Sending in Love for the Sake of the Name

September 10, 2023 Preacher: Will Barkley Series: Missions Emphasis

Topic: Missions Scripture: 3 John 1:5–8

The apostle John was so blessed by this church’s commitment to God’s mission that he penned a letter to encourage the churches to offer a warm welcome to those who traveled around preaching the gospel, offering them hospitality and a send-off “in a manner worthy of God” (3 John 1:6). 

John reminds us of the necessity of opening our lives and our wallets to invest in God’s mission. 3 John provides us with a clear example of those who prioritized God’s mission: both those who were “sent out” to do this mission (the unnamed “brothers” and “Demetrius”) and those who “stayed at home” (Gaius and his local church) and materially supported them in their ministry. In our passage (3 John 1v5-8), John commends Gaius for his hospitality and support for these missionaries and comments on the testimony these missionaries have brought back to John concerning Gaius’s love (vv. 5–8). 

  1. Show Hospitality (v.5)
  2. Send in a Manner Worthy of God (v.6)
  3. Support as a Fellow Worker (v.7-8)

A missionary is someone sent by the local church to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ cross-culturally. It would seem that these “strangers” (v. 5) were such. They were faithful with the gospel; they came with the commendation of their local church. Though Gaius and his fellow church members did not know them, they did know their message, their mission, and their Master. In the eyes of Gaius and his local church, these faithful missionaries mattered. They were important to God’s mission and that was enough to justify extending practical hospitality to them.  So they supported them in a manner “worthy of God.”

These days, missions and missionaries are sometimes relegated as secondary. Churches might give money, but it’s rare that the whole church knows them well. Thankfully, 3 John pushes against this tendency. We learn from our passage that local churches must lovingly, sacrificially, and practically partner with their missionaries for the sake of THE name.

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