Are You a Supporter?

three hands together
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/291488094/">Nic McPhee</a>

3 John 1-8

A letter from “The Old One” to Guy. Love you, man!

Dear friend, I hope it’s all good with you, that you’re in good health and in good spirit. I was so glad when some of our friends arrived here and told us about how committed you are to what’s true, and how you walk the talk. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my “kids” are doing right.

Dear friend, you are committed to doing whatever needs done for members of our community, even when to you they are still strangers to you personally. They’ve told us, the whole gathering of us, how loving you’ve been. You send them off in style, as God would have it. They began their trip for the cause of Jesus, without any heathen support. It’s up to us to support them, so they can work for truth.

Grant writers will tell you that one of the essential things funders look for in grant applications is whether there is significant support for the program within the community that is making the application. It’s an indication of the level of commitment among those who will be involved. And the commitment of those involved is generally a prerequisite for success.

More than half of this short “Third Letter of John” (the heading says only “from the Elder”) is about commitment. It’s about living what you believe, and it’s about supporting the community that is engaged in work you believe in. Often translated “fellowship,” it’s more than just a handshake after church. It’s engagement in a cooperative venture that’s doing right and running true.

It doesn’t really make any difference if your venture is a church, a grass-roots community initiative, a service organization, or a business. The same two questions apply:

  1. Is it doing right?
  2. Are you fully committed?

If you can really, honestly, truly, in your heart of hearts answer both of those in the affirmative, everything else is icing on the cake.

[Bonus: You might legitimately ask these same two questions of any person or organization that’s asking for your support (your donation, your time, your membership). It works both ways.]