A jar of oil and a handful of flour
Today in Africa there are many churches – even small ones – that are sending or taking steps towards sending missionaries. A giving church is obeying God’s commandment to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. But what if your church is not yet giving financially to mission? Or not giving with zeal and generosity?
If God is calling you to serve Him in mission, that calling begins immediately, not at some future date when you step foot in the “official” mission field. Your assignment has already begun. And your first task may be as a missionary ambassador to your church, helping your brothers and sisters in Christ to catch a vision for the nations. This is not something to get out of the way: it is part of every missionary’s lifelong role.
God’s priority is people. So He calls us into relationships with others. One of the best ways to raise support is through relationships. Your good relationships with other people will inspire them to collaborate with you in fulfilling God’s kingdom work. There are no spectators in his mission! And if the Lord is sending you, He will help you to raise up a team who will be with you, praying and supporting you through the whole process.
Sometimes it is prudent to arrange a mediator who can represent your financial and prayer needs to your church community. This is also a legitimate way forward. At times Jesus sent his disciples ahead to make arrangements for him. He relied on helpers and friends many times during his earthly ministry, and so can we.
If speaking to your pastor or church about your missionary call – and their missionary mandate to send – seems impossible, then remember this: You have joined the ranks of those who are privileged to receive from God an impossible task. He loves to show us that with Him, all things are possible. Welcome to this special group of Christ-followers who are called to do the impossible!
God may allow you to undergo the process of raising financial and prayer support to fortify your character, to develop perseverance and peaceful trust. As a missionary, you will encounter antagonistic people who do not want to hear about Jesus, and are hostile towards the gospel. So use every opportunity now to dig your roots deep into the foundation of your identity in Christ.
What is your identity? You are a masterpiece. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). Remember, you are not fighting for victory in fundraising; you are fighting from victory. You are already a missionary and a masterpiece!
During a great famine in the land of Israel, a poor widow was asked to take the last of her oil and flour to make bread for the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 7). In obedience, she did this, though it was all she had. And the jar of oil and handful of flour were not used up. Each day, there was enough for another meal for the prophet, the widow and the boy. At times, though our resources are meagre, God invites us to give them all to Him. And every day, our scanty resources are replenished; they are sufficient. One day, God sent the rain to Israel and the famine ended. Finally, food was plentiful again.
We may experience a famine of resources and not understand why: the answer lies in the spiritual realm, where we cannot see. Our resources are not multiplied into great abundance, but simply renewed each day. In this we can find contentment until the rains come. Take heart!
Raising financial support is an offering of trust given to God. It may feel intimidating to ask for resources. Remember that you are not in charge of the result. God alone is in charge of the result. You are in charge of your jar of oil and handful of flour. So bake bread for your Heavenly Father. He is in charge of the rain clouds. And he is in charge of you, his missionary masterpiece. God meets the needs of his missionary masterpieces
What does the Bible say?
Does Scripture encourage us to support Christian workers? What does it say about making our needs known?
Examine the following verses:
Originally appeared in AfriGo - Volume 1, Issue 4.