If anyone had a valid excuse to drop the ball on “follow up” after an evangelistic event, it was the Apostle Paul.
Between an itinerant lifestyle and the ongoing pain he must have lived with, Paul had every reason to simply focus on the city he was in, preach the gospel, and move on to the next, leaving the “decision cards” behind him.
But Paul didn’t do that. He couldn’t do that. For Paul had a passion to see people saved and growing in the Lord.
And so, hours after he was stoned at Lystra, he got up and, with broken body, went on to Derbe to preach the gospel. From Derbe, he couldn’t forget those who had just been saved in Lystra. So he returned to the very city where he had just been persecuted to follow up on these new converts—to confirm them in the faith. From Lystra, he backtracked again to Iconium, and from Iconium to Antioch.
And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.—Acts 14:21–22
Everybody needs to be confirmed. They need someone to care enough to give them spiritual encouragement, support, instruction, and grounding. (more…)