Partners in the Gospel (Philippians 1:1-6)

Let’s admit it: Being part of the church can be pretty depressing. The days are long gone when most people thought belonging to a church was normal or a good thing to do. The numbers are not what they used to be, and it seems harder to keep up with all that has to be done. Do you ever wonder why you bother?

Yes, we remember Jesus’ words, ‘The harvest is plentiful…’ but we remember what comes next, ‘but the workers are few.’ (Matthew 9:35-38).

‘And didn’t Jesus say something about needing more workers for the harvest? What can we do about that?’

‘Oh, I know! Let’s hire an evangelist to bring people to church! Maybe that will buy us a few more years.’

Is that how life in the church should be?

Where is the joy that Paul writes about here in Philippians 1? He’s not living in la-la land, dreaming impossible dreams about wonderful days for the church.

He writing from a Roman prison cell (v12-14). He knows that following Jesus means fighting every step of the way (4:3)! But he also knows that we’re in the fight together.

And that’s how we can look at the church and be filled, not with disappointment, but with joy, just like Paul! His joy came from partnering in the Gospel. And if we want to avoid the frustration and disappointment the church can easily give us, the only solution is by us being partners in the Gospel too.

Maybe this is a revolutionary idea for us, or maybe it’s something we know but we just aren’t very good at. But partnering in the Gospel is for every Christian.

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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