Some only focus on raising money for projects like those trafficked; people with leprosy; orphans; the persecuted; those caught in famine and disease.
Some only focus on the gospel to the whole world.
We need both.
Some only get involved in Church charitable projects and some only want to do Church gospel campaigns.
Again that is okay. But we need both.
From this amazing leader we have an insight into both. Here is what the Apostle writes informing of his travel plans, “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 in the service of the Lord’s people there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, 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. (Romans 15 v 23-29)
Without doubt Paul is keen to get to Spain to continue his work of reaching the Gentiles with the gospel. He promises that he will stop by Rome to enlist their help for this work. However, though this is important, he must go to Jerusalem. He has been raising money for the poor there. So what do we learn?
- His missionary journeys full of pioneering gospel work, signs and wonders, also contained a strategic fund-raising campaign.
- He could have let someone else collect the money but he did it. There are some things we should not delegate because we carry the passion for it.
- He could have let someone else take the money to Jerusalem but he took responsibility for it.
- It wasn’t convenient for him; he was in Corinth when he wrote the letter, so to go to Spain via Rome was to go in the Western direction; he chose to go via Jerusalem adding approximately 2,000 miles to his journey.
- He raised money because he believed in two-way missions. This wasn’t an approach of only giving to the poor from the wealthy but Jerusalem had given much to the world in terms of their heritage and gospel launch that Paul believed they were owed it; mission is two-way.
- Helping the poor is a God-service as much as anything else.
Let’s do both!