The ministry done by Austin Stone goers simply would not be possible without the generosity of Austin Stone senders. For the Nations exists as a “kingdom-minded, externally-focused, and global team who collaborate intentionally with others,” which includes financial partners.
Below is a Q&A with one of the ministry’s most faithful and generous supporters throughout the history of For the Nations. We pray it serves as an encouragement of the importance of kingdom-minded and global-focused partnership here and overseas.
Why is it a conviction of yours to partner with goers and ministry among the unreached? Can you describe how this conviction developed and has grown for you and your family?
Since becoming aware of the need of the gospel within the 10/40 window and the unreached people groups, we knew that our calling as believers was to somehow participate in these unreached groups having access to the gospel. The root of that calling has been founded in Matthew 24:14. We long for the day when all nations will have had the gospel preached to them, giving them the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel as truth, and ultimately leading to Christ’s return. We know that the goers we have supported have sacrificed much to leave the comfort of their families and homeland so that others around the world could hear/read the gospel through their ministries. It’s been a passion of ours to support goers on the Church’s journey to reach the unreached, and we love hearing the stories from goers as it further stokes that passion and causes us to desire supporting more goers in other locations.
What fruit have you seen God bear through your generosity in terms of your relationships with goers or ways God has used your generosity to further ministry efforts overseas?
We have heard and read some amazing stories through the goers we’ve been able to support—generations of church plants, radical personal transformations in the lives of new believers, shifts in strategy in response to changes in cultures and technology. We’ve also been able to support goers through prayer, encouragement, and watching their families grow! We’ve also personally benefited as we get to know goers who often reach out to us asking how they can pray for us and encourage us as they check in with our family. Additionally, we’ve benefited in how we share our faith locally as we have learned to use tools proven effective by goers in other cultures. Another fruit that's been evident to us is that supporting goers among the unreached has highly focused our priority and intentionality with how we steward our money (there are a lot of ways to give, and the Lord has given us clarity to make this a vital avenue); when listening to or reviewing giving opportunities, it has given us freedom to say “no”, and confidence to say “yes”.
What has God done in your own heart and life as you’ve been obedient to give as He leads?
God continues to teach and remind us that we are merely stewards, not owners, of the resources He provides us. From that foundation, we then pray for wisdom in how best to steward His resources, and He has led us down a path to cheerfully give towards efforts that help unreached peoples access the gospel and access nearby church plants. Further, every week we set aside time to pray for our goers and for at least one unreached people group around the world. This has helped shape our global perspective—it’s enabled us to get beyond just thinking about people and culture within the United States, so that we can begin to feel for and sympathize with the hurting world arounds us. It has also helped open our eyes and ears for new migrants within the United States that can often feel lonely and rejected.
What encouragement would you give to a believer who desires to give generously but is wrestling with fear, doubt, or the good desire for security?
Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. When we look to God for provision, He replaces our fear and insecurity with peace (Philippians 4:6) and promises to care for us—namely, our hearts and souls.
Why is it important for goers and stateside believers alike to have a vision of being a kingdom-minded, externally-focused, and global team that collaborates intentionally with others?
As believers, we all are called to unity within the church. Jesus prayed in John 17:21-23 that we would be in Him, and that we (the church) would be one as He and the Father are one. We all long for the day when our bodies will be redeemed (Romans 8:23), and we desire to invite as many into the kingdom as possible so that they too may experience the redemption of their bodies, and everlasting joy that can only be found in God through Christ.