Partnerships in Missions
Types of Partnerships…
- Congregational Partnership: Districts and churches partnering with a town or local church or country on the mission field to plant a church or grow and support ministry there.
- Field Partnership: people who are interested in a specific part of the world and get together with others and do missions
- Interest-based Partnerships: people using hobbies and gifts to reach people for Christ. For example, technical people helping to educate and bring schools and churches up to date. Training for pastors and leaders via technology.)
Five Aspects of Healthy Partnerships
- Common agreed-upon agenda
We focus on having an equal partnership with local leaders. This helps to avoid dependency and paternalism (our culture imposed on others). We aim to avoid prioritizing a Western view of Theology.
- Work on things together with locals
This can be slower but… Global church from Paul’s passage on the body 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. The purpose of maturity is NOT independence but interdependence. What does the Western/Korean/etc. church NEED from the majority world church? Missions is not US to THEM, it is reciprocal, teams go both ways! We cannot give without receiving. We NEED each other!
- Work toward clear quality communication between all partners
We look for cultural brokers, someone who knows both sides. (For an American partnership, the cultural broker must be an American who lives in and understands the host culture. A local who speaks English and has visited America is not able to be a true cultural broker. The best cultural broker is almost always a local missionary. This was tested in Africa and we have seen the same thing in SE Asia.)
- Focus on God’s mission
Regardless of the activity, our mission is to build the Church.
- Work with a backbone organization for coordination and support
It keeps our efforts going in the same direction as the missionary works that are already in place.