The letter to the Philippians was addressed from “Paul and Timothy.” But Paul had three companions. We know that Silas went with Paul on this journey from Antioch. On his way to Troas, Paul picked up Timothy in Lystra, had him circumcised to make him acceptable to a Jewish audience, and then brought him with him into Macedonia. In Troas, he picked up Luke as his third companion. The story in Acts 16:10, shifts from the third person plural to the first person plural meaning that the writer must have joined the group in Troas. Acts 16:11-12 says, “So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi.”  Paul did not plant the church in Philippi by himself. He had Timothy, Silas, and Luke with him.

Paul was a visionary leader. In Luke’s account recorded in Acts 16:10, he makes it clear that it was Paul that God called with the vision, but they all knew God wanted them to be in on it. Luke writes, “And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”  They didn’t just say, “Ok Paul we’ll go with you.” They didn’t say “Paul called us.” No, they said that through Paul’s vision “God called us.” They already understood the mission to “make disciples” by preaching the Gospel, but they needed strategic direction regarding the where, how, why, and whom they should try to reach. These three men experienced God’s call through Paul’s vision. They were visionary followers!

Every Christian is called to be a visionary leader. But most Christians don’t realize that calling because before anyone can be a visionary leader, they must learn how to be a visionary follower. Luke, the Physician, became the greatest apologist to ever live. His historically accurate and extremely detailed Gospel has convinced millions of the truth of Jesus Christ. After following the visionary leadership of Paul for many years, Timothy became recognized as the visionary leader for the Church at Corinth and later at Ephesus. Two books in the Bible were written to him! After following Paul’s visionary leadership, Silas became a visionary leader for the church at Antioch. It was Silas who carried the decisions of the Jerusalem Council to Antioch. Terry Muck said, “As editor of Leadership Journal for ten years, I visited hundreds of churches across the country and met thousands of pastors and lay leaders. Among the many things I learned, one issue stands out: how difficult it is to lead a church community today. It is not difficult, mind you, to grow a church, manage the day-to-day affairs of a church, or chair committees and task forces. True leadership, however, is another matter. It’s tough to lead primarily because people don’t want to be led.” If you can’t embrace the visionary leadership of someone else, you will never become a visionary leader!