Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8
Paul walks into Ephesus with a plan. He doesn’t wander in hoping for the best. Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, so Paul starts in the synagogue. He’s trying to convince them Jesus is who they’ve been waiting for. He does this for three months. It’s not his first time starting in the synagogue either. Luke tells us that Paul went into the synagogue “as was his custom” (Acts 17:2a) when on a previous journey to another Roman city, Thessalonica. Paul’s plan for spiritual growth in a city was to start with the synagogue.
Having a plan for spiritual growth matters. In the 2,000+ years since Jesus walked the earth, communities of Jesus-followers have looked at the life of Jesus and the accounts of the early Jesus-communities for plans to help each other grow. At Ada Bible Church, our plan is Row-Circle-Chair. We see all three of these things happening regularly in the Bible. The Row is the weekend service where we gather to worship God through song and a teaching. Whether in person or joining online, we are gathering as one church community. The Circle is the small group. It’s a group of 6-12 people in relationship with the goal of spiritual growth. It’s a place for life-changing conversations around God’s Word. The Chair is time alone with God. Jesus models this in the gospels. Jesus regularly pulls away from the crowds, from the busyness of life and from people who need him, to spend time alone with God. We need a plan too if we want to grow spiritually.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Commit to the Row-Circle-Chair. Make it a priority to participate in the weekend services regularly. Join a small group and then protect your calendar so you’re there. Carve out daily space to spend time with God. Thoughtfully engage with the daily prompts included in Beyond the Weekend to help you grow.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is 2 Timothy 1.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.