As we have examined one example of Paul planting a church from the Book of Acts we have seen:
1> We must be sent by the Holy Spirit to where we are to plant the church. Apostolic means being sent and it is the Holy Spirit who sends us.
2> We saw that Paul’s first few converts were simply natural consequences of his prayer life and his habit of finding a quiet place to pray. He did not have a program of evangelism nor did he hold public meetings upon arriving. Let’s continue to story of Paul in Philippi.
Scene Four – The conversion of the jailer and his household: Although Paul and Silas were beaten and cruelly treated by their captors, “At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25). You know the rest of the story. There was a great earthquake, which caused the prisoners’ chains to fall off, and Paul was barely able to stop the hailer from killing himself. The jailer and his family were saved that night, but again this was not the result of a concerted evangelism effort. Instead, Paul and Silas were simply “praying and singing hymns to God.” Their focus at that moment was not on reaching people, but reaching God.
Scene Five – The church at Philippi is born: So far, it seemed that all Paul had done in Philippi was seek place of prayer and worship – and people somehow got converted along the way. But by the end of the chapter there was an amazing development: The church at Philippi had been born! As the chapter concludes, we are told, “They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed” (Acts 16:40).
Where did these “brethren” come from in the formerly unevangelized city of Philippi? Paul had conducted no crusades. There is no evidence that he found any synagogues to evangelize. Amazingly, The Lord touched hearts all along the way, giving Paul “divine appointments” as he simply pursued a place of prayer.