Churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
It’s no coincidence the churches Paul started are growing. Nor should it surprise us that Paul is an enthusiastic and effective recruiter of students for Jesus.
Paul was formerly a fervent and proficient persecutor of the church. He scattered over 20,000 Christians from the city of Jerusalem and was going to Damascus for the same purpose when Jesus called Him to be an apostle to the Gentiles.
Now, Paul’s education, zeal and resourcefulness combine with the leading of the Holy Spirit to make him a Master Builder of churches!
But Paul’s success did not originate within himself, but rather in following the example of The Teacher. Everything we learn from Paul we see first in the teaching ministry of Jesus, because Paul’s attitudes and methods were learned from Him.
Here, Paul chooses Timothy as an apprentice. One of more than fifteen others we know by name that Paul selected to help him in ministry! Where did Paul get this idea, if not from Jesus who chose and trained and commissioned the Twelve and sent out the Seventy?
There is more here than first meets the eye. Most of the Book of Acts is a record of Paul’s efforts to share the message of Jesus. And half of the New Testament books are written by Paul!
God preserved for all future generations an inspired model of how students of Jesus can effectively share the gospel as they follow Jesus.
If we study the mission strategies of Paul, we have the best practical example of what it means for a human being to successfully fulfill the last command of our Lord to - go and make students in all nations.
Obviously, God wants us to become a companion of Paul in his journeys and take note of his methods. Like Paul, the closer we intentionally copy the ways of Jesus, the more capable and effective students of Jesus we will become. And more will become His students!