There are a lot of details going into the the new Church plant in Bath. But details are just details. And I know God will work those out. Something that is consuming my mind, though, and rightly so, is the thought of who the first convert to Christ might be. I’m asking God to begin to prepare that heart even now. He knows every person there, every circumstance and every pain felt in that city. He knows the brokenness and the sin that abounds in every land. And I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the remedy to all of that.
I think of Paul’s journey to Philippi and how God used his boldness and his preaching to convert three particular souls to Christ, and from them, the Church at Philippi was born.
Maybe there is a wealthy, religious and influential business woman in Bath, like Lydia, the seller of purple, whom Paul met at the river praying. She was broken and lost. Paul witnessed God open her heart to believe the Gospel. She and her whole household got saved that day.
Maybe there is a troubled or demon possessed teen there, like the girl who Paul met in the streets of Philippi. Her fortune-telling brought monetary gain to her employer, but Paul would not have it. He cast the demon out, was accused of disrupting the city and was thrown into prison. That young girl was used and abused for God knows how long. She was changed by the truth of Jesus that day.
Perhaps the first convert will be a public official, like the Philippian jailer whom Paul met in prison. Paul worshiped God in the darkness of the cell and all heard it. God did a miracle before the jailer’s eyes. The shackles were removed from Paul and the jailer’s heart was changed. He saw the shackles of sin in his own heart that needed to be removed. “What must I do to be saved?”, he asked. And he was baptized, he and his entire household.
The first three converts in Philippi was a seller of purple, a demon possessed girl and a jailer. Paul wrote back to that city and the Church there some years later with these words.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6 ESV)
However it all works out, I cannot wait to see what God does through the power of His Spirit and through the proclamation of the Gospel in that city. May God send laborers into that harvest.
This blog was published a couple months before we moved to Maine to plant New City Church.