I’ve learned a new concept in the past few years. In regards to foreign missions, there are 2 types of Christians. Goers and Senders. The Goers are the Christians who are sent to the foreign field to do the work of the ministry whether it’s church planting, Bible teaching, school teaching, medical missions, aviation, evangelism, leader training, or a combination of the above. The main idea is that the Goers are the ones that GO! The Senders are the Christians who stay behind and act as the support system for the Goers. They pray, give, support, love, care, communicate, advise, mentor, and refresh the Goers. Their part in foreign missions is invaluable. If there were no Senders, there could be no Goers. I believe William Carey referred to them as “Rope Holders.” They hold the ropes for the ones who go down into the pit.
Both Goers and Senders are equally valuable in the work of God. For the gospel to reach the world, both must do their part. Many times though, I’m afraid, the Goers get all the credit. But I believe this is a mistake. Yes, the Goers must make some huge sacrifices at times. But for the Senders to properly care for the Goers, they too will have to commit to make their own sacrifices. And when we are all in love with Jesus and doing it for His Names’ Sake, then the sacrifices that each Goer and Sender makes is well worth it.
Yet there still remains that question that tends to niggle in the back of our minds. Who gets the most reward? Obviously what we do is for God’s eternal glory. And we look forward to casting all of our crowns at His feet someday in heaven. But we all want fruit added to our account, right? And we want to hear God say “well done” to us. As I said, sometimes it seems like the Goers get all the praise and recognition for the effort they make in reaching the lost. But I would like to refer you to a Bible story that may apply here.
In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men returned to their home in Ziklag to find it burnt to the ground and all their wives and children kidnapped. So they set out to go find them. But because they had just returned from war, many of the men were too tired to join them. So David allowed those men to stay behind and watch over all their belongings. The men that had enough strength went with David. Miraculously, they were able to recover all the women and children and even all their livestock.
When David and his men returned to where they had left their belongings, there was an argument between the men. The group of men that had gone with David to recover what was lost thought that the men who had stayed behind should not receive their part of the reward. But David’s answer is interesting here in this verse.
1 Samuel 30:24, “For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.”
Do you see how this could apply to Goers and Senders? We share the reward! The Goers and Senders who are faithfully serving Jesus and living out His will and obeying His voice will both get rewarded. When we get to heaven, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I imagine that it’s NOT going to just be the Goers that get all the crowns. I know some pretty crazy hard working Senders that may get overlooked in this world, but are laying up heaps of treasure in heaven. I also know some other Senders who have been so influential in my life that I wouldn’t be a Goer today if it weren’t for them. No one may ever know who they are, but God does!