- Field-Based Partnerships
INTRODUCTIONFrom The Power of Partnership: Working Together to Reach the Unreached, 1998, Interdev.
Partnership — There is no other option.
If we are trying to effectively witness for Christ, which makes more sense – God's people working together to share Christ's love, or God's people going their separate ways, each doing their own thing? The Scripture, international business experience, a growing trend worldwide toward collaboration, and ordinary common sense all point in the same direction: partnership.
Whether in a Western city or in a remote Islamic community where there is no church at all, there are powerful benefits as God's people work together in partnership to share Christ and serve in His name.
Fifteen years ago, there were virtually no registered strategic alliances between North American and Asian businesses. Today, there are over 300 registered alliances and new ones are constantly being born.
Once-sworn competitors are rapidly becoming collaborators. Cost and risks are too great and the challenge of entering new regions is too complex to go it alone.
In the world of evangelism and missions, two factors powerfully influence how we work. First, with the radical changes in the world's socio-political structures in the last decade, the open doors of opportunity to share Christ with unreached people are unprecedented. We now have access to nearly a billion people with whom 10 years ago we couldn't even share a cup of coffee.
Second, in dozens of countries around the world, the number of missionaries and availability of other Kingdom resources are exploding. As we begin the 21st Century, more missionaries and church planters will come from the Third World than from the West.
For nearly 200 years, the church in the West has prayed and invested in missions to see the birth of the church in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Now, that Third World church is taking its place alongside the Western church so that, together, they can reach the final segment of the world — the nearly two billion who have never heard of Jesus' love.
Working in partnership has been talked of for a long time, but today we have no other option!
Partnership is an idea whose time has come in the world of missions.
Leading mission organizations and churches no longer explore whether to partner, but want to know how to partner more effectively.
Churches and agencies from around the world are pursuing a role in global evangelization more actively than ever before. However, they want to maximize their efforts by being both strategic and responsible.
Interdev is the recognized authority in partnership training and development, serving other ministries through initiating and enhancing collaborative outreach. Whether you work in a local church, wanting to reach your city for Christ more effectively, or as a missionary you seek to reach a group who has never even heard Jesus' name, this booklet shares some of the basics about effective partnering that have come out of that experience. It addresses recurring issues raised by mission leaders, church leaders, and conscientious donors. I trust you will read with interest and then act with commitment to help God's people work together in partnership for Christ's glory.
We look forward to helping you further in any way we can.Phill Butler
Phill Butler is International Director of Interdev, an organization serving the Church in accelerating fulfillment of the Great Commission through the development, formation and long-term effective operation of international partnerships for evangelism among the world's unreached people. Phill is also the Coordinator of the Partnership Development Task Force of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement.
Cooperation: Networking | Partnerships | Church<> Planting
AGP: Introduction | Adoption | Cooperation | Individual<> Involvement | Resources