In Acts 3 the apostle Peter said to the lame beggar: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
At times, the Church today in developing countries can be like that beggar. They sometimes expect apostles from prosperous countries to bring them silver or gold. When the great evangelist comes to their area, pastors may expect free meals, free transportation for their people to the Crusade, and even a monetary love gift for attending the Seminar. All the expenses of the meetings are usually borne by the visiting evangelist or by organizations or individuals in the West. During the ensuing Crusade, great miracles take place and many precious souls accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When the apostle or evangelist leaves the area, the miracles cease and the great majority of the new converts never join a local church to be discipled as followers of Christ.
But Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have.” He did not come bearing material incentives. Instead, He healed the lame beggar with the authority given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the same way, we do not bring silver or gold. Instead we equip the body of Christ in developing countries which is currently lame and stricken with the spirit of poverty. We equip the pastors and believers to heal the sick and cast out demons as Jesus and his disciples did to prove to the lost that He is the only way to the Father. We teach them how to heal the sick with the authority that Christ has given to each believer. We do not bring them fish, but we teach them how to fish.
Some will prefer simply to be given the fish. They will eat and enjoy and go home. Who can blame them? Missionaries from the West have taught them in that way. But others will desire to be equipped do the works that Jesus taught his disciples to do. These will prefer to be trained how to fish.
Only when the whole body of Christ is equipped by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for works of service will the Great Commission be fulfilled. When the churches in developing countries are equipped in this way, they will be able to heal the sick, they will be able to have powerful evangelistic healing meetings, they will be able to pay for all the expenses without needing help from the outside. They will be able to fulfill the Great Commission in the country the Lord has entrusted to them. It is time for the Church in developing countries to be weaned. This is God’s perfect will for them in these last days.
Ephesians 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
May we servants of God teach His people how to fish in order that they may become mature. May we stop simply giving them fish—this keeps them dependent like children.