As I continually work through this process of fund-raising to get to the mission field, I am reminded of that song. I constantly have to point myself back to the old time missions-funding and remember that if it was good enough for those in my bible, it’s good enough for me.
It was good enough for those of the Old Testament….
The Levites lived off the tithe that was given by God’s people. They also lived off the animals and grains that were brought to the temple for offerings and sacrifice. The Levites were funded and supported by the people of God so that they could focus on their mission of serving the people at the temple and properly worshiping God as He had commanded.
It was also good enough for Nehemiah. Nehemiah is one of my bible heroes. He was seriously smart and a great leader. He rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days (and that includes taking breaks for the Sabbath). He was also extremely brave, after seeking the Lord through prayer and fasting, he courageously petitions the king to support his mission of rebuilding Jerusalem. He didn’t simply ask this pagan king if he could leave his job but he also asked for supplies and recommendation letters too.
It was good for Paul and Silas….
Paul modeled being supported by others during his ministry. Though he spent some time tent-making in Acts 18:1-4, in verse 5 Paul stopped tent-making and devoted himself entirely to preaching. He appears to have self-provided through tent-making in special circumstances when it was necessary, both financially and for the good of those to whom he was ministering at the time. In 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 he says that the minister of the gospel is worthy of wages from the church. In Romans 15:20-24, we see him living this out as he says that he plans to be helped along the way by the church as he passes through Rome to Spain on his missionary journey.
Paul not only modeled being funded by others during his ministry, but also He taught this type of ministry-funding. In the context of elders in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, he quotes Deuteronomy saying not to muzzle the ox because the laborer is worthy of his wages. To the Galatians (6:6) he explains that the student is to share with the teacher. In Philippians 4:10-20 he rejoices and is thankful to the church for providing for his needs and missionary journey.
It was good enough for Jesus….
Jesus modeled being supported by others during his ministry. We see in Luke 8:1-3 where Jesus and his twelve were going from city to city sharing the good news. During there mission, they were provided for by Christians who were “contributing to their support out of their private means.”
Jesus not only modeled being funded by others during his ministry, but also He taught others to do the same. In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus sends the disciples out with nothing. We see this sending in Matthew 10:9-10 as He sends his disciples with no money or extra clothes, because “the worker is worthy of his support.” Then in Luke 10:1-9, Jesus sends out 70 to proclaim the good news. He sends them with nothing and explains to them that the laborer is worthy of his wages.
….And it’s good enough for me.
It was good enough for the Levites, God’s chosen priests. It was good enough for Godly men like Nehemiah. It was good enough for Paul and those he taught to follow him as he follows Christ. It was good enough for the disciples and others Christ sent out. It was good enough for Jesus. That old time missions support and funding was good enough for them, and it’s good enough for me.