Theology of World Missions - Lesson 6

Partnership in Missions

Doug Birdsall continues by describing how to establish cross-cultural partnerships. Some of the most important considerations are determining what the needs are, selecting national leaders wisely, and planning for the national leaders to take complete control at some point.

Peter Kuzmič
Theology of World Missions
Lesson 6
Watching Now
Partnership in Missions

  • Dr. Kuzmic provides a framework for the class based on 6 specific statements about a theology of missions. Our theology determines our worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. We need a theologically grounded missiology and a missiological focused theology.

  • Dr. Kuzmic talks about how God saved him and about his cultural background in Eastern Europe.

  • Developing your spirituality and practicing prayer are important elements in achieving a well-balanced theology. The Creator of heaven and earth is Lord of the nations. God promised to bless the whole world through Abraham. Throughout history, different people have applied that promise as a right of privilege for themselves rather than a call to service to others. God calls people, then sends them.

  • The book of Psalms is one of the greatest missionary books in the world. Isaiah's description of Messianic fulfillment at the end of history is a reminder of the role of Messianic people within history, similar to the "already but not yet" of the "kingdom of God" in the New Testament. Quiz questions are included at the end to clarify what Dr. Kuzmic thinks are the important points and because he includes some commentary on central issues of missions.

  • Professor Doug Birdsall first discusses the work of the Church in Asia. He then talks about 3 aspects of missions work: 1. Forming partnerships, 2. Sending churches, 3. Funding. One of the fastest growing groups of the Church in China is composed of urban intellectuals. In India, Mongolia, Nepal and Cambodia, in addition to China, there are great opportunities as well as challenges.

  • Doug Birdsall continues by describing how to establish cross-cultural partnerships. Some of the most important considerations are determining what the needs are, selecting national leaders wisely, and planning for the national leaders to take complete control at some point.

  • 80-2000 project The scope of the Great Commission includes both the nation of Israel and the whole world. Matthew chapters 9 and 10 describe people as lost (sheep without a shepherd) and valuable (the harvest is plentiful). Jesus saw and had compassion. The heart of missions is seeing people the way Jesus sees them and loving them the way Jesus loves them.

  • Discussion of the meaning and application of this key passage of Scripture.

  • Joanne Harding about the AIDs crisis in Africa. It is a tragedy and a major challenge for world missions. A panel of experienced missionaries discusses the calling to be a missionary and practical ways to prepare to be a missionary.

  • Dr David Hilborn, Head of Theology Evangelical Alliance in the UK, discusses the theological framework of universalism, its historical development and the impact that it has on missions.

  • The political and religious climate in Yugoslavia creates unique challenges for people who are preaching the gospel there.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent points out that the spread of vibrant Christianity in areas of the world besides the west, and the clash of Christianity with major world religions outline the framework for the focus of world missions.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent shows how Christianity compares to other world religions by citing case studies of discussions with individuals of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Evangelicals must engage more seriously and more profoundly in the thought world of other religions.

  • What does Christ have to do with culture and what does the Church have to do with the world? Isolationists separate themselves and cannot have a significant impact on the world around them. Secularists identify with the world by compromising core beliefs to match the culture and don't have an impact because they are no different from the people around them. The Church often evangelizes from a distance instead of entering into the lives of people.

  • People will often respond more positively to the Gospel if you first find common ground in practical areas and use culture as a bridge for the Gospel into the world. The Gospel has to be forwarded to a new address for every generation.

  • Chuck Davis from Africa Inland Mission describes mission work in Africa and his personal experiences in Congo, Chad and other African countries.

  • The Gospel is a message that addresses sin in the lives of individuals and transforms society in areas like justice and charity.

  • World missions is a fundamental theme throughout the Bible. The book "Christ and Culture" proposes four models to explain the relationship between the Church and the world. Some people emphasize scriptures that focus on evangelism and others emphasize scriptures that teach the importance of meeting peoples' physical needs.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but are not available at this time.

  • The Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism provided a forum for Christian leaders from different countries and denominations to establish some common goals and principles for communicating the Gospel and caring for people all over the world.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but is not available at this time.

Dr. Kuzmič provides a framework for a theology of world missions based on a biblical worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. Our missiology needs to be theologically grounded, and our theology, missiologically focused. The documents that were written by delegates at the Lausanne Conference on World Missions have had a significant influence in defining and encouraging the practical application of a biblical view of world missions.

Theology of World Missions
Dr. Peter Kuzmič
Partnership in Missions
Lesson Transcript


I'd like to talk next about partnership in missions. Here again, this is kind of it has nothing to do with your class. Some of you I know quite well and others of you I haven't met yet. But I trust that no matter what you do, that your life counts for God in a great way. That whether you've got a very clear sense of direction or you're really not sure what's next, that you just abandon yourself to the service of Christ and dream great dreams, exercise faith and just allow God to carry you along and to use you. I mean, if you're not certain yet, don't let that diminish your joy or your faith. We desperately need people who love God, who believe his word, and are committed to his purposes in the world. We're not here at Gordon Conwell just to try to fill your cranium with a certain amount of knowledge. That's a very important part of a theological education. Maybe the most important part, but equally important is this business of the formation of your faith and your vision. And that's something that I love to talk with people about. And so if you're ever in a situation where you want to talk about where in the world God might use you, in fact, when people come to my office, when they take the initiative, if you've been in my office, I have a big map of the world on my wall. And when a person comes in and says Doug or Dr. Birdsall or Mr. Birdsall, whatever they call me, I'm seeking God's guidance. I'm not really quite sure. Can you help me? I'll often say, you know, what is it that you absolutely would not do? Ah, there are some things that you just if God called you, you simply would not do.


