gos · pel pa · trons. Noun. 1. People who resource and come alongside others to help them proclaim the gospel.
I just finished a great book recommended by a business owner friend. The book is Gospel Patrons by John Rinehart. Written in 2013, Rinehart tells three stories…the stories of William Tyndale, George Whitefield and John Newton. All three of these men have impacted our world and our Christian heritage today even though they lived in the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. But the book is not really about these three men. It is about three business people whose names you would never know or hear about unless someone did the research. These are the people who came alongside the named and storied heroes and made it possible for the heroism to occur. These patrons paid the way. Because of them, we have the Bible written in our language. Because of them, the Great Awakening happened in our country. Because of them, England experienced the abolition movement, and we all have the song, Amazing Grace.
The first example that the world has of gospel patronage is found in Luke 8:1-3. “After this, Jesus traveled from one city and village to another. He spread the Good News about God’s kingdom. The twelve apostles were with him. Also, some women were with him. They had been cured from evil spirits and various illnesses. These women were Mary, also called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; Joanna, whose husband Chusa was Herod’s administrator; Susanna; and many other women. They provided financial support for Jesus and his disciples.”
This is astounding! Women of business acumen paid for Jesus and the disciples to do what they did! One such women was Joanna, the wife of the CFO for the most evil Herod Antipas. Herod was trying to kill the gospel, but he actually ended up paying for that same gospel to be spread across the world by a very astute businesswoman.
Rinehart asks these questions, “How would our world be different if we lived like the real business of life was to love God and help as many people as possible learn to love Him too? What if we recaptured a sense of urgency to live for eternity?”
My point exactly. Better business…better ministry.