Global Partnerships: Getting Started
“We’d like to be more involved in mission work. Do you have a sister church program?”
Many churches are interested in partnerships as a way to strengthen their church’s missions focus. The agencies of the CRCNA are committed to providing high-quality partnership opportunities for churches like yours.
To help inform our conversations, we’ve adopted the following documents:
- A set of principles to help guide these partnerships.
- A collection of ideas that describes the preferred future for partnerships and
- A potential timeline to give you an idea of what is involved in establishing a partnership.
Of course, churches outside the CRCNA are talking about partnership too, and we are networked with leading organizations to ensure that we are working together and providing CRC churches with the most cutting edge resources available. Some of the people we’re working with include
- Catalyst Services, which exists to strengthen collaboration between local churches and mission agencies and organizations. Partnership Essentials is the fruit of their research among church leaders who have significant experience in international partnerships.
- The PCUSA has put together their general guidelines for international partnerships. We’ve also collected some good habits of those engaged in global partnerships.
Partnerships are two-way streets.
As we in North America think about partnership, it is so important to learn from the voices in the Majority World church about their understanding and expectation of partnership. Some resources to help us think about this:
- Mary Crickmore, long time World Renew staff in Mali, West Africa tells how globalization has complicated the Golden Rule. "This story is just one instance of the Golden Rule gone awry in a cross-cultural situation. We find ourselves in the tragic situation that we think what we are giving to others is bread, without realizing that we are actually giving a stone--or a snake.”
Even though there are many potential pitfalls, the potential for mutual transformation, of becoming involved in each other’s efforts to make our communities closer to the vision that God has for us, draws us forward. Keep reading and watching and learning – because those are keys for healthy partnerships. And keep talking about it with others too!
Ready to dig deeper? Read on…
To continue talking about partnership, check out our forums on global partnerships.