3 John 5-8
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
On Sunday, our church hosted a dear missionary family serving the Lord in Ecuador. It was so sweet to hear them share with us about the work that God is doing through their ministry of offering seminary training to indigenous pastors, even those who cannot read printed text. We, of course, reminded our church that this team needs our prayers and our financial support.
How fascinating, then, that my reading for today took me through the short epistle of 3 John. Here we see John commending a church for welcoming, supporting, and sending out faithful people who were taking the gospel into new places. This is holy Scripture, the voice of God, reminding us that sending is good. In fact, contributing to the work of faithful missionaries is partnering in the mission itself. John tells us, “we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth” (v. 8).
From time to time, you will actually hear Christians putting down giving. Some will argue that it is sheer laziness for Christians to “merely” give to missions. And I would agree that we should encourage believers not to think that writing a check is the final fulfillment of Christian duty to the Great Commission. But may we not ever deny the biblical claim that sending missionaries, giving to their support, praying for their wellbeing is in fact partnering with them on mission.
Every one of us is under the authority of Jesus. Every one of us is called by Jesus—who has all authority in heaven and on earth—to make disciples of all nations. And all of us are wired and gifted differently. Some are front-line evangelists. Some are prayer warriors. Some are financially blessed givers. Some are behind-the-scenes servers. All are needed to take the gospel to all nations for the glory of Christ.
So, Christian, find missionaries you trust. Love them. Give to support them. Go and encourage them. Pray for them regularly and let them know that you are doing so. Meet their needs. Give to them beyond meeting their basic needs that they might experience the comfort of knowing they are loved and supported by folks far away. Do not put down giving, because giving is good.