By Michael C. Mack
Joe Ellis said, “God is sometimes boxed out of his own enterprise by his self-centered or self-sufficient partners.” How have you seen that happen?
Read Acts 16:1-5, 8-15.
Look at each of the following encounters and discuss: What part did Paul and his companions play? What part did God play?
• The selection of Timothy
• The decision to circumcise Timothy
• The growth and strengthening of the church
• The decision to go to Macedonia
Imagine how Christianity and world history would be different if Paul and his group had headed east toward Asia, as they had originally planned, rather than west toward Europe. What does this teach you about God’s will, prayer, and keeping in step with the Spirit?
In what ways do you see Paul and his companions working according to God’s ways and timing rather than their own?
How can we make sure we are working on God’s timetable and not just our own?
What part did Paul and his companions play in leading Lydia to Christ? What part did Lydia play? What part did the Lord play?
What steps can your group take to become better partners with God in his ministry? How does this lead you to pray?
Michael Mack leads church training events and consults with churches through his ministry, Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com).