We encourage the active participation of local churches in global ministries. Your involvement in mission should be rooted in your own local church’s vision for ministry – in your own community, and then following the direction of Holy Spirit to your Samaria, and the ends of the earth.
What is a Global Ministry Partnership?
A relationship that exists between a local church in Canada and an international church or ministry, reflecting the strengths and concerns of both groups. A global ministry partnership will involve an exchange of resources and experience which mutually benefits both groups and moves both groups toward the realization of their Spirit-directed goals.
Developing a Global Ministry Partnership
Local churches that are interested in developing an international partnership, have found the following process helpful:
1. Leadership/Congregational Dialogue
- In the course of ministry life in a local church, concern surfaces over participation in global ministry among congregational leaders.
- “Becoming a Missional Church” Weekend Seminar. The National Ministry Centre of FMCiC offers a weekend learning process (half-day Sat + Sun service) examining current realities in world mission, paying attention to biblical foundations and Holy Spirit direction, while being inspired by examples of existing global partnerships.
- This weekend seminar can serve as a catalyst for fresh conversation, with a common understanding of the mission task, among your congregation’s leadership teams. [Board members required to participate]
2. Exploring Possibilities
- A Congregational Survey helps to discern where members are already paying attention to international concerns. This exercise allows leaders to discern the burden that the Holy Spirit has already laid on the hearts of their congregation.
- This information from the congregation can then shape the answers to such questions as: “What is the Holy Spirit calling us to do? Where in the world are we being pointed?”
- With Free Methodist connections in more than 80 countries worldwide, there is no lack of ministry possibilities to consider. Global Ministries staff can provide information on the kinds of ministries and needs in these locations, to aid the local church in discerning direction.
- Exploring relationships is required next: whether with a Canadian missionary that the congregation wants to support as an extension of their God-given interests, or on an Exploratory Visit to gain insight into the work of national believers in a particular setting. What is their vision for ministry that your church can join in with?
3. Developing a Global Partnership
- Communication/Education is important for your own congregation. Everyone needs information – Why are we doing this? What, How, Who, When, How Much? A plan for ongoing communication regarding the partnership is crucial.
- A Global Partnership is impossible without relationship building. An effective international partnership will likely require yearly visits to maintain connections, give input and evaluate objectives.
- Identify a reasonable timeframe for your church’s involvement in the partnership. Normally a healthy partnership requires 3-5 years of relationship building and ministry input to achieve any measurable objectives. The partnership can be renewed if desired after the initial time commitment.
- Develop measurable objectives directly with national leadership. What is your contribution? What is their contribution? Are you listening to their concerns and desires for the ministry? Plan to see the objectives through to completion.
Global Ministries staff would be happy to offer whatever level of assistance may be required to help develop your global partnership.
If your church is considering a more hands-on approach to global ministry, take the time to have your leadership team read the article, Recovering the Missional Congregation.
If your church would like to be involved in developing an international partnership, this article, Building a Partnership, will help you get started in the right direction.
Highly Recommended Books:
Here’s an example of a global partnership between Barrie Free Methodist Church and Ghana: