In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgement of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shout outs. These were one or two sentence acknowledgements of their contribution to his ministry and life.
These shout outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. Church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.
Paul’s Shout Outs also beg the questions:
1. Who Deserves a Shout Out from Me?
Who do I need to acknowledge for my growth in godliness, effectiveness on His mission, and partnership in the gospel? To not say thank you and recognize the good others have blessed you with and added to your ministry and life is to live in arrogance. No one is self-made. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We all benefit from the generosity and encouragement of those around us.
- Make a list of ten who have helped you in ministry and life. Consider dropping them a line to say thank you today.
2. Who Would Give a Shout Out to Me?
Am I living my life in such a way to be a benefit to the life and ministry of others? What would people at my church, workplace, or neighborhood say about me if my investment in and impact on their lives were boiled down to one or two sentences? Am I an encouragement to those like Paul, who are risking their lives for the gospel?
- Make a list of ten people who you can encourage and partner with on God’s mission. Invite some friends to join you on a particular mission in the world.
The story of New Testament Christianity, beginning with Jesus, continuing through Paul is Friendship + Mission = Eternal Impact.