And in most every case, when people think about like, well, I guess there's nothing that I wouldn't do. And then I'll look at the map and I say, Where? Where in the world would you not go? I mean, if you're trying to find out where God wants you are, there are places that we can begin to eliminate. Are there places you simply would not go? And when people say, well, I guess there's nothing that I wouldn't do and there's no place that I wouldn't go, It's like, well, that just made it a lot easier. And so this is just a little commercial for God. But if you if you come to him and I coached a little league when I was in college, and I remember one of the first days of practice, a little kid coming up to me, and he told me right off the bat, he said, I'm the best pitcher. I'm going to pitch. And I remember thinking, Well, we'll just see if you're going to pitch or not. And my inclination was, you know, you're going to go as far out into the outfield as you possibly can until I can't see you. And we'll figure out if you're really going to be on the team. And then remember a little kid coming up with his hair crooked and his shirt untucked and kind of a skinny little guy said, opposition, do you play? I don't care. I just want to be on the team. I remember thinking, that's the guy that I want. I mean, I really want to work with this kid. And I think when we come to God, it's like, I don't really care what I do. I just want to be part of the team.


That's my desire to see you use for God in great ways. And I will bear witness to the fact that when you give yourself to him that he does use you in ways that are beyond immeasurably, beyond anything you could ask or imagine. So I want to talk now about partnership. How do you develop partnerships cross-culturally? And I think this applies to all of you because for many of you, the majority of you in this class, as you know, have indicated your plans to be involved in cross-cultural ministry, this will be very important to your survival, not to mention your effectiveness. And for those of you who are going into local church ministry, many of you will have opportunities to develop partnerships internationally. I mentioned my new acquaintance and friend brother in Christ among. I asked him how it was you got connected with Gordon Cornwall Seminary of all the seminaries in the world. And he mentioned that it was through a partnership, through a relationship, through Grace Chapel. And some of you may have met David Gebbia Ratnam, who is the mission's pastor there, who himself was born and raised in Sri Lanka, educated here and now, ministering as the mission's pastor there. Interestingly, he did a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Northeastern University and then came to seminary to do a master's of divinity and is now the mission's pastor there. But this business of developing partnerships is very important. I will say to you that when I hear the word partnership, I hear in almost exclusively positive terms. I like the word. But there would be many people, especially in non-Western countries, who when they hear the word partnership, immediately they're suspicious. And they may be as suspicious as John was and not John.


I may ask, questioning as what? Where do you get these numbers? Where do you get these statistics? Or what do you mean by partnership? You want to form a partnership. We know about partnership. We know about American churches who want to do partnership. What that means is you want to use us to do what you want to do because you want pictures and notches in your belt and so on. In terms of what you have done in our country, I don't think I want to be involved in partnerships. So it's often looked at quite skeptically. And so you need to know that when you go in. And so you may even be careful in the words that you use to say, you know, we in fact, this is what I would say. I think I'm just going to talk about steps to establishing a partnership. And I think when you think about these, these will be as helpful for you in a youth ministry program as they will be in developing a partnership in a place like Nepal. First thing I would say is go in and assess the needs even before you go begin to to gather information, to assess the needs. This is why I say this. There are many churches, and this is especially true of megachurches. And I'm very appreciative of megachurches that don't have any ax to grind. With megachurches. There are things about them that I think are wonderful. There are things about them that I think are subject to evaluation and critique and refinement. So this is not a barrage or diatribe against megachurches, but oftentimes megachurches, because so much of what they do has been successful. And after all, they're a megachurch, they've grown, they've got 50 acres, they've got $40 million worth of buildings, they've got 5000 members or whatever, and they've got a program.


It's like, man, you know, we've done this everywhere in our city and everywhere in our state, and we've got something going in this state and that state. What are we going to do next? We're going to go international. And so they take their program that may have worked great in Peoria. And the people in Galesburg thought it was wonderful. They took it down to Bloomington. They just went crazy about it. It's like, we know this thing works and this will work anywhere because it worked well in Peoria, which is my hometown, and Galesburg and Bloomington. We know this would the people in Katmandu would just love this program. And so we're going to take our barbecue ministry to Kathmandu, Nepal, or whatever it is. I'm saying that facetiously, but there are other ministries that are actually are very good, solid ministries that work very well in this country. And so it's like we'd like to have one of these everywhere. But begin by asking, is there a need that corresponds to our idea? Because oftentimes people have something that they have that they value, that they like to share. So it may begin with a purely altruistic motive altogether positive best of intentions that you want to find. Is there a need for what we want to do? Now, how do you do this once you've gone into the country? The next thing I do, I would say that you do is you meet with a variety of leaders. And I would say both national leaders. And if there are missionaries in that country where you want to work, talk to those leaders also, because you want to find out, is there anybody else doing what you want to do? Who's somebody you're here who's based in a church in this country, or you're thinking about going into cross-cultural missions and you've got an idea that you'd like to try.


Let's maybe somebody has a program or a plan. Julie. Microeconomic development. Okay, good. That's a very legitimate program. Let's say you're interested in doing microeconomic development. Okay, We're just going to try this one on because that's a good one. On Julie, who comes from Boston, Massachusetts, is interested in coming to Nepal to do micro development, micro enterprise. What do you think? I think that we're all a part of the world of work. Very successfully. Talk about that. Thank you. Okay. Julie, how do you feel now from what you've heard? Feeling very good. Okay. You should have just stopped before you got to the the second part. I mean. No, no, no. Actually, it was a good answer. But many people, it's like they go back to their church. He said it's a great idea. Did you say it was a great idea? But you say it's a good idea. Good idea. Okay. You might have said good, but I heard. Great. So I go because he was really excited. He thinks it's a great idea because after all, your church is wanting to do something in Nepal. You've got capital. You've got people with with expertise. And so this is an opportunity to establish a partnership in Nepal. I'm not going to continue the discussion all the way along. But keep this in mind, because there is just as much possibility that you could wreak havoc on that church and on that community as you could help it. Because what happens if you go to Tom Long's church because you've already heard him say it's a good idea, You go back and you worship there and you met some of the guys. Who are you going to talk to? You're going to talk to the guy who speaks English the best because he's the easiest to communicate with and because he speaks English.


