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Ryan Lokkesmoe: Paul and His Team

Ryan Lokkesmoe in 2016

In chapter 2, Lokkesmoe writes about not overburdening people with excessive expectations. As an example of this he cites the decision of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 with regard to what the church should do with the Gentiles who were coming to faith in Jesus. The council decided not to place a lot of requirements on the new Gentile believers but instead to provide them with a few brief instructions in order to help them maintain fellowship with their Jewish brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Chapter 3 focuses on the importance of off stage leaders, that is, people whose ministry is not highly visible. In the New Testament this included individuals who carried the writings of Paul to the churches: Tychicus is one such individual. Luke was also, to a large degree, an off stage leader, but he exerted great influence through the two canonical books he penned, the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Lokkesmoe says that most people of influence in God’s kingdom are off stage laborers. They are not highly visible but they are necessary. No “on stage” leader can do all of the work, Paul couldn’t and we can’t either. This being the case, off stage leaders need to be empowered and released to do their part.

The topic of chapter 4 is reviving broken relationships. In consideration of this topic the author examines Paul’s disagreement with Barnabas over John Mark and Paul’s later reconciliation with John Mark. One of the takeaways from this chapter is that we should not write off someone because they did not meet our expectations at one time. God can, and frequently does, use them, and He may even have them work with us again.

In chapter 5 the author takes up the topic of conflict. He says that in the ministry conflict is inevitable but that leaders should not engage in every conflict that comes their way. He points out that the apostle refused to engage in a lot of conflicts. The two that he would, however, engage in concerned maintaining the truth of the gospel and seeking to preserve the unity of the church.

Chapter 6 deals with ministry collaboration. The subtitle of the chapter is “Finding Your Friends and Letting Them Lead.” In this chapter he writes about some of Paul’s friends who helped in the ministry. Specifically, he mentions Priscilla and Aquila, who led house churches, and Erastus, who was a city official in Corinth.

In chapter 7 the subject is “Kingdom Diplomacy.” The basis for this chapter is the book of Philemon. In Philemon Paul serves as an advocate on behalf of a runaway slave who had become a Christian. He wrote to the slave’s owner, who was also a believer, in order to pave the way for him to return to his master without negative repercussions.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2018

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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