Acts is arguably the most significant book in all of the New Testament, outside of the Gospels. Acts tells us the story the Church’s origin, what the earliest Christians believed, and How a small group of Jesus followers began to turn the world upside down. There is also excellent apologetics value in Acts, most notably, Acts 17. Here's one valuable lessons from Acts 17 that can benefit your life.
Acts 17 reveals that upon landing in Thessalonica, Paul and Silas knew what they were going to do, and where they were going to go. The text states,
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasons with them from scripture, explaining that is was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.
Paul did not stumble upon a synagogue and decided to go in, no, it was his custom. From the moment Paul exited the boat and went into the city, he intended to preach to Jews in the synagogue.
Are we intentional about our apologetics and evangelism efforts? Is it our custom to be specific about why we do what we do regarding our efforts to reach the lost?
For example, before COVID-19, I used to go to Starbucks just about every Thursday to read, write, and make conversation with people. I was strategic about my plan. For example, I would do the following:
- Sit at or as close to the coffee bar as possible. It is where most people are, and you can engage the staff.
- Bring a multitude of books that send the message “A Christian is here.” For example, even if I were reading for my philosophy class, I’d bring a book the resurrection and put on top of an apologetics book. I’d have the titles always facing towards the crowd of people so they could see.
- When someone asks about what you are reading or studying, invite them to meet up again to continue the conversation. The goal is to eventually talk about the gospel.
By merely being intentional, I had more conversations about Jesus than I can remember. I talked to all stripes of people as well; some even visited the congregation I attended at the time. Now that I live in a new town, I can’t wait to visit the local Starbucks!
Act 17 teaches us that our apologetics and evangelism strategies not only matter but must be intentional. Paul teaches us in the opening of Acts 17 that excellent apologetics teaching and evangelism outreach are not random. We would be wise to follow his fantastic lead! Be intentional.