While you think this is the guy who's the spokesman, I mean, he talked and I asked him questions, got all kinds of information. You may discover later on that this guy is the biggest challenge. The biggest problem that tomorrow is dealing with the guy is he's selfish. This is all hypothetical, but these are all based upon experiences that I have had and that many people have had working cross-culturally internationally, national leaders as well as missionary leaders. And so you decide you're going to hire Billie, who speaks English beautifully and has taken an American name. And you're thinking, Man, for 300 bucks a month, we could hire him full time, $300 a month. That is huge in Nepal. 30 $600 a year. Maybe you're going to buy him a Jeep. You know all this because he's going to be your microenterprise development person. Well, now all of a sudden, you've taken somebody's. You've spoiled them. You've created divisions. Why did this guy get chosen? And so and I've seen that happen countless times with very well intentioned people. So there is a need and an opportunity for what you want to do. But you need to talk to a variety of leaders there to really assess the need. And I would say that it's helpful to talk both to national leaders like Tamang and also talk to people who are missionaries, who are who are ex-patriots, because neither group will have the full story. It may be that a person, a national leader, out of a sense of politeness to a visitor, would feel obligated to say, Yes, fine, great, whatever. Let's do it. Because it would be rude to say no to a nice, well-intentioned woman from America who's come to explore this possibility. Now, on the other hand, you may go to Rob, who's been in Nepal for ten or 12 years.


He works for an NGO or for mission organization. He's not Nepali, but he's seen different organizations come and go. And so he can give you a perspective on the possibilities as well as the pitfalls that are there. So the number one thing is assess the need. Number two is talk to leaders, both missionaries and nationals, as much as possible. And I would say if there's somebody in the country that you discover who is doing something similar to what you want to do, why not form a partnership? We have seen churches squander thousands and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars because of duplication just in administrative services. You may have $100,000 to work with in terms of microenterprise project in Nepal. But a lot of that could get eaten up simply in making bank transfers, hiring, administrative assistant, all kinds of things. And it's not there. Somebody who's already doing that. You might say. We would like to help strengthen what you're doing. Could we work with you? The third thing that I would say is, listen, with integrity. There are many people who listen but who don't hear. And when you're working cross-culturally, it's very important that you listen for what they have to say, not for what you want to hear. Because I really wanted I mean, I'm with you, Julie. I'm a North American. I love Nepal. This idea of microenterprise in a country like Nepal makes a lot of sense, but is eager as we are to go. The timing may not be right. The partnership not be right, may not be right. And so listen, until you've given them an opportunity to speak and you're hearing this from a variety of sources, you know what it's like if somebody asked you a question or if you've got an issue you want to share and you realize the person didn't really hear me, especially if you hear how they reported what you said to somebody else was like, That's not what we said.


That's not what we meant. Nixon came to Japan years ago and it was negotiating a tough trade deal. And towards the end of the meeting, the Japanese said to him, More cut stuff. And the translator translated that, Yes, and they got back to the states afterwards and they were sending the little people in to work with their people and to try to work this all out. And they said, we want to work on the agreement that Nixon completed with Prime Minister Tanaka. And the Japanese said, What agreement? We didn't say. We didn't agree to anything. And the Americans are all upset and saying you said yes. And they said, we never said yes. And they said, our translator told us, you said yes. They went back to the transcripts and they said, what got him our step, which can mean yes. Or it can simply mean I acknowledge that you're talking. And so they never really heard what they were thinking. They heard what they wanted to hear, and they left with lots of misunderstanding. Another very important item in establishing a partnership is to select a national leader who has both the ability to do what needs to be done, in this case, the Micro Enterprise initiative, and also has the reputation, the confidence of other people. And this is where you want confirmation and double confirmation and triple confirmation that you've got the right person. And this is not because there are not good people in every country in the world to work with, but it's do you have a person who has adequate maturity, adequate relationships, adequate accountability? And Americans tend to be and I know that not all of you are Americans, but let me speak here as if we're working from this base.


Americans tend to be impulsive and to want to move ahead now and to move ahead fast. And what we do is we come very quickly to an agreement, and then we spend the next several years in litigation in the corporate world arguing about what we just agreed to. Whereas in many parts of Asia, in particular, in many parts of the non-Western world, they'll spend lots of time negotiating. It's like, what is taking so long? We're clarifying what we want to do. And then once the agreement is reached very quickly into implementation and before you know it to completion. So take the time to make sure that you've got the right leader, the right partner who has the ability and the reputation. The next thing I think in order of sequence and priority and perhaps the most most important thing all along the way is to build trust. Four Americans, including the American church. We often think that the most important thing in a partnership and the most important things in negotiation is our product. We've got a product. We've got a program, we've got stuff. We've got something that is really good and this is what you need and we're be glad to share it with you. But if there's not trust, everything can unravel and it just takes time to build trust. At this point, I would say again, go back and once again review the vision not only with the leader but with a larger group of people and develop a test plan. Test the waters. The example that Julia gave us of micro-enterprises is a good one because it's one that can be used in so many parts of the world. And the fact that it's microenterprise. And I have seen when I was in Sri Lanka in August with Dr.


