Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: Acts 15:22
About 11 years ago I sat on the edge of a bunk bed in Arequipa, Peru and listened to my friends Jake and Tyler talk about their desires to take the Gospel to a people that currently had very little access. My heart were moved by their willingness and my head was about to explode by the magnitude of what we were talking about. Over the next few months I “assuredly gathered” that they would need an army and God might allow me to be a recruiter for that army.
I spent two years in missions mobilization traveling all over America. Preaching in college chapels, sleeping in my car, preaching in small churches, getting a few minutes at bigger churches, and searching for young people who would talk to me about missions. I loved my job, but it did not end up being what I thought it would be.
I had read in 1 Chron 12:8 how David needed men of war fit for battle and went to the Gadites and asked for the men who could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions. So I got in my Taurus and drove about 200,000 miles going church to church asking churches to separate some men of war fit for battle. I wanted to help get them to the front lines.
I found that many churches were eager to help send the sons and daughters of other churches off to war, but did not have much desire to send any of their “own company”. Instead of giving an appeal and parents pushing their kids to the front of the line to sign up, I found mothers that would do a great job on a NFL defensive line. I often found ministerial leaders standing in a field they never planted wondering why there wasn’t a crop coming up. Many people said they would send of their own company but they just didn’t have any to spare.
After two years of traveling I got a call from the man who is now my pastor and asked if I was ready to help start a church that would be willing to send or their “own company”. We have struggled and things have not always gone as planned but I am grateful to serve with a group of people who know that as a church we are in the export business. Pray for us as we grow our company, especially the youth division. Some will go, many will stay, but we will all be going about the father’s business.
So Pioneer Sender, what is it you are doing to help raise up and send out of your “own company”?