Go Have a Cup of Coffee – The foundations of productive partnership in mission


The most effective way to reach children is through the witness of the local church. But the local church will need to work in partnership with others in many areas if it is to be truly effective.We will often partner with others to create resources, undertake training, advocate for children with church and government and take part in compassion projects.

We can enter these partnerships with idealism about the results without thinking clearly about the foundations that will ensure the projects have a long life and good fruit. As you think about partnerships in your nation the following guidelines may help you establish a firm foundation.



Michael, a friend of ours, has shared with us a helpful insight about partnering with others. ‘Recently, I have been enjoying a new kind of partnering in my city and nation, called Relational Partnering. The foundation of the partnering is relationship, as opposed to projects, events or Issues.’ Here, God is our first Relational Partner. In Jn.14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey what I command.”

Jesus encourages us to love one another. In Jn.13:34 He says, “… As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Further, in – Mt.18:20, He promised His presence when we come together – “Where two or three of you come together in my name there am I with them.”

In 1 Corinthians 12 we’re reminded that we’re a body though we’re unique and diverse in function. Strong relationships, honest trust and a commitment to long term friendship is the basis for seeing good things happen.  Jesus started with a diverse group of fishermen and tax collectors and discipled them into the greatest world-changers that ever existed.

Sacrifice & Servanthood
“Those of us who are strong … strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” (Romans 15:1,2 The Message)

In response to the vision of Nehemiah, the perfume-makers, the priests and the goldsmiths, to name a few, made sacrifices to serve the greater need – working together to build a wall.  Today, it is the ‘least of these’, the children of our world, who urgently need a ‘wall’ to protect them from injustice, inequality, inaction and insecurity.  And they need more than walls – they need people who will journey with them, build them up, help them make sense of life and faith, so that they can grow as disciples of Jesus and know the ‘life to the full’ that Jesus spoke about.

A word that our world shies away from, but a word that Jesus embraced and lived out.  In Philippians 2: 1-18 we are encouraged to have the same attitude as Jesus who, even though He was God, never sought for influence or equality but instead became a humble servant.

He traded the highest place for the lowest place. He didn’t complain, argue, blame, or boast, but instead was pure, sacrificial, and servant-hearted. As we seek the Lord’s heart together, as we dream, plan, and execute, let’s ask Him to build into us these same characteristics that He modelled this so well for us. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2: 3-4 NIV) Let us ask God to help us help one another and not only think about our own areas of need or expertise. May we work as His Body and the family of God that we are.