In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Romans 15:23-24
Memorise This Verse: 1 Corinthians 16:6 ‘Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey’
Afterwards Talk About This: Why did Paul often write to churches and fully expect them to provide him with financial assistance for his missionary journeys.
Something To Do Before Next Time: As a group, make a gift to either a missionary or a missionary organisation.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on the role that various churches had in supporting Paul in his missionary expeditions.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Romans 10:15
The following sections will consider one of the most commonly asked questions regarding the tithe, which is the place that we should give our tithes to. From the start it will be made clear that the bible gives several indications as to what we should invest our money into without giving a dogmatic instruction.
Some argue that the tithe should be brought to the local assembly and as will be looked at later, in the ideal world this is probably not a bad rule to follow. However, whilst Pastors and Elders carefully teach their church members to tithe to their churches, they very rarely teach about what the local church should be doing with the money mainly because a lot of churches simply aren’t performing their God given mandate.
It is hoped that these sections will be a provocation to Christians who have been taught all their lives to give to the local assembly and have systematically done so, but have never questioned the fruitfulness of the church they are giving to and what the church is actually spending their money on.
There is no biblical justification to give to disobedient, unfruitful churches that are doing nothing to advance the Kingdom of God and in many cases do more to hinder it. Millions of pounds is tightly locked up in selfish churches and people blindly carry on paying their tithes to them – perhaps God has something better for your money to be doing than perpetuating a church that isn’t honouring him?
The first area to consider giving to is that of the Great Commission of Jesus given to the church as he ascended to the right hand of majesty on high namely, to take the gospel to those ethnic groupings, cultures and languages who have not yet heard it. It has been rightly argued that no-one should hear the gospel twice unless everyone has heard it once and consequently the supreme task of the church is the taking of the gospel to those people’s who have not yet received.
It is no great secret that churches in the West spend the vast amount of their money on themselves clearly Jesus isn’t waiting for the West to receive the gospel and have churches and Christians in it.
Moreover what little is actually spent on evangelism it is always spent on saving people in the locality of the church namely, taking the gospel to an area that already has the bible, churches and Christians.
Evangelising the local area is of course a very necessary thing to do but the highest priority must be towards evangelising those peoples who do not yet have the gospel let every Pastor of every church make this their highest priority and God will bless the work at home.
If any church will put the Great Commission as their top priority, the Great Commissioner himself will direct their affairs. Clearly, giving to the evangelising of the remaining unreached people groups is a major factor to consider when looking at where to invest your money.
The Apostle Paul was certainly a man who believed that missionary work should be funded by the body of Christ. The three quotes below show that whilst he was on his missionary travels he made no secret that he was expecting to receive financial help for his missionary endeavours and made some very plain and unequivocal statements along these lines.
Contrast the attitude of Paul who boldly expected his fellow believers to assist him in his missionary journeys with the current attitude of many Pastors and church leaders of being apologetic and sheepishly asking the people of God to give financially into the work of God. It should be the right, joy and privilege for the people of God to give into the work of God, and those seeking funding for their vision/missionary calling should never feel ashamed to ask their brothers and sisters for their support.
Romans 15:24 ‘I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while’
1 Corinthians 16:6 ‘Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go’
2 Corinthians 1:16 ‘I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way’.
The ministry of serving as a sender is dealt with in a later section along with the gift of giving and there will be those who have major ministries of supporting missionaries and mission work. Whilst we are not all called to serve as senders, we are exhorted to play our part in the taking of the gospel to those people groups who do not yet have it.
It is the privilege and joy and invitation of every Christian to give to missionary work and see the gospel taken to the uttermost parts of the earth.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Colombia
42,321,361 people, strong church growth
Country held to ransom by drug gangs, paramilitaries and left wing guerrillas.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.