You long to be a part of what God is doing through his followers around the globe. And you’ve decided global partnership is for you. Are you thinking, “Wait, what is global partnership?” No worries. (Get more info about global partnership in terms of global missions here.)
Maybe you’re just starting to pray about who God might lead you to partner with or maybe you’re almost ready to seal the deal with a specific person. Or maybe you’re someone who has been partnering with a national believer for years and it’s time to reevaluate. Either way, analyzing your global partners will help you optimize your efforts for the kingdom.
Five Characteristics of a Valued Global Partner
1. Visionary Leadership
“And thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20)
Paul was passionate about reaching into unreached areas. Paul was not satisfied to go and do what others before him had done. In following his lead for global missions, we too should seek satisfying partnerships with leaders who are on the lookout for new territory to claim for the gospel.
2. Creative Methods
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)
Flexibility is a hallmark of a successful partnership. Surrounding culture, government regulations, and life circumstances are constantly changing and mid-course adjustments are a must in order to maintain focus. What worked yesterday for your national partners may not be effective today.
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
Global partners could be involved in a variety of ministries. From schools, to rescuing enslaved people, from relief help, to camp work. And through it all, the service aspects should be secondary to the spiritual/gospel aspects. As global partners put their creative energy to work, it is important that they see their service as Christ’s representative to a lost and dying world as first priority. They should see that calling people to be reconciled to God is the reason their ministries exist.
4. All-In Approach
“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).
Paul gave everything he had, including his own life when he ministered. Though willing to die for the people he served, he also lived a life of care and compassion before them. Effective global partnership starts with leaders who humbly follow this approach as they serve the people around them.
5. Collaborative Effort
“…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:5)
Global partnership has benefits beyond just the tangible ones. It’s a relationship and friendship built for God’s glory. You want to find a partner who is prayerful, encouraging, and generous. And you want to be the same. When you partner together in Christ’s name with these attitudes and more (detailed throughout Philippians), you can expect God to do great things.
So what’s your next step? Do you have a global partner you’d like to work with? Do you see these four qualities in them? We’re confident that God in his sovereignty and wisdom will lead you to a partner that lines up with the heartbeat of your life and church.
We also know that finding and vetting a global partner can be tough. That’s one of the reasons that Live Global exists—to help you with the matchmaking.
Live Global Partners Score 5/5
Live Global is a bridge between your church and nationals doing ministry on the front lines in their countries (and surrounding areas). Live Global builds relationships with nationals who are top notch evangelists, church planters, rescue workers, and educators. They are already doing effective ministry in their own cultures and in their own languages.
Your congregation has the opportunity to get to know national partners doing the work your church loves in places you care about. You can follow the partners’ projects up close and be the first to hear their triumphs and hardships, needs, and specific prayer requests. We want you to be a part of what Jesus is doing across the globe through national partnerships. Ready to find a partner?
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Live Global December 5, 2016. Used with permission.