As a former youth pastor, I have seen how creative teenagers have become to raise money for mission trips. During my tenure at First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana, three bus loads of junior and senior high students spent a week each summer repairing roofs for a poor community in southern North Carolina. Anyone who donated money received an invitation to a banquet where pictures and testimonies were shared. This event was designed to highlight and summarize all that God had done through these young people.
From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been entrusted to the grace of God for the work which they had now completed, Acts 14:26.
Based upon the words of Luke, Paul and Barnabas began this tradition at their home church in Antioch. Paul and Barnabas traveled over 1200 miles in a little over two years. As a result of their travel, more than a dozen new churches were established. These new partnerships resulted in a series of letters, questions and return visits to help and nurture new converts to Christ. According to Luke, it took a long time to communicate all that had happened, staying in Antioch an extended period, fellowshipping with Christian brothers and sisters.
Arriving there, they gathered the church together and began to report [in great detail] everything that God had done with them and how He had opened to the Gentiles a door of faith [in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior]. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples, Acts 14:27-28.
While fasting and praying back in Acts 13, the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas to become missionary partners. Luke refers to this event as being entrusted to the grace of God. The church leaders in Antioch assigned the task of missionaries to these two godly leaders. Paul was a Roman citizen while Barnabas was a wealthy man, a good combination for traveling throughout the Mediterranean. Depending upon the gifts, resources and talents you have been blessed with, make sure you listen to God’s calling so that you will fulfill what God has entrusted you to do.
by Jay Mankus