There is great reward and joy through collaborating in the body of Christ. The people of Partners International have helped make this real to us. Indeed, we at Mission ONE respect and much appreciate the ministry of Partners International. Here are some reasons why:
The former president of Partners International gave great advice to help Mission ONE get started. Before Bob Schindler founded Mission ONE in 1991, he began a friendship with Allen Finley, who had been the long-time president of Partners International. Allen was recommended as a wise person with whom to talk concerning cross-cultural partnership; Allen became a mentor to Bob and freely shared his experience and wisdom on some important areas of the ministry. Although Allen Finley has since gone home to be with the Lord, his legacy remains.
- Concerning how to partner: Allen Finley told Bob that friendship with the nationals is vital. Many indigenous Christian leaders found that the most valuable aspect of being connected to the ministry of Partners International was friendship. Knowing there is someone who will listen and understand is so important to them. It seems that for Allen, being a friend to a key leader was one of the great joys of his life, and he stressed this to Bob.
- Concerning with whom to partner: Allen advised Bob, in essence, Don’t fund a novice in the ministry with a dream, rather, partner with leaders who are currently doing the ministry with, our without funding. The idea is to come alongside leaders called of God who are already proven effective. This was sage advice to someone starting a cross-cultural partnership ministry—from one of the pioneers.
- Concerning fundraising: Allen told Bob that 85 to 90 percent of fundraising is relationships. Mission ONE has benefited from this principle and shared it with many others—over and over again.
Thank you, Lord, for connecting Bob Schindler with Allen Finley. Thank you, Partners International, for befriending so many Christian mission leaders—both in the west and in the majority world; you are an example to so many of how to do things well in cross-cultural partnership.
- When COSIM was started in the early-1990s, who was there to envision, facilitate and lead? It was largely the leaders from Partners International. Individuals such as Chuck Bennett and Dan Rickett were there in the beginning years and invested significantly to get the ball rolling. Bob Savage has been to every single COSIM conference and has been a steady steering committee member—keeping COSIM’s vision on track.
- PI has provided financial administration for COSIM since the beginning.
- My own involvement in COSIM has been a huge blessing to Mission ONE, and a most valuable learning journey for me personally. What an enormous privilege to learn with other leaders how to practice healthy cross-cultural partnerships, how to navigate partnership challenges and grow our respective ministries. Thank you, Lord, for the investment of people from Partners International in COSIM over the last 15 years.
There are others at Partners International whom we know and appreciate … Alex Araujo, a gift to the body of Christ as a partnership consultant, practitioner and biblicist … Kim Kerr and her partnership ministry with indigenous Christian women in the majority world … P.I. President Jon Lewis who has a passion for what he calls “servant partnerships” … and worth mentioning again, Bob Savage, who has served the COSIM vision so persistently … I simply want to say, on behalf of the ministry of Mission ONE, we are grateful to the Lord for you all.
- If you would like to learn more about Partners International, visit their web site: partnersintl.org.
- For excellent articles about cross-cultural partnership, visit their resources page by clicking here.