and when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to cos, and the next day to rhodes, and from there to patara. and having found a ship crossing to phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. when we had come in sight of cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to syria and landed at tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. and having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. [acts 21:1-4a]


the story of doing ministry oftentimes is a story of parting with those that we love–a healthy church is a sending church:


go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [mathew 28:19-20]


there is no “goer” without a “sender” which means we will often say goodbye to those we love in the ministry.  paul is here and he is traveling from place to place, and ultimately staying with the believers in tyre. 


john piper says that “missions exists because worship doesn’t”–worship is the fuel for missions, worship is eternal, we will be worshiping Jesus forever in heaven–


then i looked, and i heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,


“worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

and honor and glory and blessing!”


and i heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,


“Tto him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  [revelation 5:11-13]


but missions is temporary.  there will be a day when the “fullness of the gentiles” have come in, when Jesus’ flock is fully and finally welcomed in, and the mission will be over, and Jesus will return.  there are many in the body today–maybe even you–that will be called to go to the nations, and we are to joyfully, but with tears, part from them knowing that we will see them again in glory, where we will worship Him together forever and ever. in his presence, pray for those who have been sent, those he will send, and where the Lord is sending you–maybe like paul, he is calling you to forsake your current comforts and in obedience, go to peoples yet unreached. we long for the day when the mission is fulfilled–”o Jesus, come!’