October 18, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Blessing of Being Sent

A young man sold his business, and on his own initiative moved his family to another country to work with missionaries. He supported himself with his own resources for a while, but eventually the money began to run short. He later returned to his home country and made application for missions appointment to the country of his burden. In telling of his experience he remarked, “I found out you can go without being sent, you just cannot stay very long.”

The idea of being sent for a special purpose or mission is a biblical concept. Consider the following examples:

—God sent His Son into the world to bring salvation (John 3:17). 

—Jesus sent His apostles into the world to carry on His work (John 20:21). 

—The church at Antioch, at the prompting of the Holy Ghost, sent Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel in other areas (Acts 13:1-4).

—The Apostle Paul wrote, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a).

The process of a missionary being sent to take the gospel to other lands involves not only a sending Lord, but also a sending church. While a missionary needs to feel a sense of divine calling and mission, there is also a great blessing in being sent by a body of believers who are joined together for a common purpose.

First of all, the missionary receives support from the sending church. This support includes the following:

  • Moral support. It is important for a missionary to feel the confidence of the sending body in his call and ministry. During the application process a United Pentecostal Church missionary must receive the approval of his district board, the Global Missions Board, and the General Board. The approval of these boards represents the approval of the fellowship as a whole. It is a great blessing for the missionary to feel that the church body recognizes and affirms his call to missionary service.
  • Prayer support. When the sending church has approved a missionary for service, he has the added benefit of prayer support from the home constituency. This is crucial in the success of the missionary’s endeavors. The powers of darkness will hinder, health problems may arise, and opposition may come from various human sources. It is a blessing for the missionary to realize that the home church is standing with him in prayer through any and all difficulties.
  • Financial support. Another blessing of being sent is the availability of financial resources to help the missionary in his work. Many individuals and congregations  contribute financially, allowing the missionary to accomplish much more in a shorter period of time.

Secondly, the missionary is accountable to the sending church. Everyone needs to be accountable to someone, and that includes the missionary. Many times he is isolated in his field of labor, and it could be easy to develop a lone ranger mentality. A United Pentecostal Church missionary has the security of the Global Missions board overseeing his work, and he is accountable to the sending church in the following areas:

  • Financial accountability. The missionary is required to maintain accurate financial records, and to provide the Global Missions Division with monthly reports. This procedure helps to insure proper stewardship of church funds.
  • Doctrinal accountability. As a representative of the United Pentecostal Church, the missionary is expected to remain firm in his commitment to biblical truth, as outlined in the Articles of Faith.
  • Moral accountability. The missionary is expected to maintain moral purity. He needs to be a worthy ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ and the United Pentecostal Church.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary. It is a privilege to be called by God, and to be sent by the United Pentecostal Church. I am grateful for the support we receive from the church, and I appreciate the security of accountability to the church. Truly, there is a blessing in being sent.