The Apostle Paul wrote this to the church in Philippi:
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.Philippians 1:3–5, ESV
Paul had established the church in Philippi during his second missionary journey. The Philippian church was actually the first church in Europe. It was planted around AD 50 or 51.
Though Paul is (rightly) credited with planting the church in Philippi, it is worth noting that he did not do this alone. Silas joined Paul on that second missionary journey, and they were soon met by Timothy, as well. Luke also joined the group by the time that they made it to Philippi.
It was in this general area that they met Lydia, who was among a group of gentile women who gathered outside Philippi on each Sabbath to pray to the God of the Jews. Lydia was led to faith in Christ through the preaching of Paul, and was baptized (along with the rest of her household), thus starting the first church in Europe.
Lydia then opened her home to Paul and the other missionaries, allowing them to stay and preach and minister without having to work other jobs to support themselves.
When I think of Paul’s words from Philippians 1:3-5, especially this idea of “partnership in the gospel”, I think two things:
First, I think of the amazing people who have partnered with us in the gospel in the same way that Lydia partnered with Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke.
The Jeff Polen Music ministry exists to point people to Jesus Christ, who is the source of all truth, love, life, and good… and in the process not to miss Him for ourselves. I able to focus my time as a full-time Musicianary because of the faithful ministry partners who believe in this ministry, have been blessed by this ministry, and continue to financially and prayerfully support this ministry!
I thank my God in all my remembrance of our amazing JPM Ministry Supporters! I am full of joy because of their partnership in the gospel!
Second, I think of the amazing people that I have had the privilege of linking arms with on the mission field. Paul had Silas, Timothy, Luke, and many others. I am also incredibly blessed to have amazing ministry partners on the mission field.
I think of people like Greg Stier, Doug Holliday, Zane Black, Dean Plumlee, Mr. Bill, Scott Tinman, Nathan Smith, Chris Selby, Luke Long, Nate Gillen, Jon Burdette, Paul Mullet, Rocky Favia, Keith Byler, Mark Rowe, Eli Beachy, John Irias, Nate Brown, Ron Detweiler, and on and on and on I could go, naming people that I have had the privilege and pleasure of partnering in the gospel with throughout the years. There are so many more names and faces that come to mind—more than I can name here. And I thank God for each of them.
There is one more name I am especially thankful for today. Scott Price. Scott has been a faithful minister of the gospel for decades. We only met in the past few years, though we had heard about one another on many occasions. When we finally had a chance to sit down over coffee and get to know one another, we realized that we were going to be great friends.
United in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Scott and I have had many opportunities to do ministry together in the past couple of years, and I believe that there will be many, many more to come.
Recently Scott asked me to come to his church and speak to his youth group. I was more than happy to do it. This is a photo that I took of Scott that night, as he shared his heart with the students that God has put in his care.
A few weeks after that night I asked Scott if he would want to join me on a trip to Kenya. He didn’t even hesitate. “YES!”
Sure enough… that is where we are right now. For the next couple of weeks we will be together, partnering in the gospel, speaking to youth groups, serving with our hands, and training ministry leaders in Kenya.
Please partner in the gospel with us by praying for us while we’re gone. I sure would be thankful to God if you did!