by Robert Lovatt
Partnership is a word that is thrown around a lot these days. And for good reason. It is viewed as the way forward, in business, education, government or ministry. However, Kingdom Partnership is at another level; it is set apart because the ultimate goal is about the kingdom of God, rather than an individual organisation, or even a shared goal between organisations.
In Wycliffe NZ we have adopted the theme of partnership for this year, and we are delighted to showcase some of the Kingdom Partnerships we are privileged to be a part of as we serve the Bibleless peoples of the world. In this edition of Living Words there are several articles that have been written which highlight this type of partnership, where the kingdom of God is the first and highest priority.
But before you read about these stories, allow me to unpack what we mean by Kingdom Partnership.
When we consider partnering for God’s kingdom
• History is clear: partnering has a much greater impact than working as individuals.
• Scripture is clear: partnering is an important part of God’s plan for establishing His kingdom.
The following is a statement that Wycliffe Asia Pacific adopted several years ago with respect to how we would operate and behave:
Understanding that both Wycliffe and partners are called in God’s kingdom, we are committed to building unity and nurturing one another while maintaining a learning attitude towards missional issues that occur in the partnership context.
The kingdom of God is where God reigns and the church is God’s instrument for spreading His kingdom to the ends of the earth.
Partnership is coming into relationship for the purpose of achieving a greater impact than could ever be accomplished by the individual partners.
The average plough horse can pull 2,700 to 3,200 kg.
Two horses can pull 8,200 kg.
Two horses trained to pull together can pull 11,300 kg.
In Scripture we find the following principles
• We demonstrate the power of God’s message to change lives producing open trusting relationships (Philippians 2:1–11).
• We demonstrate good stewardship by working together to maximise the use of resources that God has given us (Matthew 25:14–30).
• The body of Christ becomes a more powerful unified community, demonstrating real love, commitment, growth and witness (Ephesians 4:1–16).
God’s people working together in partnership for His kingdom demonstrate a core spiritual truth: the work of Jesus restores relationships, both with God and with each other. Working in partnership infuses ministry with authenticity – both in work and action – and moves us closer to the fulfillment of the Great Command (Matthew 22:36–37), the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20), and the great unfulfilled prayer of Jesus (John 17:20–23).
How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mt Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion.
I hope you enjoy reading the following stories of Kingdom Partnerships, and will be encouraged by what God is doing through the power of partnership.