The Church takes locality as its boundary, but the work takes region as its sphere of responsibility. A church is local, such as the church in Ephesus, the church in Colosse, and the church in Corinth. But the work extends beyond a locality. The Book of Acts shows us that the first group of workers began their work in Jerusalem, and went from Jerusalem to Samaria [this is the town of Samaria, not the region of Samaria] and to many other localities. In other words, these workers were not confined to Jerusalem but traveled freely throughout all Judea. Their work was regional in nature. Such were the beginnings at Jerusalem.

At Antioch there was a new beginning. There we see how Barnabas and Paul went forth to pioneer the work among the Gentiles. These Gentile lands included the local churches in Galatia and the local churches in Asia Minor, thus indicating that the work was regional. So in the Bible we see that there were not only Peter and his colleagues preaching the gospel, there were also Barnabas and his company preaching the gospel. And according to the Letter to the Philippians, there were still other groups of people preaching (1.15-17) in additional regions. The apostle Paul explained it this way: “according to the measure of the province which God appointed to us as a measure, to reach even unto you” (2 Cor. 10.13). In other words, Paul had his province or sphere of work.

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel" (Phil. 1.15-17).

So the work was regional, with each region including in its sphere several localities. Under normal conditions, and in spite of regional differences, there was still unity. All these different regions belonged to one fellowship. Jerusalem and Antioch were joined in one. Though their regions were different, they had fellowship in the Lord. When people got saved in Antioch, Jerusalem sent Barnabas out to visit them (Acts 11.20-28). Antioch came out of Jerusalem and it also returned to Jerusalem; for when Jerusalem was in need, Antioch sent the offering of the Gentile brethren to Jerusalem (11.27-29). Barnabas came from Jerusalem to Antioch (v.22), and Paul returned to Jerusalem from Antioch (15.2). Thus are we shown that even though the regions were different, they all belonged to one fellowship.

"But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number that believed turned unto the Lord. And the report concerning them came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas [an apostle] as far as Antioch: who, when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord: for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. And he went forth to Tarsus to seek for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together [informally] with the church, and taught much people, and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Now in these days there came down prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great famine over all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius" (Acts 11.20-28).

The responsibility of the elders is unto the local assembly where they are (Titus 1.5), whereas that of the apostles is unto the regional work. Peter and his fellow workers took care of the works that were undertaken in various localities in Judea, while Paul and his company took care of the work in Antioch and other Gentile places. The apostles worked within the boundary of the provinces or spheres which God had appointed to them (2 Cor. 10.13-14).

"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;" (Titus 1.5).

And what is the reason for operating regionally, remaining within this boundary?

"For we stretch not ourselves overmuch [beyond our measure], as though we reached not unto you: for we came even as far as unto you in the gospel of Christ:" (2 Cor. 10.14). "Not glorying beyond [our] measure"! (v.15)

Similarly, the boundary of a local church must be administered by the elders, who were appointed by the apostles, to contain all differences within that unit of a locality and to not let it spread beyond its boundary as occurs with denominations.