DEV 19FN Paul’s Journey

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Session 19: Paul’s Missionary Journeys

In this session, you will discover Paul’s three missionary journeys and learn principles from how he established a movement of disciples and churches across the eastern part of the Roman Empire in only 10 years.

Heart of a Leader (40 min)

  • Worship together in the big group
  • Have participants get into groups of 3-4 people and discuss the following:
    • What are you learning and how are you abiding in Christ through word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
    • What unresolved conflict do you have?
    • What areas of your life is obeying God a challenge?
    • What happened as you trusted God with your goals from our last meeting?

Vision Casting for the Heart

Read Philippians 4:4-7. There are so many challenges, difficulties and trials in life. Life is difficult. Jesus said it simply, “In this life you will have trouble”.... (Jn 16:33). But in the midst of it all, good and bad, Jesus is with us, always. He never leaves or abandons us. Paul had learned to live out of that truth. He encourages believers to live out of the joy and peace of Jesus, rejoicing in the Lord, responding gently even when life isn’t gentle. To not become anxious about anything but pray about everything with thanksgiving, pressing our needs to our Heavenly Father. Paul learned, through tough circumstances, that when we respond like that, our loving Father floods us with His peace which protects and strengthens our heart beyond understanding. Jesus instructed his disciples before he was betrayed, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jn 14:27.

Celebration of Faithfulness (20 min)

[NOTE: Celebrate Faithfulness in the large group so that all can benefit and be encouraged.]

  • Give opportunity for participants to share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.

Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others (45 min)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

  • Have everyone return to their Iron on Iron small groups, draw their network of missional communities and churches then share and evaluate with their group.
    1. What is going well?
    2. What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
    3. What are possible solutions from the other group members?
    4. What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
    5. Where will you start a new group or church this month?
  • Have everyone set goals for improvement from their evaluation and share their goals with their small group. Then have them pray for one another.

New Lesson (45-60 min)

Relevant Topic: Why is it important to study Paul’s missionary journeys?

  • Have participants get into new groups of 4-5 people (or they can continue in their Iron on Iron groups)
  • In the following sections, have each group read the passages and answer the questions.

Section 1: First Missionary Journey

Cyprus: Acts 13:4-12

Pisidian Antioch (Galatia): Acts 13:13-52

Iconium (Galatia): Acts 14:1-7

Lystra and Derbe (Galatia): Acts 14:8-21

Return Home: Acts 14:21-28

  1. Where did he go and how long was he there?
  2. What did Paul and team do while there?
  3. What resulted?

Summary: (pass out copies of the map or use the ppt)

Video overview is found at:

  • CYPRUS – length of island receives gospel witness in 2 months via gospel and signs
  • PHRYGIA – less than 1 month
    • Paul targets capital city – PISIDIAN ANTIOCH
    • Movement results through whole region
    • Joy and Holy Spirit filled disciples
    • Paul was chased out by persecution
  • GALATIA – 3-4 months
    • ICONIUM – large number believe through bold witness and signs; chased out by persecution.
    • LYSTRA – non-Jewish background believers through sign and witness. Run out by persecution.
    • DERBE – Many disciples
  • Returned & strengthened believers (several months?)
    • Organized churches (appointed elders)
  • PAMPHYLIA – unknown amount of time
    • Perga – preached the gospel

Section 2: Second Missionary Journey

Galatia: Acts 15:39-16:10

Philippi (Macedonia): Acts 16:11-40

Thessalonica (Macedonia): Acts 17:1-9

Berea (Macedonia): Acts 17:10-15

Athens (Greece): Acts 17:16-34

Corinth (Greece):Acts 18:1-17

Return Home: Acts 18:18-22

Macedonia (Amphipolis, Apolonia, Thessalonica, Berea); Achaia (Athens): Acts 17:1-34

Achaia (Corinth); Asia (Ephesus): Acts 18:1-21

  1. Where did he go and how long was he there?
  2. What did Paul and team do while there?
  3. What resulted?

Summary: (pass out copies of the map or use the ppt)

Video overview can be found at:

  • CYPRUS – Barnabas and Mark visit believers
  • GALATIA & PHRYGIA – revisit believers; increasing (2-4 months)
  • ASIA, MYSIA, BITHYNIA prevented by Holy Spirit
  • MACEDONIA – 3-4 months
    • PHILIPPI – witness via 2 POPs, miracle. Sent away by authorities
    • THESSALONICA – capital, large number of disciples; Run out by Jews
    • BEREA – large number of disciples. Run out by Jews but Timothy and Silas stay longer
  • ACHAIA – 1.5 years
    • ATHENS – few disciples, poor response
    • CORINTH – great harvest; Priscilla and Aquila. Protected by authorities; stay 1.5 years. Weekly training. Reach most of Achaia
  • Touches Ephesus briefly; leaves Priscilla and Aquila

Section 3: Third Missionary Journey

Galatia, Ephesus (Asia): Acts 18:23-19:22

Ephesus (Asia): Acts 19:23-20:1

Macedonia, Greece: Acts 20:2-6

Troas: Acts 20:7-12

Back to Ephesus: Acts 20:13-38

  1. Where did he go and how long was he there?
  2. What did Paul and team do while there?
  3. What resulted?

Summary: (pass out copies of the map or use the ppt)

Video overview can be found at:

  • GALATIA & PHRYGIA – revisit believers – several weeks - months
  • ASIA – 3 years
    • EPHESUS – daily witness & training by Paul; great signs; radical commitment and life transformation
    • ALL ASIA hears gospel (+8 million people)
    • Ephesus as a BASE
  • MACEDONIA/ ACHAIA revisit believers – 4-5 months
    • ILLYRICUM reached
  • EPHESUS (Miletus) - visited believers – 1 week

Lesson Summary

After 10 years of ministry, this is what Paul wrote: “from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ . . . there is no longer any room for work in these regions”. (Romans 15:19,23)


A. Paul’s pattern:

  • He targeted places strategically.
  • Shared the gospel boldly.
  • Discipled and empowered new leaders quickly.
  • Reproduced churches to reach out broadly.

B. He targeted regional centers

  • Then helped the locals expand to the area

C. He had 2 priorities

  1. Work night and day to win devoted followers
    • Persons of peace to persons of relationship
    • Thru witness, signs, life transformation
  2. Build new believers by helping them begin multiplying their witness and training

D. He planted the DNA of multiplying disciples

* He worked with his disciples in a weekly or daily process then moved on" ** Example - Imparted his LIFE to them - Philippians 3:17 ** Gave them a Pattern to follow (Romans 6:17, 2 Timothy 2:2)

  • Encouraged a culture of boldness in the face of persecution
  • Church planting was done by witnessing Christians along the way

E. He raised up & trained emerging leaders/trainers

  • They were often new believers -Acts 14:23
  • He had key trainers /helpers in each region

Preparing for Mission (20 mins)

  • In small groups, have each trainee Evaluate how they are applying the principles they learned from the life of Paul and Make a Plan on how they will immediately begin to improve.
  • Discuss practical applications:
    • planning strategically
    • focus on sharing the gospel and training new believers
    • identifying, developing and empowering new leaders
  • Write “I will by when” statements. Include “who will you teach this lesson to?”
  • Practice any additional skill that the leaders need in leading their groups or starting new ones

Sending the Laborers

  • Reinforce the overall vision: a church or faith community for every 1,000 people
  • Spend time in prayer:
    • committing everyone’s goals to the Lord.
    • for God to raise up a movement of churches.
    • for more laborers to come out of the harvest.

1st Missionary journey

Acts 13: 4-52 Cyprus, Phrygia (Pisidian Antioch); Acts 14: 1-25 Galatia (Iconium, Lystra, Debe), Pamphylia (Perga) DEV 19FN Journey 01 ENG.jpg

2nd Missionary Journey

Acts 15:39-16:40 Galatia, Phrygia, Macedonia (Philippi) Acts 17:1-34 Macedonia (Thessalonica, Berea), Achaia (Athens) Acts 18:1-21 Achaia (Corinth), Asia (Epheuss) DEV 19FN Journey 02 ENG.jpg

3rd Missionary Journey

Acts 18:23-20:1 Galatia, Phrygia, Asia (Ephesus); Acts 20:1-38 Macedonia, Greece, Asia (Ephesus) DEV 19FN Journey 03 ENG.jpg

NO Place Left after 10 years! 6-7 CPM (Movement) Centers!

DEV 19FN Journey 04 ENG.jpg

Romans 15:19,23 – From Jerusalem to Illyicum . . . no place left for me in these regions.

Paul & Silas

Barnabas & Mark