3 John 1:8 – We therefore ought to receive such [travelling ministers], that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
Hidden away in the tiny book of 3 John is this excellent insight. John is speaking about blessing and looking after those who are missionaries – who either come to us, or pass by us on their way to their mission field.
John exhorts the ones who read this letter to be those who receive (and bless) such ministers. In this way, they become fellow workers for the truth. Those who received the apostles message, and provided for them while they stayed were referred to as ‘fellow workers’. Examples are Romans 16:3, Philippians 4:3, Colossians 4:11, Philemon 1:24.
We need to get to the place in the church where we can honour all giftings and ministries and recognise that it’s the WHOLE body working together that will bring success. In the Old Testament, when an army went out to battle, the reward of those who guarded the camp was the same as the reward for those who went out to fight.
Today in the church, there are a number of gifts that are viewed in the church as being ‘spiritual’, and others that are often viewed as ‘less spiritual’. But John makes it clear here that those who are ready to open their homes to bless and receive travelling ministers, are ‘fellow workers’ with them in their mission.
We can help many people hear the good news of the gospel simply by looking after and supporting those who minister and preach. Of course it doesn’t excuse us from being active ourselves – but let’s see that even these small acts of service have significant payoff for the entire body!