“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
The missionary enterprise has often moved forward dramatically when God’s people have taken leaps of faith. It never moves at all unless individuals take steps of faith in personal involvement.
Commit to give a specific amount of your income – an amount worthy of the sacrificial gift of God’s own Son. Share spiritual truth with those outside of Christ whom God puts in your life and lay plans to contact others who don’t naturally come your way. If you do not win others to faith now, how can you expect God to use you at some frontier of gospel outreach? And especially get involved in recruiting other believers as world Christians.
The most powerful force for sending out laborers into the harvest is another laborer who invites, “Come with me!” Much more powerful than exhorting, “Go with them!” We need to plan and act aggressively because we are by nature spiritual single focused. We keep focusing on our world, not on his world. Maybe God will enable you to mobilize others and only the limits of your faith will restrict the sphere of influence he will give. Keep moving. By deliberate steps of faith in praying, giving, witnessing, and recruiting others, make decisions for personal involvement.
Go for it, yes, but not alone. Partnering with others is essential or you will quickly lose momentum. A partner of like mind is great, the Bible says, for- if “one stumbles the other can lift him up. But woe to the one who is alone when he falls “ (Ecclesiastes 4:10). A three-strand rope will hold when a single strand won’t (verse12). But partnering is not only for support, encouragement, and strength; it provides for accountability. Most of the great heroes who fell had moved beyond accountability for their actions giving it to others who took that responsibility seriously.
Partnering is not only for a team of two or a handful of like-minded warriors. Partnering must be with the church. Otherwise, where is the biblical responsibility demonstrated by Paul and his missionary team? Otherwise, where is the prayer and financial support? Douglas spent five years in a typical church that supported missionaries and had an annual missionary conference. But it seemed half-dead, tradition bound. He tried in every way to seek renewal, but to no avail. They appreciated him, elected him to the Board, but didn’t move out in prayer and evangelism. Now it was time for Douglas to leave for the mission field. What sort of spiritual power base would that church be? Even though it would mean a delay in getting to the mission field, he decided to move half-way across the country to identify with a vital church as a support base. He didn’t have a job and the church didn’t give him a place on the staff. He moved by faith, figuring that would be good preparation for the mission field. The church was delighted to have his volunteer services and he was finally “at home” in a fellowship that shared his heartbeat. The result? A year later Douglas went to the mission field, accountable to a church which took that responsibility seriously and with several scores of partners deeply committed to prayer warfare on his behalf. As a bonus, all his financial support was provided. Partnering is essential for effective life or ministry.
Pray strategically, with whom can you partner? Single? Find a friend or a child of your heartbeat for God’s heart. Accountability? Who are you trying to fool? Be authentic in your accountability. No cover-ups. A serious partner or partners keep us on track to keep moving forward in effectiveness and faithfulness.