Missionary Strategies of the Apostle Paul for Church Growth
The Apostle Paul, one of the earliest and most influential leaders, made a profound and lasting impact upon Christian thought. Throughout his ministry, he considered the proclamation of the gospel a prime task as he was called and urged by God to proclaim Christ. Because he proclaimed the gospel, new communities developed consisting of Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul planted these communities, helped them reflect on their identity, and shaped their lives. His view of these new communities was that they formed the beginning of the ‘new creation’ that God was about to establish. There is every reason to consider Paul’s aim with these communities as a missionary: these communities were composed of those who confessed Christ as the Lord would contribute to the further spread of the gospel. Paul focused his activities primarily on cities, regions, and provinces that could enhance the possibilities for further spreading the gospel due to their economic status. By proclaiming and raising communities in various locations, Paul hoped to light a fire that would subsequently spread on its own accord (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2). He also employed strategies of social groups, persuasion of the message, credibility of the messenger, an explanation for missionary success, the principle of accommodation, use of fellow-workers, and ensuring that the churches were self-governing-self-supporting-self-extending. Paul’s mission strategy resulted in the establishment of the churches and therefore forms a framework for mission workers in this century. This article argues that his plans are valuable and adaptable.
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