The call to ‘partnerships’ has been often heard in mission circles for a long time now. We recognise that the Lord’s people are called to work together in harmony, and that individualistic competition, ignoring our brothers and sisters, dishonours Him. Further, in God’s family there is no place for unequal relationships, with the powerful abusing the powerless, as has too often been the case. We may bring different resources to the table, but no category of resource should lead to paternalism or manipulation. That includes money and language as well as many other resources.
In the Mission Commission we are committed to encouraging healthy mutual relationships. Many of us – our churches and agencies – have experience of partnerships. Some partnerships have worked well and brought great blessing. Some have failed, and even caused great hurt. Others struggle. Some have been between south and north, others between south and south, or south and east…… So our working group wants to explore what we mean by partnerships, what makes a partnership a ‘success’ and blessing, what makes an initiative fail, how we can build better practice and understanding across and between cultures, how to serve one another in humility and grace. Our goal together is to see the Lord honoured, the gospel extended, the church become more faithful.
If you would like to join in this discussion, in the first instance contact Mark Oxbrow on MarkOxbrow@aol.com , Alex Araujo on firstname.lastname@example.org or Rose Dowsett on email@example.com. In particular we would like to hear from you about your experiences of partnership, either with some brief notes or with a fuller case study. We look forward to hearing from you so that we can have a truly global conversation!