“Ye shall receive power at the coming of the Holy Spirit upon you, and ye shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the end of the earth.” Jesus Christ in Acts 1
Jesus knew very well that the disciples would have a hard time in their hometown. He knew from experience. Yet, Jesus sent the first Christians into their hometowns first to Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria then to the ends of the earth.
This order may seem insignificant, but for me this will be the key to my ministry. It would be much easier for me to go to the ends of the earth teaching about Christ. But I know that working out my own salvation in me and my family is what comes first, and for good reason.
Just think about the difficulties that Christ had in His home town. And then think of the disciples difficulties. And now your own. I can tell you from experience that my family has been the training ground for the validity of who I am in Christ. Where would we be without that hometown training ground?
What would we be forfeiting if we switched up the order? Look at any fallen ministers over the past 40 years, most every one related to the lack of paying attention to their “hometown”.
In all the years of my faith and ministry I’ve never been so unknown. My formally broad influence has dwindled. I’m not popular or as sought out by people for “my” wisdom and faith. But I’m more at peace than ever, I’m more spiritually strong than ever, I’m more centered than ever. Because I’m taking care of “Jerusalem”. I’m not looking for more people to influence, I want to rightly love and care for the people that are already in my life. That’s enough for me. Maybe one day I’ll go to Samaria or Judea and other parts of the earth. But that’s not really up for me to determine. And there’s joy in that.