During the Apostolic days, New Testament churches result either in producing another church or supporting missionaries to plant another church. This principle was evident in apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. Paul instructed Titus to remind the Cretan churches to support their Gospel-proclaimers (missionaries) and make sure that they lack nothing (3:12-15).
Biblically, a church planter ought to be sent out by a local church. Nowadays, it is prominent for a missionary to plant a church independently. There is nothing wrong with it. However, if we would like to be faithful to God’s word, then we ought to accommodate and follow willingly (Acts 13:2-4). Supporting church planters is not limited to financial giving; the sending church’s priority is to pray for them. Even Jesus urged believers to pray earnestly for laborers in the kingdom (Luke 10:1-2). Church growth is not only inward but outward too.
Moreover, Paul emphasized to give earnestly—setting aside collection—for the sake of gospel proclamation (1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 11:8). Furthermore, how would people hear the gospel message unless a messenger is sent by a sender? (Rom. 10:14-15). A church that plants church is the NT model. This principle also adheres to the Great Commission “to go and make disciples… baptizing and teaching them” the gospel of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20).
The best biblical source in supporting missionaries are passages in Philippians 4:15-19, where Paul rejoices for their support; and in 3 John 1-8, where John encourages Elder Gaius’ church that it is “ought to support people (missionaries) like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
Going back to Titus 3:13, Andy Johnson emphasized that “it’s a high bar” for us to do and support church planters. He said, “Our support for missionaries should aim to see that they lack nothing as if we were supplying Jesus himself for a journey.”
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