“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers… As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said ‘Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’ ” ~ Acts 13:1-2
“Now there were in the church…” That’s a pretty important phrase. After all these years in ministry one thing I’ve seen is that God is big into the local church. You’ll notice in the book of Revelation that Jesus had the apostle John write letters to seven different local churches, not to seven different ministries. Of course, all ministries are important, but none so important as the local church. When I myself travel in ministry it’s important that I keep in focus that the reason for me being in that local church is to help build it up. I’m not there just so I’ll have a place to preach. I’m there because Jesus loves the local church, and has sent me with His anointing and Word to strengthen it. If I lose that focus I also lose the anointing to minister!
You’ll notice in this passage in Acts that Saul and Barnabas were in the local church at Antioch, no doubt serving in it, when promotion came to them. I truly believe our promotion comes out of the local church. When we’re actively helping to strengthen it we’re candidates for promotion. I can’t think of any person I know whom God promoted in ministry that wasn’t being a blessing to their local church. Jesus loves the local church. It’s part of His Body. So do your part to strengthen and bless it!