2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. Acts 13: 2-4
I have often thought of God’s call on a person’s life. I think I have been guilty of thinking of “calling” or “being sent” as an individual’s response to God’s call on their life. When I read Acts 13 I see the church doing what was normal to them: worshiping the Lord and fasting. The Holy Spirit spoke to them and gave them an assignment.
You (the church) should dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the work in which I have called them do. This “leading” was to the church. It was in community. It seems that the church doing what was normal to them received instructions on how to be responsible to the Great Commission. They were to send out two of their very gifted men.
The church continued to pray and to fast on this matter and then they laid hands on them and sent them out.
I wonder what conversations did they have as a church during that time?
What conversations did they have with Barnabas and Saul while they were going through this process?
Did they have a church planter assessment done? (I had to write that since that was my job some years back.)
We do know is this was the first missionary journey of Paul. They were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They were confirmed by the body of believers known as the church. The two (Holy Spirit and Church ) should not be separated in our missionary ventures.