Monday, November 10, 2008

Steve Lawson, Message #3: Paul's Ministry in Thessalonica (Acts 17)

Dr. Steve Lawson's third message at our annual vision and planning meetings brought us encouragement from Paul's ministry in Thessalonica as seen in Acts 17.

Paul and the others were known as men who "turned the world upside down". Like him, we want to have a ministry that is potent, provocative, and powerful.


I. The Difficult Challenge

  • The Social Challenge
Thessalonica was a strategic city, a beachhead for the rest of Macedonia. It was a base of political, social, and economic power for the area. "It was larger stage, a faster track, a brighter spotlight for the gospel message". Such as it is for our ministry in state capitols.
  • The Religious Challenge

Paul (as was his custom), went right into the synagogue and tried to reach those caught up in dead religion. It was where he always received the greatest opposition.

II. The Dynamic Ministry

From the Scripture Paul:

  • Reasoned "To say thoroughly, engaging, connecting"
  • Explained "To open thoroughly, to give the interpretation"
  • Gave Evidence "Place along side". Using Scripture to interpret Scripture
  • Proclaimed "How the message is proclaimed: with passion, fervency, intensity, conviction"
III. The Divided Response

  • Positive "Some of them were persuaded..." (vs. 4)
  • Negative "Some...formed a mob and set the city in an uproar..." (vs. 5)
Dr. Lawson challenged us in closing:

  • Advance to the front line. Don't seek a safe, soft ministry. "Loyalty is tested where the battle rages strongest".

  • Be provocative. Make waves. Rock the boat. Stir the Pot. WITH THE GOSPEL!

  • Constantly announce the supremacy of Christ.
We are grateful for Dr. Lawson taking the time to challenge and encourage us as we seek to make disciples in the political arena. Politics is a world of compromise and we have an uncompromising message which we need to proclaim with boldness. I believe Dr. Lawson's messages will engergize you as you seek to proclaim the Word in your arena as well.

Download message number three.

You can find all three of Dr. Lawson's messages here.

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