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More thoughts on itinerant (traveling) servants of the gospel

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in blog links, spiritual gifts | 2 comments

More thoughts on itinerant (traveling) servants of the gospel

My post this morning (“How many mission journeys did Paul take?“) was about Paul’s travels as an itinerant servant of the gospel.

At least two more bloggers have also been writing about itinerant (traveling) servants in the last few days.

First, Miguel at “God’s Directed Deviations” wrote a post called “Retracing Gospel Footsteps and Going Where Christ is Already Named.” Based on Paul’s statement in Romans 15:20, Miguel asks some very good questions:

Should mission minded folks be staking claims over territory?

Is it wrong to retrace someone else’s gospel steps?

What criteria should we use to determine when to build “ON” another’s foundation?

Of course, when Paul made that statement (Romans 15:20), he was planning to travel to Rome where (according to that very letter) there were already several thriving groups of believers.

Also, Eric from “A Pilgrim’s Progress” wrote a post called “We Ought to Support People Like These” based on John’s statement in 3 John 5-8.

At one point, Eric writes:

Why did the traveling Christian workers, who we might call missionaries, need financial assistance? Since they traveled from place to place, they would have been unable to hold down a regular job. This would have made earning a regular income a difficult task.

Eric also points out that itinerant servants did work when they could in order to support themselves and others – at least, according to Paul, that was the pattern practiced by him and those who traveled with him.

So, here are two more posts on the topic of itinerant (traveling) servants of the gospel. I’m glad to read and hear that more and more people are considering what Scripture tells us about these people (apostles). So much of what I’ve read and heard does not begin with Scripture, but begins with modern practice and forces Scripture to match that pattern.


2 Comments

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  1. 9-5-2012

    Just a thought: When I hear about itinerant preachers, it usually means someone blows into town, does a camp meeting like Billy Sunday or campus preaching or something along those lines and then moves on. Paul, it seems, moved into town and planted churches. Perhaps you could comment on that. Also, Paul only spent 3 weeks in Thessalonica and when he left there was a church there. Thoughts on how he created a church so quickly.

    One side note: The campus fellowship through which I came to the Lord was planted by a group of believers who came to my college over Christmas break to preach itinerantly, but they saw something like 50 decisions for Christ in one week and many of them decided to stay on and thus planted a church that went on to plant many others on other college campuses and in many other communities in the U.S. and even overseas.

  2. 9-6-2012

    Dan,

    I don’t really have a comment on the “blowing into town” part. There are probably positive and negative aspects of each person/group traveling around in that fashion.

    I think the “campus fellowship” is a pretty good example of modern apostolic work. Interestingly, I think it also shows that everyone who travels is not necessarily gifted to continue to travel from place to place (like Paul was). Even in the New Testament I think we see people who travel for a period, then settle down in a certain place to serve God and the people there.

    -Alan