- Field-Based Partnerships

 Interdev - The Power of Partnership
Keys To Effective Partnership


How To Partner Effectively
Partnerships don't just happen. They require strategic vision and practical, steady work.

Interdev has over 13 years of experience in helping to form and maintain partnerships. That experience covers several continents, with over 350 mission agencies from Western and non-Western countries now involved in evangelism partnerships. Out of this background, and from consultations with many others who have been involved in missions partnerships, several elements emerge as essential.

1. Effective Partnerships Need a Facilitator.
A person of vision and leadership is essential to form a viable Strategic Evangelism/Church-Planting Partnership. Someone who believes equally in the long-term vision and the process of partnership is needed to help organize and focus the group.

2. Effective Partnerships Need a Purpose.
A successful Strategic Evangelism/Church-Planting Partnership develops in order to accomplish a specific task. Experience shows that if ministries and churches come together just to form a partnership, it will fail. Therefore, focus should be on the "what" (objectives) rather than the "how" (structure).

3. Effective Partnerships are Built on Trusting Relationships.
There must be relationships among the partner agencies and churches. Developing such relationships, where there is openness, trust, and mutual concern, takes time and intentional effort. Partnerships are more than coordination, planning, and strategy. The heart of the Gospel is restored relationships and we must demonstrate this as well as preach it.

4.  Effective Partnerships are Made Up of Churches and Ministries with Clear Identities
    and Vision.
It is important for the individual partner agencies to be clear about who they are and what they do best. If partner agencies do not have well-defined purpose and vision statements, they will have difficulty seeing where they contribute to the overall picture or how they benefit from any joint effort.

5.  Effective Partnerships Focus on What They Have in Common Rather Than How They
    are Different.
It is important for partnerships to focus on what the partners have in common things like vision, values, and ministry objectives. It is also helpful to acknowledge even celebrate the differences in history, resources, and other aspects.

6.  Effective Partnerships Have Clear and Specific Objectives.
In the early stages of a partnership, especially, limited and achievable goals are essential to success and effectiveness. Without realistic expectations, agencies might not understand how they fit in the partnership. Frustration will be the sure result.

7.  Effective Partnerships See Prayer and Communion as Binding Partners Together.
Effective partnerships are refreshed and empowered by frequently praying for each other and expressing concern for each other's personal needs. Sharing in communion together also is a powerful connecting force.

From The Power of Partnership: Working Together to Reach the Unreached, 1998, Interdev.

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