- Partnering with Nationals

Partners International
The Kind of Partners Non-Western Believers Want

When Westerners think about what non-Westerner missionaries want from a partnership, the list often starts with things: funds, training, etc. Certainly they need these things. But when the same question is asked of non-Westerners, the list starts differently. It is about attitude.

Following is a partial list from an article by Ajith Fernando of Sri Lanka, (Evangelical Missions Quarterly, January 1988):

  1. Humility - It is difficult to be a foreigner in a strange land, but locals will accept you, despite your mistakes, if you are humble and willing to serve.
  2. Teachability - The latest and greatest thing that works for the Western church might be highly inappropriate in another culture. Those that go overseas expect to teach, but the people they meet become their teachers.
  3. Patience - Things happen at a different pace in many places. Westerners arrive expecting to "hit-the-ground-running," to start achieving immediate results. This leads to frustration, and missed opportunities for what God can do in the moment, with the way things are, not how you wish they were.
  4. Identification with the People - Don't come just to do a job. Come to feel the pulse of the place and to touch hearts, as well as to have your heart touched. Who you are will leave a longer-lasting impression that what you did.

Next: Selecting and Tracking Partnerships with<> Non-Western Missionaries

Partners<> International is a recognized leader in partnering with indigenous Christian ministries in the non-Western world, linking resources from Christians in the West with Two-Thirds World agencies that minister to both physically and spiritually needy people.

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

Cooperation: Networking | Partnerships | Church<> Planting

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