The Compelling Call to Serve Together
29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts 11:29, 30
The Bible presents partnerships in ministry that can be used to our causes today. We read in the Gospel according to Luke, how women served Jesus from their goods. Luke 8:2, 3 names Mary, Joanna, Susanna and many others gave from their substance or possessions. Why did Jesus receive money from women? Why did his disciples accept money and had a treasurer? Could Jesus perform miracles and provide for their physical needs as they proclaimed the kingdom of God?
Luke may have included the names of these women in his record of the Gospel to show that not only men were involved in Jesus’ ministry, but also, to show that the Holy Spirit will move all his children to serve with gladness. That we can support with prayer, sending and giving to missionary causes.
We continue to the book of Acts and the young church in Antioch is led by Barnabas and Saul for a year, when the prophets announce a famine in Acts 11. The church in Antioch sent money to help the families in Judea. The daughter caring for the mother church. This is an amazing fact, because we are used to see older and established congregations sending their leaders and resources to aid the needs of the younger one. To give God the glory, the first major relief sent and received by two churches registered in the Bible was from the new born church Antioch to the established in Jerusalem.
If we continue our search, we arrive at chapter 13 and we see that because they were praying, the Lord spoke to the disciples and told them to set apart a group of missionaries to travel and bring the Good News to other people. This first missionary team was empowered by the Holy Spirit, but funded by the church. This team of missionaries, in times when phone calls, emails, text messages were not available, reported by coming back and sharing with their supporters how the Spirit was moving by saving and healing many.
Do we join this cooperative spirit? Does your church list missionaries and pray for them? Do you know any missionary or contact them for encouragement, prayer, birthdays, or simply to say that you love and care for them? Are you allowing only “other churches” to give to missionary causes just because your church is in a financial crunch? Maybe our finances will become stronger when we decide to join God in his outreach and let him bless me as I pray and give to those that proclaim the Gospel.
Please, pray for the Baptist Children home, schedule your speaker and give with a generous heart to this agency that transforms the lives of our younger ones. I pray that God will pour families and leaders to your congregation and that your church will strengthen and start new ministries in this last quarter of 2018.
Your local missionary,
Association Missionary Strategist