14 years is a long time. I can’t imagine being told I was to do something and then have to wait 14 years to make it happen. Paul waited 14 years or more before he engaged in aggressive evangelism. I define aggressive evangelism as church planting. No doubt Paul was sharing the good news and establishing himself. But 14 years is a long time.
Paul was well trained, he was smart, he was one fine-looking Jew. He waited. Out of the gate he could defined the Gospel and his teacher was Jesus Himself. He still waited. Paul likely started his church planting efforts as an old man.
So, why bring this up? Too often we’re impatient. Here is the take away:
1) Paul remained faithful and continued to pursue doing ministry where he was at.
2) Being established does mean something in a church. There is often a gap between being called and serving, and the gap is important.
3) Humility is a key theme in Paul’s writings. It’s possible it was a key thing God was working on before sending Paul.
4) Even after a long wait, God did some incredible things through Paul in God’s timing.
Ministry is a marathon. Don’t be afraid of a gap in time. Be faithful and God in His timing will send you on mission.
One more thing… Just cause you’re nearing “retirement age” doesn’t mean God is done with you!