After being on the run for his life, Paul finds himself in Athens, a cultural and intellectual hotspot of the Roman Empire. Here there are many views on life, ideas to debate, gods to worship and the Christian faith isn’t overly familiar. While this is very different to the world we find ourselves in now, in some ways it feels familiar and so as we look to live out or faith in the places we find ourselves in, with the people we meet, what might we learn from Paul?
1. Paul makes CONNECTS with the ideas around him
One way Paul CONNECTS with where he is, is through paying attention to where he is and who he is with. A way to consider in doing this ourselves is through LISTENING WELL, with HUMILITY and in PRAYER.
2. Paul makes CONTACT with the ideas around him.
As we approach our culture we can do so in 3 ways. We can EMBRACE it, ESCAPE it or ENGAGE it. By ENGAGING the culture we do so with ANYONE who might cross our path and by COMMUNICATING with them in a way they can understand.
3. Paul presents a CHALLENGE to the worldview of the people he meets.
In his interactions with others, Paul takes the opportunity to present a CHALLENGE to their thoughts and beliefs. We can do this ourself in a way thats centred on PRAYER by…
Praying for OPPORTUNITIES, AWARENESS and COURAGE.
CONNECT, CONTACT and CHALLENGE. In looking to INTRODUCE HIM TO OTHERS, these observations of Pauls time in Athens may provide some help for our own lives.
Questions to consider PERSONALLY or within LIFE GROUPS.
- What from the passage comes alive to you when you read it? WHY do you think that is? WHAT might it mean?
- CONNECTING, CONTACTING and CHALLENGING… What of these 3 areas do you find easiest/most difficult? Why?
- What might it look like for you to try CONNECTING, CONTACTING and/or CHALLENGING in the up coming week?
- Who would be 1 PERSON and what would be 1 AREA that you could pray for this week in relation to this mornings thoughts?
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?