Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on
the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshipped
God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.
Fridays with the Apostle Paul
Modern times have seen the Church turn Jesus' command for His disciples to "Go!" into an appeal for the lost to "Come!" Today, we expect people to accept Christ in our church altars, but we may not be as ready for them to find Him along riverbanks.
But that's where Paul and Silas found Lydia, the woman who would be so instrumental in establishing the Church at Philippi. Paul and Silas responded to the call to "Go!" and they found her.
Likely there are many with a potential similar to Lydia's that are sitting on the riverbanks of our lives too. Yes, we would love for them to come to a church service with us, but since we are actually the Church, it follows that going to them might be
the more immediate opportunity.
And doesn't it make sense that even more people might be reached if we connected "out there" rather than waiting for them to come "in here?"
If we wait for them to "come," many may never do so.
---Dr. Mike Clarensau serves as Senior Director of the Healthy Church Network
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