“… and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised” (Galatians 2:9)
Paul was a missionary, and has become well-known through his letters that have become part of the Bible. But his missionary journeys were no private undertaking. When he was called by God to bring the gospel to non-Jewish people (the Gentiles), he did this in consultation with the apostles who were then leading the church. For mission is not just the task of certain individuals that are called by God; it is the task of the church as a whole.
Paul and the other apostles made sure they preached the same gospel everywhere (Galatians 2:2), and they decided that Paul and Barnabas would go to the Gentiles, while the others would evangelize among the Jews primarily. There is nothing wrong with dividing missionary tasks according to the gifts, possibilities or calling of specific church members.
God “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers….” (Ephesians 4:11). But in the end, all church members are responsible for supporting the spreading of the gospel and the building up of the church — by praying, by supporting financially, by actually going out, by developing helpful materials… and so on.
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