2. My take-away from the notes this week was about ways that the local church is built and strengthened. When I think of mission work, either local or away from home, I think mostly about doing works or building relationships to spread the word of the Lord. Clearly, that is a major emphasis and we have seen Paul and Barnabas doing that everywhere they went. But that is only the first step. For that seed to take root it must be nurtured. I found the discussion on page 4 about strengthening, preparing, uniting and committing the new believers into local churches very informative and good food-for-thought. I had not thought about it before, but to realize that these new gentile believers were not welcome in the synagogues (the normal place for discussions about God), and as a result a new structure of house churches was being created even as the good news was being spread. I also thought it was interesting to think about how Paul and Barnabas strengthened their home church in Antioch with the stories about their trip. I had thought about their time back at the church as a way for them to re-energize and rest, but hadn’t thought about how powerful and inspiring their tales would be to the believers in the local church.