One of the speakers for the conference was Randy Stirewalt who has been a missionary in Kenya, Africa for over 30 years. Bro. Stirewalt challenged the young missionaries to go to the field and train men to plant churches. While the missionary can, and should, plant a church, more work can be done if the missionary will train others to plant churches while he is in the process of planting one himself. This multiplies the missionary’s efforts many times over.
Bro. Stirewalt challenged us from these verses in 1 Samuel:
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
—1 Samuel 18:1-4
Jonathan knew that the next king in Israel was to be David. Even though Jonathan’s dad was king, God had already told Saul in 1 Samuel 13 that his children would not be king after him because of his foolish acts. In chapter 15 God rejected the fact that Saul was even king. The next chapter Samuel anointed David king, even though he would not take the throne for many years.
In these verses Jonathan recognizes the kingship of David. He gave David his own royal robes. He even gave David his sword, bow and girdle. Not only did David get the royal robes, but he was equipped with everything he would need to be king.
Bro. Stirwalt’s challenge was this:
Beloved, we are king makers, not kings. Our job is to take off our robe and give it to another.
Give them the Word of God. Teach them principles of leadership. Help them to stand and represent Jesus with their life. But we must step aside and lower ourselves like Jonathan did to David, stand beside them and say, “You are the king.”
Obviously, as children of God we are all kings. God promised that to us in the first few chapters of the book of Revelation (1:5, 6; 5:10). The point Bro. Stirewalt was making is that we don’t go to the field as missionaries to be the king over our own domain. We go to equip others to be kings. Like Jonathan, we have the royal robes that we can pass on to other men with everything they need to do God’s work–the Word of God. We don’t go to be the king, we go to train others to be kings.
“Beloved, we are king makers. Not kings.”