Summer time at the Campus House of Prayer (CHOP) is always fairly quiet. With a majority of the 50,000 students at The University of Texas gone on vacations, mission trips, internships or just home for the break, it means less traffic on my morning drive, but also a lot less activity.
Considering that I am a people person and love the part of my job that involves interacting with students, this isn’t always my favorite time of the year. After all, it can get lonely if no one comes to visit! In an effort to stay connected with the students who have decided to do summer school or take a part-time job, we’ve started a few simple summer programs involving prayer hours and a weekly community dinner.
So now, every Tuesday at noon, you can find me in the prayer room leading prayer for students missionaries around the world. As I was in the prayer room today with one of our students, reading updates from over twenty different missionary teams and praying for each of them individually, another thought struck me: This is true partnership!
There’s Always a Way to Partner
If you’ve ever been one of those people who’s had to watch friends or family members leave for mission trips overseas, it can sometimes feel like you’re left behind or not doing something for God’s kingdom because you’re not out there ministering to people.
But the reality is, just as the Body of Christ is made up of many parts, so there are many components that make up a successful missionary team or missions trip. Here are a couple of ways that people partner to spread the gospel.
Partnering Through Prayer
The reality is, while it would be nice for everyone to be able to go on mission trips, it’s not possible. 1) Because that may not be what God is calling you to do at the moment, and 2) because sometimes situations aren’t favorable to you going on a mission trip.
But just because you’re not overseas doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of what’s happening. How can you do that, you ask? You can pray! No matter how far away from one another, prayer is the one thing that can unify Christians together. Paul was a great example of this, praying constantly for other people and churches in different cities. (Colossians 1:9-12)
When we pray, our physical bodies may not be there, but our spirits, being united though the Holy Spirit can certainly participate in all the missions happening around the world, praying for God’s love to be poured out to people, as well as the safety and well-being of missionaries. Just today, I got to travel to places like Japan, El Salvador, Kenya, Indonesia, Sudan and Albania, all without leaving the prayer room!
Partnering Through Finances
In a similar vein, another way to participate in what God is doing in another place is by contributing financially to mission projects, or supporting a missionary on a regular basis. The fact is, we live in a world that requires money to function, and ministry is no different. To go to a different country or be on a college campus reaching out to people requires time and effort, and the finances to be able to do so.
It’s important to note that when you give financially to a missionary or mission, there is a great spiritual significance to your gift. There is a reason why missionaries fundraise – because we want you to get in on the reward of seeing people touched by the gospel! This is why Paul said “Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)
Partnership is Crucial
My point today is that when it comes to God’s kingdom, I’ve found that He likes to accomplish a lot of things through His people, specifically through each person playing a different role or part. I once heard the phrase that “all Christians are called, some to go, some to pray and some so send.” The question then is, which one are you?
Whatever the case is, you’ve got to realize that nothing happens without workers, prayers and financiers. And the neat thing is that by working together, we can to be a part of what God is doing in many different places. I myself get excited when I heard updates of people getting healed or coming to Christ, but it means a whole lot more when I’ve invested time into praying for those missionaries or contributing financially to them.
So today, take some time to pray and ask God what’s your part? And then? Pray, give, go! The harvest is ripe, and there’s no time to get into it like the present.
Kimberly Chung is the National Media Director for Campus Renewal Ministries, a ministry focused on forging partnerships in prayer to build missional communities that transform college campuses with the gospel of Jesus. She is a campus minister to The University of Texas at Austin and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org