acts 13:2) God always speaks to us while we are busy worshipping, studying and praying in the context of meeting othersâ essential spiritual needs.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to find people who are faithful in little things before they are given responsibility over much. (Luke 16:10) Trust the Lord to help your leaders develop an example of thirty minute private devotions every morning.
6. The church of Antioch took up their cross in sacrificial service and persecution. The believers in Antioch were willing to endure great shame, humiliation and hardship for the sake of Christ. Not only did the members fast, but they welcomed many who were persecuted for their faith in Christ. This would have certainly attracted much opposition from the secular authorities, evil people & Pharisaical religious leaders but they persevered in the power of Godâs promises.
Application: Ask the Lord to help your leaders and your fellowship practice self-denial to the world’s worries, riches and pleasures of this life.
7. The church of Antioch did not question the reasons why it had to sacrifice to reach the Gentile non-christians who probably could never have returned the favor. Many fellowships are only willing to serve when they know they will be publicly rewarded or acknowledged for their service.
The Antioch Christians did not dwell on the adversities but the opportunities. They did not become timid in the face of stiff Roman and Jewish opposition to their cross-cultural evangelization of the Gentile world. Despite all of the difficult people they had to deal with, the Antioch Christians set a pattern of outreach ministries that serves as a model 2000 years later.
Application: When the odds seem stacked against them, they moved ahead with Godâs purposes regardless of the outward conditions. Ask the Lord to help your fellowship to be more like the Antioch church and less like the inward focused Jerusalem church.