Parrott, we were at a sewing school and we saw this tiny little place which provided employment for about a dozen young women, many of them who had come out of prostitution or poverty or abuse. And here they are in a clean place, well-lighted, well supplied. They got training, they're making things, and it didn't cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It cost a few hundred dollars to capitalize. And now these women are gainfully employed, making beautiful things. And so that can be done nicely in the same country. We were at a pig farm, I think about ten acres. Many of us may not have a lot of interest in pig farming, but this pig farm provided land which they were able to buy a product income. And now on the pig farm, they also have a Bible college. They have money that comes from the pigs that they sell, who supports church planters. So it's really it's a wonderful thing. Microenterprise can be a great way to go, but I would say test the waters and do something on a small scale and on a limited scale so that you can go in and say, What we would like to do is we would like to have an 18 month plan whereby we do whatever, sell bicycle parts, have some kind of a chicken project, agricultural project, whatever it may be, drill a few wells and you may not even say we want to test the water, but you are testing the waters and say, we would like to do this and see how it works, see if it's producing the kind of results that you want. In this way, both parties have an out because at the end of 18 months, the established time, if there is something that's really problematic with the partner and this is often the biggest problems are in the relational problems, it's very difficult to fire somebody or to dissolve a partnership.


If people have gone in thinking this is a long term partnership, it's much easier to extend a partnership or a contract with somebody that was limited to begin with. It worked out well. It met and exceeded expectation expectations. Much easier to extend something beyond what you had originally hoped than it is to terminate something before you'd ever want to do. So I would say test the waters, then develop a comprehensive plan and strategy. I'm sure that some of you have business experience or you've had some business school education. But oftentimes people of very goodwill and even people of very good ability are not either competent or trained or resource or inclined to develop good partnership business plans. Any time you're going to develop a business, people are going to talk about they're going to develop some kind of a contract whereby they know what are the shared responsibilities, what are the levels of authority, what are the anticipated results, what are the budgets, what are the timelines, what are the ways to evaluate, what are the ways to extend, what are the ways to terminate, but develop a plan and a strategy that makes sense in both cultures? And here's an area where, again, if you have good advisors, you'll be able to develop a plan and a strategy that makes sense to both cultures. We are a culture that worships efficiency. We love technology. When you work in another culture, you always want to make sure that you're using appropriate technology in an appropriate planning so that you don't overwhelm. When I was talking earlier about Mongolia, when we go to Mongolia, we do not use PowerPoint presentations because what it can do is immediately make people there who are very capable, feel incompetent because they don't have a technology that we use.


And so whereas we may say we want to do our very best, they're more familiar with handouts or overhead projectors. So you develop a plan that's appropriate. And then I would say you develop a memorandum of agreement, not a contract, because the contract often has a sense of legal obligations. But if you develop a memorandum or a covenant of understanding, you're reducing to writing what your expectations are and what your commitments are, and also your means for evaluating a plan and a strategy. And I would say that these kinds of things are as valuable in youth ministry as they are in cross-cultural ministry. Assignment and appropriation of tasks or delegation is something that it's a lifelong art. How do you give others work to do? And here again, I'll say this is important in cross-cultural ministry. It's indispensable in cross-cultural ministry. But any time you have people working together, you have to make it clear to people what you expect them to do and what you expect to do. If I ask one of you to help with a project and in my mind I'm thinking, this is what I want done. This is my kind of my vision of the plan. And you say, I'll be glad to help you on that. And you understand the project to be like this. And you come back a day later or a week later, a year later with this, I may be very unhappy because it doesn't come anywhere close to matching what I had. And I would say that most people, their happiness level or their unhappiness level can be determined at the point of expectations. If your expectations are standardized, you're going to be very happy with what happens. A few weeks ago, we did the Boston plunge for first year students.


I don't know if any of you went into Boston with us on that. We said that we would provide transportation and a lunch and so on and so forth. Well, we had busses, they were nice coaches. But if somebody would have expected that they were going to drive into Boston with me, I said, Why don't you come with us in the Boston plan, just like I came, because I was gonna have the day with you and we would be able to park your car anywhere. But we had this big bus and there were 60 people. That wasn't any good. The expectation was not clearly communicated. And so I think when it when it comes to the microenterprise, you have a memorandum which you read, they read it's in English, it's in their language, it's clearly communicate. And you do that with people that you work with. And no matter what it might be, there's a little book called The One Minute Manager, which was written years ago. But basically it has the idea that you give people a clear delineation of what their tasks are, who they're responsible to, when the task can be completed, and everybody will be much happier as a result. I think the word memorandum of agreement covered it of understanding. I mean, those are just words. Contract has this sense of now we're really we're locked in, we're obligated. I think there are just other words which may feel more comfortable when you've got Christians working with one another. That's something you'll learn when you're working cross-culturally, as is the nuances of words. And in many cases, because people know that we're a litigious society. A contract may mean that if we violate anything, we could be held liable responsible in ways that we don't want to.


The next thing I would say is, is have a clear plan in mind for transition of leadership and ownership. And this is a case where I think that a church should always begin with the idea of we must decrease, they must increase, our role is going to be minimized. Their role is going to increase. And here again, this cannot happen overnight. I've seen this happen where we say we're going to do this for three years and then it's going to be yours. Well, let's say that it's a $100,000 a year project. The money is come largely from outside of the country. The administrative support come from outside the country. Everything is going very well and say, okay, now we're going to hand it over to a national director. Well, you may have given something that was so heavy that there is no way that they could sustain it. I mean, sustainability has to be a major factor in a cross-cultural partnership. But if there's a gradual transition of responsibilities, of funding, of staffing, all of those things have to be factored in. So where do you draw the line between where do you draw the line between trust and accountability and paternalism? I suppose both of them have to do with attitudes. Let me ask you the question since since you've asked that it must come from something in your experience or your knowledge. Well, is there an ideal. Mm hmm. I Never mind. Okay. I guess maybe I'm wrestling with the question of where do you draw the line? Because. But like, this paternalism is something. That's why a lot of people don't like partnership to begin with, especially people on the receiving end. Partnership really should be. It's a mutually beneficial. It's as good for you as it is for me.


