1 Corinthians 16 Lesson

Learning From Paul's Ministry

In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul shares four unique insights about how he managed his ministry. 

These insights are incredibly valuable for us as we seek out the best ways to run our own ministries.

Today’s lesson is broken down into four insights and five calls to action.


  1. Paul arranged for the financial needs of the Church.“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.  On the first day of every week, each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.  When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.” – 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
  2. Paul planned his next move to spread the Gospel“But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go.  For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time if the Lord permits.” – 1 Corinthians 16:5-7
  3. Paul fished where the fish were.“But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me.” – 1 Corinthians 16:8-9,
  4. Paul assisted in the ministry of others.“Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. So let no one despise him.” – 1 Corinthians 16:10-11,

These four areas of concentration are areas that we can apply to our own ministries as we do the work of the Lord.


As Paul concludes his first letter to the Corinthians, he leaves behind five calls to action that apply to us today:

  1. Be on the alert.”  As we work to spread the Gospel, Satan will be plotting against our efforts.  We must remain vigilant.  1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
  2. Stand firm.”  Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil  This includes bettering our understanding of God’s Word as well as allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. 
  3. Act like men.”  As we mature in our faith, our behavior should reflect our newfound maturity in Christ.  This means that we need to stop doing those things that are not in accordance with God’s word.  1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 
  4. Be strong.”  Laboring for the Lord is not always easy.  We will be tempted and disciplined along the way.  We may even want to give up sometimes.  But we must finish the race!  Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who had endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
  5. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.  God values love more than anything else.  As we live to serve Him, nothing is more important than making sure that all that we do is done with love.  Colossians 3:14 says, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” 


As we work to share the Gospel, we do well to learn from those who have gone before us.  Our lesson today revealed four insights into Paul’s ministry that apply to us today:

  1. Paul arranged for the financial needs of the Church,
  2. Paul planned his next move in spreading the Gospel,
  3. Paul fished where the fish were,
  4. Paul assisted in the ministry of others.

Our lesson then highlighted five calls to action for us to take in our own ministries:

  1. Be on the alert!
  2. Stand firm!
  3. Act like men! (Or women)
  4. Be strong!
  5. Do everything in love.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following quote which is often referred to as, “The Great Commission.” It reminds us that we all must play a part in the sharing of the Gospel.


  • “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:19-20.


Drexel Deal

What really defines us as Christians, is our love for one another,. As the Apostle Paul brought out in the verse below;
“Let all that you do be done with love.” 1st Corinthians 16: 14

The Apostle Paul was giving the church in Corinth directions on how they should act towards one another. As was mention in other studies, they were sinning in a number of ways. one of which was acting in their own best interests, rather than for the good of the church.
The Apostle Paul knew the hardship that is associated with new believers, so in the previous verse he gave us the characteristics every Christian need to possess. He painted the mental imagery of a soldier, by saying Christians should be alert to various dangers. We should be steadfast in our faith, and act like grown ups. Moreover, we all should have a strong will so we can remain pure in our faith with The Lord.
Then he added, that everything we do should be done in Godly love as our only motive. Our love for God and for our neighbors, in time will become our rod and our staft that will comfort and strengthen us when the going get rough. Without love burdens are heavier, the road seems longer and people can sometimes wear you thin. Therefore, love is that glue that binds us together and sometimes tighter than family ties .

Drexel Deal

Amen! Great thoughts!

Dan Wheeler
Drexel Deal

Hi, Drexel,
I really appreciate how your comment speaks of the importance of love. Love is essential. Without it our angelic words are just useless noise and our grandest deeds are profitless. Love is evidence of our Christianity. It is one of the descriptions of God. Whether we appreciate this emphasis may depend on our perception of love: if we think that someone wants love to be a substitute for obedience we might be resistant. However, if we consider that love may have been the missing ingredient from the life and walk of some disciples, we will probably welcome it.
Perhaps we can go back to the importance of both: there must be truth, upon which there can be no compromise; and there must be love, the motivation for our work.

Thanks for your comments.