Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paul Accommodates the People

8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. [3] 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:8-10 (ESV)
We don’t know who Tyrannus was. Perhaps a Christian. But some texts indicate that Paul preached in the hall of Tyrannaus between 11 and 4. That is a long time, but this was the time of the siesta. This wasn’t a time when people would just eat and nap. But rather they would find time to go listen to lectures, and take some free time for themselves. Paul made the most of this time, when even slaves would have a bit of time off. Paul accommodated the people whenever he could. He found the people where they were.

I recently read an article that people were beginning to attend services during the week more in England, rather than on Sunday morning. My experience has been if people aren’t willing to show up on Sunday, they probably won’t show up during the week. But if they do come on Sunday they are more likely to want to come during the week too.  Yet, I think there is something to meeting people where they are at, and trying to accommodate as much as possible. Pastors often think the people should be making it a priority in their lives, and if they don’t then there is nothing we can do for them. Yet, if it should be such a priority in their lives, and it often is more of a priority than they are given credit for, should it be equally as big a priority for us pastors to accommodate them with the word? This was the practice of Paul, and much can be learned from it. 

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