And so upfront there again, if we're taking the time to get to know one another, to listen, to listen with integrity, to talk to other people, I guess I would say you draw the line right at the beginning if paternalism is there. Hopefully there are people who are meeting you, who are who are they can sniff that out and they realize that the person coming in is paternalistic. Okay. Because paternalism is really demeaning to the recipient, to the other partner, because there's a sense of which I know better. I will always know better. Let me illustrate with my own children. I have three children 23, 21 and 16. So I am a father in some sense. I'm paternalistic. In some ways that's altogether positive. I pay the bills, I protect my children, I educate them, so on and so forth. Maybe that's not paternalistic, maybe it's paternal. So there are ways in which my wife and I, when we're discussing issues where there is tension, we have to trust them in this situation. We want them to learn to be responsible and independent. They may blow it. They may not. Often you have a responsibility to you. Mm hmm. And in saying that, I would rather ere on the side of trusting the air, on the side of controlling, we see that that's a point. And maybe, as we say, draw the line. That's a transition where I left Japan four years ago because it was time to entrust the leadership of our organization in Japan to a national leader. I was pretty sure the time was right, and subsequent years have proven that to be the case. But things could have fallen apart. There's a Japanese leader by the name of Takashi Ozawa, who's leading everything that I was a part of for 20 years.


And I can remember at the time when at a national conference, when he was being installed as the leader, and we laid hands on him and so on and so forth. When we got done, he stood up and hugged me and weapon and said, thank you for addressing me. And I realized, wow, that really is the heart of it. Because you realize this is the trust of the leader in me. And no project can ever go beyond the national leadership. A missionary or a foreign church can only take it so high, can never go higher than that. And you can say, Well, we think we're more capable, we're better. It's like either you stay there and sustain it forever and eventually you have to leave or you turn it over to others who more likely will take it higher. I wouldn't ask my children to leave home when they were 12. That would be too soon. I really wouldn't want them to stay until they're 50. That'd be too long. But there's a point in their, you know, 18 to early twenties when it's like you're on your own. There's a recognition. Necessarily see that. Okay. That is a very, very good comment. And pay attention to that. In a family in this case, the father and I have a wife and we work with these things together. We have the power. And it so happens I mean, we're complementary. And in our thinking about family, we believe in headship, in a home and so on. You may not may or may not. But our children also understand this. There's a sense in which we have the power and maybe I have the most in the family. In our case, it was great to be in Nepal with our daughter to see her doing so well because it it's actually been freed up to do that.


Time will tell to see. I mean, I'll know that I was a good father of my children or passing on to my grandchildren. What was most important to me. And I may be dead by then. And those are some of the same things you're doing in ministry. But power is very important in any equation because in any transaction there's power involved. Now, as Christians, we don't like to talk in those terms because we want to be serving. We don't want to be aggregating power to ourselves. But there is a level of power and authority in any kind of a relationship. Oftentimes it comes down to money. In most cases it comes down to money. And 95 out of 100 cross-cultural partnerships, when you want to say who's who's in charge, well, he is. He you look at him, he's the Nepali leader. And then all of a sudden we're over here making a budget discussion. It's like, why wasn't he consulted? Oh, we got the money. There's really a sense until until the budget decisions are made by whoever the eventual leader is. The power remains over here. And so I think it's important to realize that in any organization there may only be 100. Let's say there are 100 units of power. Somebody has got it. And either it's shared wonderfully and acknowledged realistically. And in this case, you want to transfer power to the people who should have the rightful authority. But a part of that is making sure that they use power to serve. But there is power in these transactions. So I don't know if I've answered your question effectively, but it's a very important one. And at some point in that relationship, the person who you wanted to be your partner, that is we're in this together, they will either realize I'm being developed or I'm being used if they sense that they are being used.


And the way you treat them confirms that they're being used. You have begun the process of disintegrating your partnership or trying hard to to buy it out and to control and to dominate. But our role, I would say, as believers in any situation, is to develop people. You know what a lot of this is here. Again, just speaking from my own and an awful lot of people like to surround them. People surround themselves with people who have very similar vision and commitment and values, but they're of slightly inferior ability. And that way I'm not threatened by them. But we should really be in a situation where we're trying to find people of ability which can be developed beyond ours and to release them. So in a cross-cultural partnership, the goal should always be they must increase. They're the ones who are going to eventually run with it. The last thing that I have on this and my notes is exit strategy, that when you begin, you should be thinking of what is our exit strategy? And if the person realizes this, let's say that Brian is my partner and I've told Brian we've worked it out and say, Brian, I would imagine that this will be approximately a five year partnership because you're young believer and so on and so forth and your new to microenterprise the first year, you know, I'll run it and you'll assist me, whatever. But gradually I want to train you because what do I say? Ten years, whatever the time, take five. Okay? Five. If I only do it. Okay. And see if it's written because I already forgot if I said five or ten, because in this case it's hypothetical. But if we say five years, you realize 2008 is what we're talking about, not just approximate five year, 2008, October 1st, it's intended that you would be the leader.


And if I'm a missionary, maybe five year term and I'm ready to go back. So it's real clear I'm leaving. And as we know that that day is approaching, I'm doing everything I can to make sure that he is ready as a leader in the organization is ready for our church, me as a missionary, whatever to pull out. So that exit strategy is a vital part of developing the cross-cultural partnership. Mm hmm. Wasn't really what word did did start used, you know. Did he use the word in trust? I'm not sure. Okay. In a case like that, I mean, it's important to define terms. What do we mean by this? Because there, again, I mean, words have consultative value. They carry certain nuances. And you want to make sure that if you're especially if you're working over two languages, that as much as possible, that there is understanding because I mean, I use the word delegate, but I think that if somebody brought this into the discussion, I would say I agree with that, because in our organization, I mean, there are six core values. The first one is servant leadership. The last one is generosity. And we believe that leaders are there to serve others, to develop them. We believe that all that we do, we share. And so if that's seen not only on a piece of paper, but in my life is like, who cares what words are used? But words are important. But the word I like that you did use is to entrust there again, it's building off of that root word. The trust is foundational and you have to ask the prior question of trust. Is trust exist? Is trust being built? Julie. Mm hmm. Yeah. There again, I like the word steward.


