Dear brother Samuel,
It seems we say the same thing in different point of view. You emphasize the ‘workers’ point of view and I emphasize the ‘elders’ point of view!
Yes we need to see both in its balance.
The ‘worker’ with all his zeal and burden should abide by the decisions of the elders, and elders should be willing to commend him at the appropriate time.
There are instances where the ‘worker’ or his sympathizers force the elders to give a commendation. But till the local assembly is fully satisfied about the workers call and commitment godly men will abide by the judgment of the oversight.
To whom does the assembly commend? Primarily, he is commended to the Lord in whom he believed. Act.14:23. Then that matter is made known to other assemblies for prayer and co-operation.
It is not for financial purposes, though the donors or funds often insist for a commendation. That is their policy—they want the assembly approval before they support a ‘worker’. We can not blame them for that. Commendation gives some credibility to the worker.
Yes, true, as you said, many misuse commendation for their own personal gain. There are even some others who misuse their entry in a fund’s list!!
But that does not invalidate the relevance of a commendation letter.
If no assembly near by or even in that state where the worker serves?
I think that’s a situation only very rarely we find. In the normal circumstances no worker works in isolation. Apart from the home assembly there would be few others who know him, let them know the assembly decision about him.
Regarding the less known evangelists, it is true there are many. I too recently met few less known Lord’s Servants in Andhra Pradesh. It is good to support them particularly. Few brethren in the gulf, burdened about such evangelists have started a ‘missionary partnership programme’. Their web site will give details.
Continued in the next post.......