Our Philosophy-

An Epaphroditus Ministry

 

The great missionary, the Apostle Paul, almost always had a team surrounding him.  Many times we think of Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, or Titus. However, we often forget Epaphroditus - a team member for whom Paul has great words of praise and recommendation in Philippians 2:25 and 4:18.

Philippians 2:25

“Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, 

but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.”

Philippians 4:18

“But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you,

 an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”

 A look at Epaphroditus will explain our philosophy of ministry at Adelphos-USA. Two different possessive pronouns are used in Philippians 2:25. The first one is "MY" and indicates the ministry of Ephaphroditus toward Paul.  What are we doing for the mission outreach of Adelphos-Chile?

  •  “My Brother” – (in Greek, “adelphos”)

    • The founding documents of Adelphos-Chile spell out, “This word defines us and gives character to our missionary focus with regards to the local church and to all of Christ’s Body. Adelphos, as a brother, seeks to come alongside of local churches and missionaries as they fulfill the Great Commission - preaching the gospel, founding churches, and teaching sound doctrine.             

    • And we, just as Epaphroditus, seek to be a brother to Adelphos-Chile - encouraging, supporting, and walking alongside of...not leading or controlling.

  •  “My Companion in Labour” –  (in Greek, “sunergon”)

    • Our English word “synergy” is obvious in the Greek word. Synergy is defined as “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations or people to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” Rather than 2 separate organizations doing their own thing, becoming "companions in labour" can mean an increased harvest of souls.

    • And this is taught in the Bible as well! Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor … if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

    • The task before us calls us to form international ministry associations that are mutually beneficial in order to bear much fruit, as well as provide strength, encouragement, and protection.

  • “My Fellowsoldier” – (in Greek, “sustratiotes")

    • Scripture makes it abundantly clear, we are in a spiritual battle. No soldier goes into battle alone! Our own army teaches the importance of battle buddies.  Our own air force stresses the necessity of wing-men. This Greek word connotes the idea of one who has fought the battles and endured hardships together with another and stresses the fact that we are in a spiritual battle! Everyone needs a “battle buddy.”                   

         

The possessive pronoun "YOUR" is also found in Philippians 2:25 and this indicates that Epaphroditus was also fulfilling a vital role with the local church at Philippi in it's desire to have an active part in Paul's ministry.

  • “Your Messenger” – (in Greek “apostolos”)

    • This word, though often transliterated "Apostle" in our New Testament is rightly translated in this context as "one sent on a mission with a message or gift.” 

    • Those sent out by their local churches through through Adelphos-USA will seek to be messengers of those sending and supporting local churches, both to Adelphos missionaries and works, as well as to those who desperately need the message of the Gospel.

    • We also see from Philippians 4:18 that Epaphroditus was a messenger that bore gifts from Philippi to the Apostle Paul. Local churches here in the USA, as Philippi of old should be sending gifts from its abundant resources to trusted missionary personnel and projects around the world for the encouragement of the brethren and the furtherance of the Gospel. 

  • “Your minister to me” – (in Greek, “leitourgos”)

    • Quite often this word is translated "priest" and rightfully so, for it carries with it the idea of "one who ministers on behalf of another." Yes, even the Apostle Paul needed to be ministered unto and the church at Philippi recognized that vital part of a local church's responsibility toward it's missionaries. So they not only sent financial support, but they also sent Epaphroditus!

    • Adelphos-USA wants to minister to missionaries on behalf of local churches.  Those sent through Adelphos-USA will no doubt be an encouragement to our brethren who are ministering with Adelphos-Chile and its daughter agencies around the world. 

 

​When presented with the idea of Adelphos-USA serving an Epaphroditus ministry, several pastors commented:

“We’ve prayed for this kind of ministry for Patricio Oliva and Adelphos for years.”

Pastor Tom Zobrist, Liberty Bible Church - Eureka, IL

(Liberty has supported Patricio Oliva [President of Adelphos-Chile] for over 15 years)

“Shawn is uniquely qualified and experienced to fulfill this kind of ministry. He is prepared for such a time as this.”

Pastor Tim Collard, Faith Baptist Church - Pekin, IL 

(Faith is Shawn’s sending church and serves as the base of operations for Adelphos-USA)

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1206 Coolidge Ave., Pekin IL United States 61554

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