Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth. – 3 John 1:8
It seems that there was very little organization within the first-century church. There were no structures to maintain, no payroll to manage, only people to reach and for whom to provide care. Itinerant preachers and teachers of the gospel often moved from city to city, placing a burden upon local churches to determine their authenticity and meet their needs.
The Apostle Paul indicated that an authentic letter of recommendation might be needed and that if such “papers” seemed in order then the man’s needs should be met. The Apostle John went even further, not only speaking of our responsibility to meet the needs of these ministers, but also proclaiming a higher purpose for our gifts. He said that when we give to these servants, we further their work and become “co-workers with the truth.”
Many things have changed in how we do “church,” but there will always be those who have made God’s work their vocation. Should such a person come to your church, do not forget to join him or her in the spread of the gospel. God will bless the church that blesses His servant.
Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths, He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well. – Alexander MacLaren