The Special Gift of Participation Consummation
When a person receives a calling and confirmation from God to serve as a missionary, they immediately come face to face with the reality that they now need to raise personal financial support in order for their calling to be fulfilled.
And for the vast majority of them, this realization provokes fear and anxiety, rather than the joy and excitement that God designed this step of faith to create within them.
But the fact is, God does call some of His people to step out of the biblically-based atmosphere of working to provide for themselves, and in to the equally biblically-based sub-atmosphere of financial dependence upon others in order to accomplish the unique work He has given them to do.
When the missionary-to-be actually takes this step of faith and informs and invites those they already have relationship with to pray for them and to consider partnering with them financially, most of the people they contact will begin praying for them, and some of them will begin giving financially.
For those that begin to financially support a person called to be a missionary that they already had some level of relationship with, their financial participation in the life and ministry of that missionary provides an out of the ordinary relational opportunity
Prior to that financial participation taking place, the relationship between them was composed of a number of "tethers" of connection. Shared or common experiences, interests, knowledge/information, goals, and so forth were some of the "tethers" that kept them connected.
And as in all relationships, the more "tethers" of connection that exist between two people, the deeper, the more meaningful, and the more satisfying the relationship will be for both of them.
For followers of Jesus though, when sacrificial financial participation in God's global purposes, and a humble and thankful reception of that investment are added to an existing relationship, this unique "tether" of connection completes or consummates the relationship between them. In many ways, this special "tether" of connection produces a mutually satisfying condition that I refer to as Participation Consummation.
Participation Consummation is my description of what the giver and receiver experience because they have both demonstrated by their actions that they are "all in" as participants in the Great Commission He gave to all of His followers.
When those called to be missionaries come to understand that this distinctive level of relationship between them, their financial supporters, and the Missionary God they know, love, and serve, is possible as they move forward in faith, the transition from fear and anxiety into joy and excitement will be much easier.
Jeff Jackson is the founder of Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators, previously served with his family church planting in the central Philippines. He has planted churches in the United States and continues to serve as a church planting coach for missionaries. Shepherd's Staff serves churches who send their own. We do that through facilitative coaching for local churches and their missionaries, and providing administrative services for local churches to send missionaries with excellence.