How many years between Paul’s initial “call” and his being sent as a missionary?

Off the top of your head, how many years were there between Paul’s initial “call” and his being sent as a missionary?

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How many years between Paul's initial "call" and his being sent as a missionary?


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One thought on “How many years between Paul’s initial “call” and his being sent as a missionary?

  1. Ah, Ah, Ah!
    Don’t look until you’ve answered…


    Correct answer: Twelve (to fourteen)

    Most people who answer “Zero” are thinking of Paul’s supposed “call to Macedonia”. See “How Can I Tell If I Am ‘Called’ To Missions?” and “Short Thoughts on Missionary Qualifications” for more help understanding this.

    The “three years with Christ” might be equivalent to formal education, especially if you add Paul’s education in the school of Gamaliel.

    If you count his time in Tarsus as personal ministry experience, though we know nothing about the details, except that Paul strangely never targeted that city – (maybe because it was already “reached”?), you’d come up with seven.

    But, the best answer is definitely “Twelve”. He definitely needed the real practical, shoulder-to-shoulder experience under and with Barnabas and in a plurality of leadership before he could then teach and model that throughout his church planting career.

    The point of this whole poll is that it takes longer to develop and prove all the skills and character and knowledge necessary to be an effective church planting missionary than most candidates (and their close friends) think. The local church is the laboratory and testing ground for that. Building a solid foundation is worth the effort and time in the long run.

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