The church in Philippi greatly supported the Apostle Paul in many of his missionary endeavors. The Philippian church was committed to praying for Paul; they hosted Paul on his mission trips and financially gave to Paul’s ministry and other churches in need. They distributed Paul’s letters to other local churches and they continued the work of the gospel in the city of Philippi. Paul, because of this, begins his letter to the Philippians with, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Php 1:3–5, ESV). Notice why he is joyfully grateful: they have partnered with him in gospel ministry from the start of their relationship.
The word "partnership" is more familiar to you than you might first expect; the Greek is κοινωνία (koinōnia) and it means "fellowship," "sharing," or "participation." We see the same word in Acts 2:42 as one of the things the disciples devoted themselves to ("the fellowship") and we see it later in the same passage when Luke describes the inner life of the church: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-45, ESV). Paul is thanking the Philippian church for sharing and participating in as if it were their own the mission of the gospel.
Gospel partnership is when two or more individuals commit together despite adversity, sacrificing their time, talents, and treasures to accomplish God's Kingdom goals.
We all have a partnership in the gospel; it is not only our purpose as the Church but it is also the most beautiful thing we can devote all our resources to.
As Paul did for the Philippian church, I thank God for you and your partnership in the gospel. A few weeks ago we were given the opportunity to partner with an indigenous missionary we support in Cambodia (Lorn Kim via Gospelink) by raising funds for a motorbike for his ministry. He travels from village to village on foot to preach the gospel to unreached peoples; a clear way to advance the gospel further and faster was to provide a mode of transportation. When the call went out for you to partner together with our VBS kids to raise funds for the motorbike, you answered with overwhelming generosity! After the last few weeks of offerings, to no surprise of mine...
God has provided the FULL $1,600 for a motorbike through YOU!!!
While the thought briefly crossed my mind that some of you may have wanted to see me taped to a pole upside down and sopping wet from water balloons (the reward for the kids raising the full $1,600), I'm confident your motives were kingdom-minded. :) Therefore, thank you for your partnership in the gospel, for sharing in common the mission of making disciples of all nations! May God bless you generously and continue to leverage our fellowship here at WFMC for His kingdom and glory. Blessings!