“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil 1:3-5
The “Gospel Partnership” begins the moment you place your faith in Jesus Christ and taste of His forgiveness and life. But the partnership is neither a label to be worn nor a responsibility to be delegated. Your “partnership in the gospel” is to be lived out daily.
Connecting with Jesus Christ immediately and automatically empowers you to practice the partnership. Though you may still have many unanswered questions about your new life in Christ, you still know enough to pass the Good News along to someone else. The fact that you have personally experienced the life changing power of the Gospel adds credibility to your message.
When the Apostle Paul first went to Philippi, he met a handful of God-fearing people. (Acts 16) He introduced them to Jesus Christ and they were radically changed when they placed their faith in Him. After a few weeks, Paul left them to continue on his missionary journey. The church thrived after he left. How could that be? Paul left behind only a handful of new, untrained and immature believers. The biblical record shows us that they obviously had what they needed to get the word out. As new followers of Christ, they were compelled to share the Good News and were committed to the “partnership in the gospel.”
The Gospel partnership is another way of referring to people who are “fishing for men.” Jesus said if you follow Him, He would make you a “fisher of men,” not a theological genius with all the answers. Don’t convince yourself that you can’t fish until you’ve been certified by some “theological fishing course.” Training for “fishers of men” should be on your agenda because it will help you improve your communication skills and to better articulate the Gospel. But, the lack of this training is never to be an excuse for postponing your fishing trips.
Right now, you have people in your life that need Christ. Talk to them. Listen to them. Be a good friend to them. Share Christ with them. And when the opportunity presents itself, participate in some evangelism training. “Fishing courses” will make much more sense to you after you’ve done some fishing.