It has been a year now since we ended our church planting efforts and I’m humbled to say that I feel like Apollos in Acts 18
“Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Acts 18:24-26
I feel like Apollos in that while I believe I may be gifted, well liked (i hope at least) and knowledgeable in the scriptures, In the the last year I have explored the Gospel and allowed it to bear on my own heart more than ever before. I’m not sure what changed. All I can say is I’ve learned to make the Gospel the central message and motivation of my life.
It is evident that Apollos was gifted and had good intentions, but it sounds like Apollos needed help deepening his understanding of the Gospel and how to help people grow in it. I can fully understand that now. I look back at my idea of making disciples and now ask myself “How exactly did you plan on accomplishing that?” Because if making disciples is what we are called to do, then the gospel is the tool we use to accomplish it. I feel I’ve spent the last year examining that tool, the gospel, learning how to speak it into situations and make it a practical part of my life. We call this being Gospel Fluent.
Many times we are guilty of letting our discipleship simply be an effort to get people to follow a pattern of behavior instead of letting it be an effort to fully convince them of the Good News, the work of Christ on their behalf.
But you’ll see in my next post that this discipleship is what Ephesians 4 calls equipping the saints for ministry. I’ll share my thoughts with you on the job of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.