A missionary has to raise funds. At times that can seem like all he does. As I have been working through how I am going to deal with raising support, Jerry Bridges’ “True Community” has been an encouragement. Here is an excerpt from chapter six.
The Philippian believers had entered into partnership with Paul through their material assistance to him. They had done this from the earliest days of their acquaintance with the gospel. The Philippians had apparently been taught that koinonia within the Christian community involved a working relationship. They recognized that they had a missionary responsibility to those cities beyond them and that one major way they could fulfill that responsibility was to give to the ministry of the missionary Paul. They teamed up with Paul through their gifts to him. Paul recognized their status as partners with him through their giving. He not only thanked God for their partnership but also assured them of a return on their investment.
In verse 17, he says, “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.” He was confident that just as he would receive a reward for his labors, so the Philippians would share with him in that reward. Just as they had invested in his missionary enterprise as partners, so they would participate in the rewards of that enterprise as partners. Paul and the Philippians were truly partners in the gospel. Every Christian today has the same privilege as did the believers at Philippi of being a partner in the gospel enterprise. Each of us has the opportunity to participate in ministries far beyond our own personal endeavors, both in cities at home and in countries overseas. Every time we give to a mission, either at home or overseas, we are joining in partnership with that particular ministry, and we will share in the fruit of that ministry in proportion to our sharing in its costs.
Bridges, Jerry (2012-09-14). True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia (Kindle Locations 990-1002). Navpress. Kindle Edition.