And when I think of things that God has entrusted to us people, money, ministry, I mean that I like to think of people holding things like this carefully, not grasping like this is mine or not in a cavalier fashion. Like, you know, I might drop it, who cares? But it's a sense of I've been given this and I'm going to hold on to it. But if God wants to take it, it's held like this because he can take it. And if God wants me to give it to somebody else, I mean, everything that I have is a gift and it's to be shared with others. You ask the question about where do we draw the line? Your name again? David That's a good question because it has to do with this whole business of transition of leadership. And in many cases where there's a missionary initiative, whether it's micro-enterprise, church planting, starting a seminary, if we begin, it's legitimate to say this is something that we established. It was a vision that God gave to us, but it's something to be entrusted to others. And you don't just do that overnight. So there is this continuum. I don't know where you draw a line to use your word, but there's a sense in which you want to pray all along for wisdom, for blessing, and then for sense of God's timing of when it's time to pass it over. But paternalism is something you want to root out in the very beginning. Let me stop here and ask if there are questions that you have about the whole matter of working cross-culturally in terms of partnership development. And there may be some things that you've been reading in the Gospels or in Acts or in in transforming mission that are theological questions.


And they may have bearing. I mean, hopefully they do have bearing because the practice of missions, as I said, must be theologically and biblically informed. So I'm wondering if there are things that we've talked about that you'd like further clarification on or if there are other issues that we have not addressed that you'd like to discuss doing in the first? Mm hmm. I hope you all heard what he said. That is that given the socio socio political differences from one country to another, that has to be taken into account. I would say that would be a part of assessing the needs and also adapting whatever program that you have that there are certain things like a McDonald's restaurant that no matter where you start, a McDonald's is going to be almost exactly the same. I mean, the French fries are going to taste the same no matter where you buy them in the world. That's that's a part of the McDonald's experience. And so McDonald's is not readily adaptable to different cultures. Either you take it or you leave it. It's always to me to travel to see some countries where you see McDonald's everywhere in other neighboring countries, like there's no McDonald's here, they must not if it didn't didn't work, given the sociopolitical circumstances. But so when you go in, that's one question. Is there any adaptability to your program? Because if it's a cookie cutter approach, this is the way we do it, period. You're limited. But to say, here are the values, here's the idea. Can this adjust and adapt? Oftentimes you find a more receptive audience and more eager partners. Other questions you have. Brian Um. Oh, you guys could send some missionaries this way. That'd be great. Mm hmm.


Well, let me begin by saying that I think that the Great Commission is for every church and every culture and every generation. So the Great Commission was never given to a limited group. And to say the great Commission is from this country, from here to there. If we drew maps on the world, the going and sending should be just kind of going everywhere. So I would say yes. I mean, this this is not written thinking of going from rich to poor, from developed and undeveloped, from Western to non-Western. I mean, it's meant to apply to cross-cultural partnerships. I mean, I would hope that if the Chinese leaders looked at this, they would say, this is going to really help us as we develop our strategy fros Becca Stein or whatever country it might be. Likewise for people who are sending missionaries here. I would hope that these principles apply. I mean, you give an example of missions come in this direction. Part of the mainline church. Mm hmm. And, you know, even right now, especially 20 years ago, that was the first step that we talked about earlier, is assessing the need. Is there a need? You talk about 20 years from now, 20 years ago, probably many mainline churches will say, you know, we're doing just fine. We've got our seminaries, we've got our institutions, we've got our programs, we've got our pensions, we're all set. But I would say now, because the need has to be recognized by both parties. If Julie said, Gee, I want to go to Hamilton, we want to see if we can start a micro enterprise ministry at Myopia Club. They don't perceive the need, and so probably it's not going to be received. But who knows what that will look like 50 years or 100 years from now when all the jobs have left and people have sold their horses and their barns and their land and they're desperate.


I mean, we don't know terms of the church. They may say we are really short on ministers. We don't know what we're going to do. And just as Ireland provided priests for the Catholic Church for 70 years, thanks to the potato famine and then the influx of all these great Irish priests, it may be that that we're saying, you know, we need these pastors from Korea who've got a dynamic to their faith and theologically sophisticated and so on or wherever it may be. I can see that happening. I was in London a year or so ago, and of course, the missionary movement began with William Carey 211 years ago, and England was the sending country. The largest church in London today is a Nigerian church of over 5000 members. At one time in history, Nigeria was a part of England in America's massive slave trading sin business. And now you have this tremendous shift where you have Nigerians in England by the tens of thousands, and they have a plan to evangelize England, in Scotland, in Ireland or in Wales. And you're thinking, you know, how could this be? In the same way that there are there are many churches here in Boston that are what we would say, ethnic churches that have plans and strategies for a great awakening in New England. I think it takes an acknowledgment there is a need and also a humility to receive. Does that answer your question? Okay. Yeah. Come on. They're all the problem. Stop. Mm hmm. Well, then we walk together. There's no problem. Yeah. I don't know how clearly we made this spoke this the beginning. But I think this is a part of the history of missions and where we are now and where we're going.


There was a time when the European church in the American church was primarily the mission church. We were descending, sending, giving, doing church because the majority of Christians were in the northern hemisphere, the Western world. And now the new reality is the church is pretty well established in most parts of the world. There are still unreached peoples by the hundreds. But even I would say closing the final frontiers is going to be done largely in partnership. And so we're going to do partnership. Like it or not, that's the future of the missions movement. But there's a right way to do partnership, and there's a wrong way to do partnership. Even what you are talking about this is this is hierarchical. That's a concept of, oh, the British, they're up there. Those of us who come from egalitarian democratic societies where we're all created equal. That's what our Constitution states in its preamble. That's that's a conviction reality or not, that that's the aspiration of our culture. But you go to other societies which are hierarchical, and you're not going to have 50, 50 partnerships, but that's factored in. It is more important there to know. At what point does he go up and I go down because we may not achieve this 5050 partnership. Okay. The last thing I'd like to talk about has to do with the sending church. This flows out of partnership. I'd wanted to talk a little bit about funding, also funding. I may just say this partnership. Sending funding. They're all interrelated. And actually, some people, especially in North America, are inclined to just skip right from the old era of missions where we basically did everything we controlled the money, the people, the information. We had it. They were the recipients.


