The Apostle Paul’s Missionary and Evangelism Strategy

He both planned his journeys and seized the opportunities

He didn’t have a “whatever it takes,” or a “whatever works” mentality, he had a “whatever glorifies God” mentality, or even a “whatever God allows” mentality toward evangelism. Paul was a “one horse preacher.” He went preaching the gospel, not trusting in the “wisdom of words,” but trusting in and preaching “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

The Apostle Paul’s Evangelism Strategy was characterized by submitting to God the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The Apostle Paul seemed to plan his missionary journeys while seizing the opportunities, or “divine appointments” God placed in front of Him. He didn’t just “go out,” but he planned his journey while carrying the gospel as he went. If for one reason or another he was hindered–such as his sickness which placed him in Galatia–he would preach the gospel there. There is a balance in ministry concerning planning and being guided by God the Holy Spirit. If we are hindered from fulfilling our evangelism or missionary plans, then we should still take the gospel with us in our daily lives.

The Apostle Paul’s goal was to plant thriving Christian communities–churches–which would help spread the gospel to a lost and dying world. In carrying this message, the Apostle Paul also “became all things, to all men, that he might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). He didn’t have a “whatever it takes,” or a “whatever works” mentality, he had a “whatever glorifies God” mentality, or even a “whatever God allows” mentality toward evangelism. Paul was a “one horse preacher.” He went preaching the gospel, not trusting in the “wisdom of words,” but trusting in and preaching “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

Lastly, the Apostle Paul carried the gospel with him regardless the circumstances. In his ministry, he endured physical persecution, hunger, thirst, the elements, etc. without being deterred from his goal. Not only this, but the Apostle Paul was flexible in his finances. The Apostle made tents to not be burdensome to his hearers, but he also accepted money or hospitality from various churches.  Now, there’s nothing wrong at all with ministers making their living from the gospel according to Paul (1 Corinthians 9:1-15), but pastors must be willing to do whatever is allowed by God in order to reach their hearers.

The Apostle Paul’s ministry began for God’s glory, continued for His glory, and finished for His glory. Selfishness wasn’t his motivation, but his passion for God and sinners sent him to reach the known world with the gospel. From the record we have, he and the other apostles reached their goal.

What are your thoughts?

Jared Moore is pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. This article  first appeared on his blog and is used with his permission.