What is fellowship anyways? It’s participating together. It’s co-laboring together. Scripture gives us many examples of how we can work together for the progress of the gospel.
Paul, in the book of Philippians, lists a number of ways that this dear church partners with him in the progress of the gospel. We often think of “fellowship” as food and fun, but Paul describes fellowship as the work of co-laborers, fellow-workers, and partners in the progress of the gospel.
In his book, The Life of God in the Soul of the Church, Thabiti Anywabwile outlines the variety of ways the Philippians partnered with Paul in the gospel:
- The church lives in a manner worthy of the gospel (Phil. 1:27; 4:1),
- The church prays for Paul (1:19),
- The church defends the gospel (1:27-30),
- The church bows to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (2:5-11), and
- The church labors alongside Paul in the work of mission (2:19-30; 4:10-16).
You too can partner through
- Living in a manner worthy of the gospel, and connecting this to Bible translation work in your own creative way;
- Praying for BTF and the global work of Bible translation, especially Bible translation organizations and individual missionary translators;
- Defending the gospel in your own life and relationships, and in your church and with your missionaries; finding ways to encourage and support your missionaries, such that they begin to think about Bible translation work and opportunities which fit their gifts and skills;
- Bowing to the Lordship of Christ, seeking that everything God has sovereignly entrusted to you be leveraged for the sake of the Truth and His Name (3 John 8; Rom 1:5);
- Laboring to come alongside Bible translation work, translators and future translators. Educate people in your church, pray for God to send workers into His harvest (Mat. 9:37), look for and encourage God’s grace in peoples’ lives and encourage them to serve in one of the triad disciplines of Bible translation. Encourage missionaries to use their gifts and service to help Bible translation work in their area (see our FAQ and Resources pages). Encourage your church to use some of their budget to Bible translation work, and/or give some of your own income to Bible translation work, so that His Word will go forth and accomplish its purposes (Isa 55:11; Rom 10:13-17).
May your prayers and gifts support the Word of Christ extending to every sphere where Christ is not yet named, so that we may boast in the Lord (Rom 15; 2 Cor 10:13-17).
To get you started, we’ve provided a few ways you can co-labor in church planting, Bible translation and theological education.
Check out our other pages under the “Fellowship” tab, such as our Together 4 the Bible Fellowship Campaign, and our Partner page, where you can directly link arms with translators aiming to integrate their work with church planting and theological education for the progress and glory of the Word establishing healthy local churches.
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