That kind of language worked at one point. And there are people now who would say the era of missions, sending missions, especially for the American church, is past. It's now somebody else's turn. All we're going to do is send money. Okay? Let's just think about that theologically. How does that stand up with the teaching of Scripture? Can we legitimately say we're not going to send people, we're going to send money? How does that compute with orthodox theology? With biblical theology, With evangelical theology? Does it work? Okay. I see people shaking their heads. No, but let's start moving. Okay. Why or why not? From the responses I get, I'm thinking you're saying that that would be deficient practice if it's not well informed theologically. We're going have all kinds of deficient practices. But I remember seeing an ad in Christianity Today that said, Thanks for staying home. And I thought this is and it was from a mission organization trying to raise money just to support indigenous, itinerant evangelists. And so in this case, it was in the country of India. But I thought maybe a wonderful ministry. But it's terrible theology. Why? Personal experience. Okay. What? A lot of good countries from Africa. Some countries we have none and we are not there. Okay, so you saw a problem which would not have been seen and addressed of your own and send in money. Okay. So that's a practical a practical problem as well as perhaps a theological problem. Okay. What are some other problems theologically? Therefore, as you go make disciples, just assuming that we're going to go. Not. To just sit at home. Okay. An incarnation or model, a sacrificial model that that has been God's strategy. Personally, I think that God exercised the weakest possible option he had.


Why He did what he did. Only he knows. But you think of all the resources that God had at his disposal, and he decided to use human instrumentality. People like us. When I see, you know, all the challenges, the difficulties, the mistakes that that just I have witnessed in the 20 some years of my missionary career, I think it's a wonder that anything gets done. But amazingly, the church is spread from Jerusalem to all parts of the world. So it is it's the incarnation model, and I don't think that there is any way around it. And I would say to all of you, regardless of your career plans or the way in which you are discerning and then joyfully obeying God's pleading in your life, as all of us have a responsibility to the Great Commission. I mean, nobody here is exempt such I try to look at all of you. All of you have some responsibility to the Great Commission. Now, the roles may vary. I agree. Not everybody should go. I'm not one of these people who thinks if you're really obedient and not only will you go to seminary and be willing to be a pastor, but if you're really committed, you'll be a missionary because that's where the upper class of Christians find themselves ultimately. I don't think that because some of you here probably would make terrible missionaries, you just wouldn't be good at it. You just don't have the gift or the aptitude any more than I would be a good music leader. I don't have that gift. And I like to sing, and I think I'm responsible to make a joyful noise. I think that you're right that we don't all go, but we would not make a responsive as a church to say we're not going to send anybody, so we're only going to send money.


Now they're there. Not every church has got missionaries. But hopefully every church is finding people to represent them in the mission of the church. And every church is willing to say, we're willing to give our best. You think of what happened in Antioch when the Spirit of God came to them. What did? What was the church doing? Do you remember? They were. Well, I haven't give you enough information, but when the church was involved in prayer and fasting, the spirit came and said, Separate unto me, solid bodies for the work that I have for them. Now, again, if I'm the pastor of the churches, it's the Lord Barnabas. Those are our two best guys. You mind these junior high girls or boys or this old guy, man, he is an irritation. We'd love for him to get on a boat and go, but it's like, I want your best people. And so I think, you know, for church leaders, that paternal maternal instinct to say, we're willing to let our best go. So I think that sense that our church has to be willing to send your best the first fruit of the harvest, so to speak, not your leftovers. I was talking to a woman the other day who's on our staff just back from Japan, and she's at a big church which has had a great missions program. They want to wean off all of their missionary support and just go directly to supporting international partnerships. And I said, that's a bad theology. But at the same time, they want 80% of their missionaries, I mean, the members to go on short term trips. And I said, that's a bad strategy. 80% of a church of six thought, what do you do with all those people? There are only so many airfields you can clear mortar bricks that you can make.


I'm a firm believer in carrier missions and short term missions, but you want to deploy appropriately. Somebody had a question. Mm hmm. Thank you, Peggy, for that question. Just looking at my notes here, and I'm looking at a section that I have on nurturing people that when you send people out and many of you will be involved in this, either you will be in churches where you're sending people out, your pastors, you're serving on mission committees in your church or your denomination, or you're being sent out. I think that there should be an ongoing organic spiritual relationship that exists between the church and their missionary. They go as a part of that body, as a representative, that body, but they continue to be a part of it and they should be develop to their full potential. I was asking this Takashi Taka Osawa, who I referred to earlier, he's our national director in Japan. We were together in Los Angeles Airport about a year or so ago and we were talking about some of our staff members in Japan. I was asking him, you know, who do you see? Who's developing? Who do you think is capable of leadership and so on. And that's always the job of a leader, the leaders always to develop. But to to oftentimes our inclination is to dominate or to use. So it's a mindset. And again, it's the John the Baptist. He must increase. I must decrease. That's a giving away of what you what you have. But when I asked you that question, he said, Well, he said, All of our people have been called by God. They're in dwelt by his spirit. And if they're developed to their full potential, they're capable of extraordinary things. And so he's not saying, well, here's a guy who's really great.


