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A Chance to Be Involved in God’s Work

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I work in full-time college ministry, and one of the exciting things my co-workers and I do each year is to challenge thousands of college students to take part in mission trips around the world. Now in order to do that, these “poor” college students need to raise funds. Ninety-nine percent of them can’t afford to go on their own, and their parents can’t afford to send them. They must reach out to other believers to invite them to be involved in God’s work.

To nearly every one of these students trusting God to provide for their mission trips, raising support is a huge step of faith in and of itself. Most struggle with the fear of rejection. Many of their parents don’t want them to raise support. I know parents who have said, “We don’t want you begging for money for this trip. If you’re going to go on this trip, then you need to get a job or find another way to earn it yourself.” I’m a parent of a teen, so I know the importance of teaching young people to develop a good work ethic. However, this line of thinking contradicts support raising in the Bible, and I have seen first hand that these college students do work hard during mission trips.

This morning as I was studying the book of 3 John, a passage stood out to me that I think I’ll use the next time one of our students is struggling with raising support. The apostle John is writing to Gaius and affirming him for his support of missionaries:

“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” (3 John 5-8, ESV)

In this passage and the rest of the book, John affirmed Gaius because Gaius recognized three things:

  1. -We’re all supposed to take part in the Great Commission the Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20. Some of us are called to go, while others are called to send. Gaius recognized that his part in the Great Commission was by sending these missionaries.
  2. -Whether we’re “senders” like Gaius or “goers” like the missionaries John sent, the reward for these support people is the same as those who are out on the front lines. 1 Samuel 30:21-25 shows this principle, where the spoils are distributed equally among those who fought and those who supported. King David understood that the supply lines were just as vital as the soldiers, and God would reward both soldiers and supporters properly and generously.
  3. -Thirdly, and most importantly, Gaius’s money didn’t belong to him. It belonged to God. The Bible is clear in Gal. 2:20 and many other passages that when we ask Christ to be our Lord, we’re not just giving him part of our lives. If we do, we haven’t fully trusted in him. When we give Jesus our lives, he becomes preeminent in all areas of our lives – our careers, our time, our affections, our habits, and yes, even our money.

So the next time one of our college students or one of the kids in your youth ministry at church invites you to be a part of their mission trip, I’d encourage you to give. It’s a great opportunity not only to be a part of helping fulfill the Great Commission, but it’s also a great way to give God the driver’s seat with your finances!

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photo credit: COD Newsroom Campus Fall 2013 52 via photopin (license)


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About Chad Young

Chad Young works in full-time college ministry, serving as Cru Global’s national director over the southeast region, leading the ministries in FL, GA, AL, and MS. He has served on the staff of Cru for fifteen years. He is the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World (InterVarsity Press), a discipleship-training manual, and magazine articles for Worldwide Challenge and The Collegiate. He frequently speaks at retreats and conferences and regularly writes devotionals for his website, findingauthenticchristianity.com. Chad, with his wife Elizabeth, travels the country to speak at churches and train church leaders how to make Biblical disciples. Chad currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife Elizabeth and their four young children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. His hobbies include cheering on his kids in sports, following college football, and laughing with family around the backyard fire pit.
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