Global Partnerships – Cross Cultural Ministries – International Church Partners: these are some of the names given to the connections made between local congregations from a variety of cultures through the spirit of the global church of Christ.
Partnership is a relationship of mutuality where each partner enters as an equal into common ministry. Each partner is expected to bring respect and genuine desire to enter into the lives of the other, not as benefactor nor as recipient, but as equals with strengths and needs that enhance the even growth of the relationship.
Partnership can provide personal relationships among Christians living their faith in profoundly different cultures or contexts; offer ways to hear the witness of Christians from other continents; provide experience locally of the global oneness we celebrate in Jesus Christ; help us discover how God acts in critically important ways throughout the worldwide church; and challenge us to grow in our mutual faith and service to God’s mission of love and justice everywhere.
Partnership is a mutually agreed upon commitment, for no less than three to five years, with mutually agreed upon goals and opportunities for shared worship, ministry and growth. Partners can observe special days of prayer, exchange delegations, share audio and video resources, create mission projects together to address the needs of both.
Partnership is a recognition of one’s own vulnerabilities and a willingness to accept the caring ministry and assistance from another. It is a willingness to provide what the other needs and not only what one might want to give.
Partnership is an openness to accept differences as being neither better nor worse but only different. It is a willingness to allow the Spirit to stretch us beyond our comfortable limits, beyond what we think we can bear, in a way that we never imagined, while maintaining the commitment to a growing partnership founded in Christ.
The Spirit is upon us, and it is the global spirit of Christ’s church in all parts of the world calling us to the challenges of life in the global community.Let us embark with open hearts on this grand adventure in faith!