Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 23, 1961


Judson Woodbridge, Mulvane, Kansas

The New Testament presents a number of examples of brethren cooperating in the Lord's work. After the Jerusalem church started the record says, "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people." (Acts 2:44-47) Here is cooperation within the congregation. These brethren were united and working together in a common cause.

The last verses of the eleventh chapter of Acts (11: 29, 30) presents more cooperation: "And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren that dwelt in Judea: which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul." Members of the church in Antioch are cooperating in the relief of needy brethren in Judea.

Then more cooperation is seen in the coming of Paul (with other men) to Jerusalem as he brought alms to the brethren. (Acts 24:17) This contribution was given by congregations and carried by men (messengers) to Jerusalem to care for needy saints. (Rom. 15:25-28; 1 Cor. 16. 1-4; 2 Cor. 8 & 9) Here are congregations working together in a common cause, without human organizations and without sponsoring churches. This same type of cooperation was engaged in, when congregations sent to Paul as he was preaching in Corinth (2 Cor. 11:8) and Thessalonica. (Phil. 4:16) There were no benevolent societies and no missionary societies in the apostolic days. God's missionary and benevolent society (the church) was sufficient.

Still more cooperation is seen when men travailed together and preached the gospel in fields where the truth of God was unknown. This is the way many churches were established. In most of the tours Paul made he had co-laborers.

Then there is cooperation when every member (matters not where) works for and upholds the "common salvation" — "the faith, which was once for all delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3)

In the spirit of these New Testament efforts of labor, in July, six preachers (Wm. E. Wallace, Reavis Petty, Tom Roberts, J. O. Walter, Thetus Prichard, and Judson Woodbridge) went to Morehead City, N. C. to preach the gospel. This was done from house to house, over the radio, distribution of literature, daily Bible class, and daily preaching. A congregation was established. The first Sunday that this congregation met in their own rented building 36 were present. All of these preachers worked together in every phase of the work, and each was supported by their "home" congregation. There was no human organization and no sponsoring church. Now since this work has started more cooperation will be needed. The members of this new church must cooperate, and churches will need to send directly to the preacher who goes there to labor. In other words, there will be a need of "taking wages of them" that he "might minister unto" the people in Morehead City, N. C.

Sometime the accusation is made by those who do their benevolent and evangelistic work through human organizations and sponsoring churches, that those who oppose such never do anything. "Tain't so." Many such efforts, as the one in Morehead City, are made and congregations established.

The Lord's plan will work, if we will work it, and His plan needs no man-made machinery to help.