Acts 13:1-3 Biblical Church Planting
“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.” (Acts 13:1–3, CSB)
Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches.
God is a sending God. He sent: Abraham, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the apostles, and you and me. God sends Christians and churches to plant new churches.
Jerusalem -> Antioch -> Rome
In order to plant a church, you have to have your “ducks in a row.” There are four “ducks” which need to be lined up before you can start.
FOUR REQUIREMENTS TO PLANT A CHURCH
God’s Man to Lead It
“In the church that was at Antioch, there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”
(Acts 13:1, HCSB)
There were four capable candidates to help lead the church. The Holy Spirit selected two: Barnabas and Saul. Eventually, Saul/Paul would set up a series of locations (Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome) where he would plant many more churches.
God’s Vision to Guide It
“But the Lord said to him, “Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name!”” (Acts 9:15–16, HCSB)
God revealed the vision long before He chose the person. Long before Paul would actually plant churches, God revealed His strategy to Ananias. God birthed the vision long before He used Paul. The reason is that He had to send Paul on a three-year journey to prepare him.
God’s Resources to Supply It
“Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.” (Acts 13:3, HCSB)
The “laying on of hands” is a recognition of God’s desire to use these people for His purposes. It is also a symbolic act that tells the church that they will support the work. So when the men are sent off, the church promises to help support them with prayer, people, and resources (financial and material).
God’s Timing to Start It
“As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.”” (Acts 13:2, HCSB)
One may have God’s man, God’s vision, and God’s resources, but without God’s timing, a new church won’t plant. One needs all four before a church can be started. If one is absent, it will be a very difficult and unsuccessful journey.
The Holy Spirit guides the process because Jesus will build His church (Matthew 16:18).