While I’m not Catholic, I think the man we know as “Saint Patrick” provided a good example for the way we should view evangelism and Christian service. As a teenager, Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and forced into slavery for six years. During this time he learned the language and customs of the Irish people. He also grew close to God during this time. After the six years, he escaped and made his way back to his family.  Then he decided that the people of Ireland needed him. So, he began to learn the Bible and train for mission work. Once he was ready, he returned to Ireland and preached to the people for 40 years before he died. As he converted the Irish, he made disciples out of them. Many of his followers went on to become renowned religious leaders as well.

While I’m pretty sure I don’t agree with his doctrine, “Saint” Patrick left behind a great example for us to follow. He could have hated the people who stole him from his family, but he knew that they needed God’s love. He loved his enemies and wanted for them to know God like he did. In addition to converting many, he spent time training them to lead others. We need to learn from his example of not only converting the lost but training them in God’s Word after they convert. Again, I don’t agree with his doctrine, “saint-hood,” or priestly title, but his attitude of love, forgiveness, service, and leadership provides us with a good example to emulate.

JRW

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