If a loving church congregation sponsors your ministry – you are in a most delightful position. You do not have to beg or make constant appeals for funds; you merely send reports and thank you letters.
This was the case with the Apostle Paul and the church congregation at Philippi, which he had founded in one of his missionary trips. The believers there loved and cared for Paul, and frequently sent financial gifts. Sometimes these gifts were delivered in person by one of their own, such as Epaphroditus.
Acts chapter 14 tells how Paul and Silas first came to Philippi, met some women at the river on the Sabbath, including Lydia, a seller of purple, having a prayer meeting. They shared the Good News of Jesus and His finished work on the cross for them.
Paul also cast out an evil spirit from a fortune-telling slave girl. This upset her owners and they soon started a riot in which Paul and Silas were beaten, flogged and thrown into a prison. That night an earthquake set them free, and they helped the warden and his family to all come to trust in Christ for salvation.
From that nucleus of believers, a business woman, a slave girl, and a prison warden and his family, a small congregation of the Church of Christ was started in Philippi. Yet it grew and became the loving church of Philippians, who kept in touch with Paul as he continued his travels, starting more churches.
Because they made it their business to keep in touch with Paul they were aware when he was in financial need. I doubt that Lydia was the only giver in that congregation. Though it is likely that her business expertise may have made her a leader in planning how they would gather up funds, and deliver them to Paul – wherever he was.
We do know from reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians, that they had overseers and deacons, so it may have grown considerably and included people from all levels of social strata.
The question now is; how can you get a loving church congregation to sponsor your ministry? Do you have to be an itinerant missionary first, like Paul, and found such a church somewhere?
Well, that sounds like a good start!
But what about your home church? The one where you heard the gospel first, and where you have been taught and grounded in God’s Word? You have been well grounded in the truths and principles of God’s Word, right? That would be your best starting place.
If not, take time to find such a Bible-practicing church congregation, and become a part of it. Show them love and joy and confidence, and they are likely to gladly agree to be your supporting church in prayers and gifts.
What an ideal – when a loving church congregation sponsors your ministry! I wish that for you!