What does the Bible say about supporting missionaries financially

The Bible presents an invitation to all believers to join in God’s redemptive work on this earth.

Jesus himself gave his disciples the mission to preach the good news of salvation to the entire planet earth.

Some people may be concerned about not personally fulfilling that mandate.

That is, to feel the responsibility to go to unreached nations to preach the gospel, but not to be in a situation that allows them to do so.

Others may not feel a responsibility to go, but want to support or participate.

Today, I would like to share with you a fragment of the Bible from which we can draw ideas on how to participate in missions without being a missionary.

I invite you to read it.

(…) So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.

(…) This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.

But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain.

I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.

Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem (…)

So after I have completed this task (…) I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.

I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.

Romans 15: 19 – 32

This text presents us with two things that Christians can do to participate in missions without being missionaries.

Let me provide some context about the text.

The one who writes is the apostle Paul.

He had resolved to go to Spain to preach the gospel, considering that the preaching work in the Asian region had advanced to a point where he was no longer needed personally.

For this, he thinks he will need the help of the church in Rome.

In his plans, he shows that he expects financial support from them for his plans to preach in Spain.

This part of the letter is an appeal to their generosity and hospitality in order to carry out his missionary projects.

While all the brethren of the church in Rome could not go and preach to the unreached nations, they could financially support someone to do so, thus fulfilling the mandate of the great commission.

Paul had been chosen by God especially for that ministry and for that work, it was not necessarily the case for all the brothers in Rome.

An important lesson that I would like to infer from this text is that not all people have to go to the nations, although we are all commissioned to participate in this work.

The Bible teaches that God has given the church diversity of gifts and diversity of ministries, the role that each of us can develop is directly related to the gifts and ministries that have been given to us by God.

While our gifts or ministries may not compel us to go to unreached nations, or even our life circumstances do not allow us to, we can unite in other ways.

I think there are four ways to participate in missions, the first is to go personally, the second is to send someone, the third to pray and the fourth to motivate others to go.

This biblical text presents us with two of those four options.

The first of these is to financially support the work of those who are trying to reach others abroad.

Just as the apostle Paul needed financial help from the church in Rome to carry out his missionary projects, so also today we can join with our offerings and financial aid to those who are trying to carry out mission projects.

The second very important thing mentioned is prayer for those in the missionary ministry.

Paul begs the church in Rome for their prayerful support for his ministry.

You and I can also join the work of missions by praying for those who are working on this difficult task.

I hope these words are a blessing to your life.

And what do you think? Would you like to support missions, but can’t be a missionary? Share in the comments.

A hug, God bless you.

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