Read: Acts 18:1-11
After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. (v. 1)
I’ve never worked as a church planter. The churches I’ve served as a pastor—in New York, Iowa, and Michigan—were all up and running when I got there. But church planters start with nothing. No congregation, no building, no staff, nothing. To start at ground zero and create a congregation: I am in awe of people who can do that. Every church had a beginning. Some-body, some small group, said: “Let’s start a church.” And they did, by God’s grace.
Paul was a church planter. He started a church in Corinth, a bustling metropolis in present-day Greece, during his second missionary journey. Paul spent eighteen months in Corinth, building up the congregation, teaching, preaching, baptizing, and then he moved on. Unfortunately, not long after Paul departed, the fledgling church began to experience problems—lax morality, misguided theology, rival loyalties to different evangelists, wrongheaded teaching about the sacraments, even doubts about the resurrection. Paul’s response to these issues took the form of the letter that we now know as 1 Corinthians.
In no other New Testament letter is there so vivid a portrait of problems confronting a church in a pagan and corrupt society. Paul dealt with down-to-earth, ethical and practical issues, many of which still vex us today. Come with me, now, on a journey through this rich, relevant book. —Lou Lotz
As you pray, give thanks for those intrepid visionaries who are called to start churches.