Our home church recently started a “Yokefellow Ministry”. The purpose of the ministry is to partner church members the missionaries who are sent out of the church to more fully meet the needs of the missionaries and to be active fellow workers with them in the truth.
WHAT IS A YOKEFELLOW?
The name “yokefellow” comes from the reference in Philippians 4:3 and speaks of someone who is in the work with you, a person who is pulling the same load you are. Epaphroditus, Silas, Timothy and Barnabas were all yokefellows of Paul. They were fellow laborers.
Barnabas illustrates a true yokefellow as described in Acts 9:27; 11:22-26. His name literally means “Son of Consolation” It was Barnabas who was Paul’s advocate before the church after Paul’s conversion. He was a partner in ministry. He was also John Mark’s advocate when Paul wanted to leave him behind. (Acts 15:37-39) Barnabas was the kind of partner in ministry that everyone would want on their team.
A Yokefellow Team is a small group (six-twelve) of committed people who come together to care for their missionary in a variety of ways, striving to help meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It is a group of people with whom the missionary can be open and honest, allowing them to see his needs, and share his successes and defeats.
WHY HAVE A YOKEFELLOW TEAM?
Because Yokefellow Teams help to make our missionaries feel cared for and understood, and by providing them with a committed group of people who will be in prayer for them regularly, showing them practical love, helping to keep them visible before the rest of the Vision family and strengthened on the mission field.
WHAT DOES A YOKEFELLOW TEAM DO?
In a nutshell, a Yokefellow Team works together to care for their missionary, striving to meet their spiritual, physical and emotional needs. To a large extent this will happen only to the degree that the missionary is willing and able to make his needs known to the team.
The specific ways in which a Yokefellow Team goes about meeting their missionaries’ needs will vary depending on the specific personality and needs of the missionary, as well as the personality of the support team. Ask your missionary how you can best assist him; learn from the example of other teams; be creative; pray about it. This doesn’t mean that the Yokefellow Team does everything but they do take personal responsibility to serve as that missionary’s advocate at Vision.
[button link=”http://visionbaptist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/YokeFellowIpadEdition.pdf” style=”download”]Download the Yokefellow Ministry PDF[/button]