Making Tough Calls
Paul and Barnabas are at Pisidian Antioch in the midst of their first missionary tour to the Gentiles. As was their custom when entering a new city, they would go first to the synagogue to present the gospel of Jesus to the Jews. Once that obligation was fulfilled they would then turn to the Gentiles. Their ministry to the local Gentiles would continue as long as open doors presented themselves. But once opposition formed, they would move on to the next town. This ministry pattern was repeated as they moved from town to town. Note this process as described in Acts 13 below.
From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” … 26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. … 42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. … 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad d honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. Acts 13:14-15; 26; 42-46; 48-51 NIV
We can’t do everything all the time. Making strategic Kingdom leadership decisions are influenced by multiple factors such as: resources available, opportunity alignment compared to our God-given mission, timing, and the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Good leadership considers all of these factors in the decision making process. We will have to say ‘no’ to some options in order to say ‘yes’ to the best choice. Some will question our decisions and perhaps disagree.
Ultimately, ‘wisdom will be known by her children.’ (see Luke 7:35). Note that the Word of the Lord spread beyond Antioch to the entire region (v. 49).
Be courageous and make the tough calls! God has your back!