I mean, this guy is big and strong and handsome and loud and courageous and so on. No, here's my younger Japanese partner, who's now the leader who's been entrusted with national leadership, saying, I'm learning from him. And I thought, you know, he's right, because I'm thinking, you know, you know, who's the man? Who's the woman who's ready to be promoted? It's like they all need to be developed. And so that's got to be a part of the mindset. That must be the part of the mindset of the church, both with their own missionaries as well as with any international national partners that they they have this business of nurturing. Let me say also a couple of other things quickly. When it comes to sending people, it's very important. That your people, those of you who go as missionaries and those that you send, that they be associated with communities of people, i.e. mission organizations that are going to look for ways to nurture and develop your people. I mean, think of an ATM. You can only put that piece of plastic in so many times and say withdrawal. You know, you do it too many times and pretty soon you get a message, insufficient funds. You know, you've got to be making deposits and stay with people. You need to always be making more deposits and withdrawals because we do ask people to do things. And oftentimes missionaries come home on furlough because they're tired, they're depleted, their reservoirs dry. It's the responsibility of the mission, leadership and the church to make sure that people are continually nurtured so that the balance is always positive and it's growing so that that person has the capacity to do more and more. You don't take a missionary and uses them until they're worn out and send them home.


You take a missionary who their first term, they're really getting ready for their second term. The second term they're going for the third term, whatever it may be. So that's a whole mindset of developing people. And here again, I would say this applies as much to youth ministry, Christian education, church planting, world missions. I mean, B, developers of people rejoice when you see somebody go beyond, you don't feel intimidated. Here's somebody who can preach better, organize better. If they can't release them, equip them. That's really fundamental to developing people. And that's that's fundamental to discipleship. Being a disciple, making Christian pastor mission, whatever it may be. Okay. Just a couple of other things that I think we're in agreement that the Great Commission is for every church in every generation and every culture. I think it's important for you to develop strategies for growing people within your own church, and that's going to be through education, through exposure to missionaries, international church leaders. That's going to be short term trips, a variety of things. I think it's important for all of you to become familiar with certain mission organizations. There are thousands of them, and there's no way you can know them all. But you ought to get to know a handful of mission organizations. Maybe, you know, one organization in this part of the world and maybe, you know, another organization that does Bible translation and somebody else who does church planting and somebody else who does but have a stable of mission organizations that you know, so that when somebody comes to you, you can direct them and say, here's somebody you ought to know. And likewise with your church. It's good business to be cultivating relationships with certain mission organizations and new ones are coming online all the time, But get to know some so that when you're putting your people with organizations, they're organizations that you can trust.


A real big factor that has to do with missions of any kind, in any part of ministry has to do with evaluation and accountability. Oftentimes, there can be the sense of like, well, they were called by God. They were willing to sacrifice and go to another part of the world and forsake everything. And so you just trust them. A former leader of the navigators would often say it's not what you expect, it's what you inspect that's really valuable to you and to oftentimes in the world of the church and especially in the world of missions, we don't take performance evaluation accountability seriously enough. Now, I imagine that when the first day you got to this class, when you got to the something, when you looked at the syllabus. Probably most of you wanted to know, what do I have to do to get an A? And I would say that every person in your church, every person in your staff deserves to know, what do I need to do today? I mean, I want to know I'm the director of a center here at the seminary, the J. Christy Wilson Center for World Missions. I want to know from the leadership here. Am I doing a good job? So somebody come by and evaluate me and say, this is what we asked you to do. This is what you said you were going to do. This is what you've done. You've got an A or B or C or D or you're fired. But people need to know. And so I would say with your missionaries, it's important to find ways to evaluate them because they want to know when they're out there is what I'm doing. Count anybody. Are we making progress in getting the job done? Okay.


A question or two. And then then we're. We're. We're done for the evening. I don't know. But there's also a place for realizing that maybe the greater need is not to do that. And I think that may have been in that ad. And Christiane, today that the headline was Thank you for staying home. The claim essentially was for $15 a month, we can support an indigenous itinerant evangelist who knows the language, who all he needs is a bicycle. He's going to start churches everywhere. And I would say most parts of the world where I've been a person just can't live on $15 a month. It's a deceptive claim to say, you know, here's a missionary for $100,000, I've never $800,000, and I've been at it for 20 years. But here's a missionary is going to cost you lots and lots of money and doesn't know the language. And he's going to come over every four years for a furlough. And here's a person who, for $15 a month on a bicycle, you know, you've got the country pretty much all mopped up. Neither one is really true. And so I would say beware of the danger of the half truth. And this is one of those things where you say we have an obligation to send people. It's going to be expensive, it's going to be costly. But we want to use money wisely. And so here again, it's a continuum. There are times when you would say it might have been a lot better use of that money to take the $25,000 and give it to that church to do whatever they need. And forget the high school group who went over there at that expense or college or whatever it was. But I will tell you that you won't get the $25,000.


I mean, it doesn't work like that. My daughter went on a trip to work with the seminary that Peter Goodrich is a part of, and I help to support her. She raised money. A lot of things happened in our church because there was a discipleship component that took place in and how much of an impact they made on the nation is to be determined. But really the intent was to help to disciple these young people. So those are always judgment calls. And I would say that anybody who's managing a budget, your money follows your values and you want to make sure that you're being good stewards, you're taking the talents that you've been given and you're multiplying them, and that that's as much with people as it is with money. And we have a responsibility to steward both. Well, this has been I've enjoyed being with you this evening. Thank you for the opportunity to interact with you. If you want to talk further about any of these matters, I'd love to meet you in my office over here any time. And I just trust that God will use all of you in the course of your lifetime to be a part of this great global, eternal enterprise in ways that just are beyond your wildest imagination. Because I would say that when God redirected us from what I had planned on being a pastor back in Peoria, my hometown in Illinois, which I love, and I think I would have enjoyed these last 25 years, have just been great experiences. I would also say that we're coming into some wonderful experiences now about the 25 year benchmark because you spend 25 years learning a language building trust. So God bless you. Thank you.