Statement of Partnership

The following Statement of Partnership (from page 35 of OBtAoA) which emerged out of my research, lays down the foundation for thinking about healthy partnership in the current environment:










  1. Local churches are to be central to the work of missions, but their generalist nature means that they are most often not set up to do global missions alone, particularly in the hard places. In general, the local church alone is only partially able to fulfil the Great Commission.

  2. Mission agencies do not have the same purpose as the local church. God has given them a specialist role, which serves alongside the local church—to help the church be more effective in cross-cultural missions.

  3. The only exception to the two aforementioned statements is when a local church has the commitment to build the mission agency-like processes, capacity and experience into its church structure—to become their own effective local church-based mission agency (LCBMA). This requires intentionality and the commitment to do it properly.

  4. Even LCBMAs can benefit from the consulting support of mission agencies as they build their own capacity and experience.

  5. We need to come to an agreement on some new partnership models which will help us find common ground. A workable partnership model must allow churches to have a strong sense of ownership and involvement in missions, while utilising the expertise of mission agencies in a well-balanced, integrated manner.

  6. We need three things to help ‘lubricate’ our relationships: (a) A healthy injection of grace to restore strained or broken relationships (b) an open heart to explore new relationships, (c) the creation of forums for ongoing dialogue.

  7. Adverse symptoms show up in the missions system when partnership is bypassed. It is possible to work in our silos, but it undermines our collective capacity to fulfil the Great Commission.