The essence of partnership
Partnership is best represented in the relationship between the members of the Trinity.
Although we in North America talk much about partnership, in reality we’re talking about sponsorship.*
Do we really know what partnership is? What it means?
Long before there were people who needed the gospel, the triune God enjoyed fellowship (koinonia) with one another. A sort of partnership, if you will. They had a shared heart, a shared desire, a shared purpose, a shared task, shared goals and a shared plan. This “shared-ness” is evident in the creation and redemption of man.
It should be evident in the way we conduct missions.If we are on mission with God (and I believe we are), and if the indwelling Holy Spirit provides the divine DNA for the church (and I believe he does), then all of our activity as the body of Christ should demonstrate the heart and character of our triune God.
We are people of Immanuel—God with us. We have been placed in Christ, and he in us. That speaks of unity…and partnership. His desires should be our desires. His purposes, our purposes, and his methods, our methods. As the partnership we know as the Trinity is allowed to live out its essence in us, we should be obvious manifestations of those unseen realities.
God does not SPONSOR our mission activities.
He rolls up his sleeves, girds his loins, straps on his boots, pulls out his maps, pours out his heart, suffers and sacrifices and PARTNERS with us. He goes before us and behind us. He provides and protects.
If we expect to work with him, we should expect to work the way he works…in partnership. We don’t send or pay someone else to do the job for us; we go with the goers, if not in person then at least in the fullest meaning of “in spirit.”
*Ron Blue, quoted in The Sending Church Defined, by Zach Bradley, p. 112