The Question Column

The Question Column

QUESTION: How far would it be right when one is laboring in an assembly or district, and the assembly or assemblies with which he is more immediately associated are able to do little towards supplying the temporal needs of the laborer, for the fellowship of the surrounding assemblies to be sought, so that the work may go forward and prosper?

ANSWER: We cannot read the history of the early churches of God without seeing that there was a living and practical fellowship existing among them, of which we know but little today.

The work of God is not that which may be immediately under our eye only; in fact, the interest that is taken in the increasing of an assembly by those that are immediately connected with it may be little more than selfish or sectarian, the building up of our cause, in which work it is easy to lose sight of that to which the Lord is calling us. A real care for souls, whether it be in the conversion of sinners or the shepherding of saints (1 Thess. 2:19; 1 Pet. 5:4), will be manifested by an interest for such work wherever it is being carried on in connection with the assemblies of God; but there should ever be the seeking to carry it on as a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, if the rewards spoken of in the above texts are to be ours.

Nevertheless, let it be remembered that if fellowship is to be sought in the helping of laborers working in connection with an assembly, fellowship should be sought also in the first step of asking one to come and minister in that part. Were this done, how much sorrow and trial would be avoided; for on occasion the one asked has been found out too late to be a maker of division, and roots of bitterness have sprung up to the hindrance of God’s work, it may be for years, when by a goodly fellowship in the first step this might have been avoided.

(Please send all questions to Dr. James T. Naismith, 1121 Hilltop St., Peterborough, Ont. K9J 5S6.)