This is going to be a short post because I am still trying to get a sense of what needs to be said on this topic. Take some time today to read Acts, chapters 9-11. Most of the time any sermon that is preached on these chapters deals either with Paul's conversion or Peter's vision. As you read, I want you to ignore the rock star Apostles and focus on what is going on around them on the side lines. Focus specifically on these sections:
Acts 9:10-19 Notice that God did not send an Apostle, God sent a Disciple-Ananias.
Acts 9:26-27 Notice that Barnabas has to intervene for Paul because the Apostles would not even speak to him because they are afraid of him.
Acts 10:1-8 Notice that God speaks to Cornelius first before he speaks to Peter.
Acts 11:19-26 Notice that only a few of them spoke with the Hellenists (meaning those who were not Jewish), they had great success, the Apostles sent Barnabas, Barnabas then went to find Paul and bring him back to Antioch and Antioch is where the Disciples were first called "Christians".
In my mind I am thinking in terms of "spiritual generations". The Apostles were the first "spiritual generation" and here in Acts we are seeing work being done by the second "spiritual generation" of followers. They had been trained well enough by the first generation to successfully carry out and carry on the mission. And even though Cornelius was not necessarily a Disciple at the time, Peter is being sent to train him to become a Disciple leader.
How exactly this applies to the here and now, I'm not sure. I just know that I sense in my spirit that there is a significant lesson here to be pondered. What we glean and how we apply it matters significantly. All I know is that I am hearing that still small voice saying "pay attention, pay attention because this is big and it matters!" I've learned to listen and pay attention and right now, I'm in "wait" mode. I'll get back to you on this. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on this feel free to share! Something significant is going on!