“Propempo” – it’s all Greek to me! (Part 1)

Updated: May 11, 2020

“Propempo” = Greek = προπεμπω

Romans 15:20-24

The name of our mission is Propempo, which comes from the Greek word, προπέμπω. It means, “to send forth”; “to send forth with practical material help”, “to fit someone for their journey, sending them off”; “to send fully equipped”; “to assist and help one on their way”. It is made up of two words, “pro” = “forward”, “before”, “in advance of”; and “pempo”, which means “to send”.

The New Testament word “Propempo” [to send forward] encompasses the nurture, resourcing, and sending of servants to advance the Gospel. See usage in: Acts 15:3; 20:38; 21:5; Romans 15:24; 1 Corinthians 16:6, 11; 2 Corinthians 1:16; Titus 3:13; 3 John 1:6

The simple word for send, “pempo”, along with another word for send, “apostello” is used in John 20:21; “As the Father has sent (apostello) Me, so I am sending you.” You can see the first word for “send” is the verb form of the word, “apostle”, “a sent one”.

One of the most strategic passages that this word “Propempo” is used in is by the apostle Paul in Romans 15:24 in the context of sharing his vision and plans to go to Spain, a frontier mission field in those days. The pioneering spirit he has is like the old 1960s Star Trek TV show intro, “to boldly go where no man has gone before!”

“I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.”

So, he is talking about taking the gospel where it has not gone before. The great apostle says he needs help from a local church. The local church is to be a sending church. Paul and his apostolic team were sent out from a local church in Antioch. (Acts 13:1-4) They first submitted to leadership and taught in the local church and were accountable and involved in the local church. How about you? Are you committed to your local church? Christ loved the church and died for her. (Ephesians 5:25) The local church is dear to God, and local churches are His instruments of being salt and light in the world. (Revelation chapters 2-3) The Apostle Paul is asking the local church in Rome to help him on his way to Spain, the frontiers. That has been our vision and desire for many years. We have spent the last 16 years ministering among a people group who did not have much gospel light for centuries.

Paul calls this vision and desire, to go to Spain, where Christ is not named, an “ambition” in Romans 15, verse 20. He says, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” And in Verse 21, Paul backs up his godly ambition with an Old Testament quote, from Isaiah 52:15, “Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

What is your ambition in Life? What is your churches’ ambition? Does your church even have an ambition? An ambition to reach an unreached people group?