- Field-Based Partnerships

 Interdev - The Power of Partnership
Appendices: Questions & Answers about Partnership

A. Questions and Answers about Partnership

  1. Aren't Christian ministries already cooperating? What's the need for a special emphasis on partnership?
     Occasionally 2-3 ministries have cooperated for specialized projects. In other cases, churches and other ministries have come together for short-term, one-time events like a city-wide evangelistic crusade. However, until now, there has never been long-term cooperation and coordination of all ministries who are committed to reaching specific unreached language groups or other key population centers.
  2. Who are some of the agencies involved in existing partnerships? Are they only from American and European countries?
    In the many different partnerships that exist, over 350 agencies are involved from dozens of countries. Over 30 percent of these come from outside the West. These range from large organizations like World Vision, Anglicans, the Assemblies of God, Wycliffe, and the Southern Baptists, to smaller national and emerging indigenous groups.
  3. Where are these partnerships taking place?
    Evangelism partnerships are a trend all over the world, including Europe and North America. As the Church looks toward unreached people groups, most of the groups with over one million people are in and around the 10/40 Window. Operating partnerships range from Senegal in West Africa to Outer Mongolia, from Bangkok to Beirut.
  4. What is it that partnerships actually "do?"
    Partnerships provide an active, working forum in which ministries can coordinate their plans and resources and develop a common strategy. Usually partnerships start with limited but highly strategic projects in the beginning which will allow the relevant ministries to actually work together while all other ministries benefit from that cooperation. As the partnership grows in maturity, task forces or working groups of ministries typically begin to form around issues critical to holistic evangelism and church planting. Often these include Scripture translation/distribution, prayer network development, radio/tv/film production and distribution, literature development/ distribution, health and educational ministries, local church-planting strategies, etc.
  5. Are national, indigenous believers involved in the partnerships?
    YES!! In virtually every Strategic Evangelism/Church-Planting Partnership, nationals are involved in every aspect from strategizing about the needs to exploring new and more innovative ways of working together.
  6. How do the partnerships handle doctrinal differences and approaches?
    Partnerships are made up of people with a variety of different cultural backgrounds, experiences and theological perspective; yet each with a commitment to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Partnerships work best when they attempt to celebrate their differences, rather than try to eliminate or minimize them. Most do not try to come up with theological statements or agreed upon doctrines, instead they might adopt already established international covenants.
  7. What is Interdev's role?
    Interdev does not fund, run, or control partnerships. One of the foundational principles of partnership is to build a sense of ownership into each participating agency or church. Interdev trains individuals to launch and sustain partnerships and provides on-going mentoring for partnership effectiveness.
  8. What tangible things have partnerships been able to accomplish that would not have happened otherwise?
    Many specific evangelism-related projects, plans, and relationships have come out of partnerships. Scripture and other literature has been developed and distributed in numbers well beyond any one agency's ability. Coordination of human rights advocacy has taken place on behalf of national believers who have been discriminated against, harassed, and even tortured for their faith. More effective church-planting strategies and results have occurred when believers have prayed and planned together.

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

Partnerships: Field-Based |<> Nationals |<> Church/Agency

Cooperation: Networking | Partnerships | Church<> Planting

AGP: Introduction | Adoption | Cooperation | Individual<> Involvement | Resources