Partnerships
    - Partnering with Nationals

Partnership: the New Direction in World Evangelism
Introduction and Definition

Abridged from documents by Lorry Lutz and Luis Bush

Just as secular organizations are realizing the benefits of partnerships, so are missions and churches. Tim Lewis of Frontier Missions says, "If we're looking at reaching the unreached people of the world, no single organization, no matter how powerful, how muscular it might be, has the capacity to do what needs to be done without the help of other people."

In fact, the majority of mission leaders would agree with Lewis, but making it happen in a sustained way is very hard work. Some agencies who have tried partnering have become disillusioned. They've had high aspirations and then been disappointed or were taken advantage of in the name of partnership.

Partnership can be very complex and fraught with hidden "mines" that sometimes don't blow up before the participants are well into the partnership. For that reason many fear the consequences, which might mean giving up their freedom and control, or losing their identity in a joint venture.

Yet there are enough working partnerships in the business, development and mission arenas that key ingredients for success can be identified. Getting involved in partnership holds certain risks, but refusing to partner, particularly with Two-Thirds world churches or agencies, may mark the end of our own effectiveness in the world. "If we do not have partnership in mission," warns David Fraser, a research associate for the Mission Training and Resource Center, "we are bound to have a poverty of mission in the future" (The Church in New Frontiers for Mission, MARC, 1983).

As a basic description, and open to review, we will define partnership in missions as:

An association of two or more autonomous bodies who have formed a trusting relationship and fulfill agreed upon expectations by sharing complementary strengths and resources, to reach their mutual goal.
As we discuss the ingredients of successful partnerships, each aspect of this definition will become clearer.

Click here for original documents from Partnership:<> the New Direction in World Evangelism by Lorry Lutz and Luis Bush, 1990, InterVarsity Press.
 


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