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Sharing the Treasure: Giving Their Best

Sharing the Treasure: Giving Their Best

Sharing the treasure we have in Jesus is a group effort! In recognition of the many people and initiatives that play crucial roles in enabling Christar to establish churches among the least-reached, I’ve asked several who serve in the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. (CMCUS) to share how different parts of the Body of Christ contribute to cultivating Christ-honoring transformation. This month, John, who serves as the Director of Church Partnership for the CMCUS, shares how workers on the field are an extension of the ministry of local churches that send and support.

Since childhood, I’ve witnessed how those who minister across cultures serve as extensions of the local church. I grew up on the mission field, and as a young person I followed God’s call to return to the Far East, where my wife and I raised our children. Later, as Affinity Director for all Christar workers serving in this region, I was blessed to see firsthand how God uses sending and supporting churches through the hands of those on the field. Now, as Director of Church Partnership, I’m grateful to be part of helping these fellowships more effectively come alongside their workers and more intentionally engage the least-reached.

Since the days of the early church, local fellowships have sent some of their best to serve among those who don’t yet know the hope of Christ. In Acts 13, we read how the church at Antioch was prompted by the Holy Spirit to send Saul (who would become known as Paul) and Barnabas, who had been serving among them. Likewise, Acts 16 tells us that Timothy, who was sent by the body of believers at Lystra, had a good reputation both in his home fellowship and among the believers in neighboring Iconium as well.

When workers leave for the field, churches willingly give up some of their most valued and beloved members to serve across cultures. This is a significant sacrifice, not merely for those who are sent, but for the local fellowships that sense their absence.

However, as churches joyfully make this sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, God uses these partnerships to bless not only least-reached people, but also the workers and the fellowships that send and support. We get a taste of this in Acts 14:26-27, when Paul and Barnabas return to the church in Antioch and share “all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” As the believers in this fellowship heard how the Lord had worked through the men they had sent, they were blessed to learn what He had accomplished through them by extension.

The local church’s role in missions is multifaceted, involving the entire body and beginning long before the worker is sent. Sending fellowships provide training grounds for the next generation of workers and give wise and godly counsel to those considering how the Lord would have them serve. They’re also crucial sources of prayer, providing many of the 100 daily prayer partners every Christar worker must have before they begin long-term service. And, they give vital financial resources that enable workers to serve as extensions of their ministries across oceans.

In turn, through their relationships with those who are sent, churches are able to broaden their vision of what the Lord is doing around the world, gaining understanding of the needs of the least-reached and of the challenges and rewards of seeking to bring the good news to them. In addition, local fellowships often have valuable opportunities both to bless their workers and to gain firsthand comprehension of cross-cultural ministry through sending short-term workers who can use their gifts and skills to benefit the long-term mission. These experiences often energize not only short-term teams, but entire churches to become more personally involved in the Great Commission.

Our Church Partnership Team at Christar is honored to be able to help local fellowships extend their ministry to some of the least-reached communities around the globe. It’s our joy to see churches embrace opportunities both to come alongside those they send and be truly blessed by their role in bringing the gospel to those who haven’t heard.

This team is comprised of workers who’ve been on the field: individuals who intimately understand the realities of cross-cultural ministry and the needs of those who serve. We invest in churches—some of us during our retirement years—because we know firsthand how vital these fellowships are to introducing least-reached people to our Savior.

Whether your church has a long history of supporting cross-cultural workers or is just beginning to explore how it could be involved, I invite you to contact our Church Partnership Team! We’ve love to walk with your fellowship in extending its reach among those who don’t yet know the hope of Christ.

Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.

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