People are often surprised to hear about the progress being made in places that are very closed off to access by westerners. Many times, as we tell the stories of what God is doing among persecuted, impoverished churches in places that are very hard to reach, our friends in the West say, “We don’t want to miss out! God is at work and we want to be a part of it!” So we at Reconciled World want to give opportunities to get involved in what God is doing.
Not long ago, the team at Reconciled World sensed God was calling us to develop opportunities for churches in the West to connect as partners in the work of Reconciled World.
In the midst of many organizations around the world that God is using, Reconciled World’s specific calling is to partner with local Christians (primarily in Asia and Africa) to help them, 1) look at their challenges from a biblical perspective, 2) identify lies within their worldview that conflict with what the Bible says, and 3) work wholistically to address intertwined physical and spiritual needs.
As we state in our mission, we apply biblical truth to brokenness in all areas of life. We are utterly convinced that when we see a problem, we start with the Bible and go from there. Approaching issues in a wholistic manner, we seek to understand how scripture applies to the problems we are addressing.
So what does a church partnership look like?
In a word, partnership looks like ‘relationship.’
When a church in the West shares our passion to apply biblical truth to brokenness in all areas of life, it makes sense to explore what partnership looks like. One of the advantages of working with Reconciled World is that we are a small, efficient, flexible ministry. We don’t have a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to building a partnership with a Western church.
Often God is already at work in prompting the hearts of a church to get involved in building a relationship with people from another part of the globe. Do you have a heart for the hardest to reach places in Asia? Or is God stirring your heart for Africa? We might be the right partner for your church.
In other churches there is a particular issue they are feeling called to engage in. What do you have a heart for?
- Disabled children?
- To see young people trained in vocation while being discipled?
- Injustice around women and girls?
- The AIDS community?
- Creative ways to use art to bring about individual and cultural change?
- Do you long to see those in deep poverty given a chance to start a business and change their family’s future?
- Or churches trained to love and serve their village and lead their people out of poverty?
As we at Reconciled World get to know the heart, call, and passion of churches here in the Western world, we begin to form a relationship and explore the potential for a mutually beneficial connection.
We are developing new ways to engage our church partners with the work on the field. Our current focus is to create ways of connecting our front line workers who train and walk with churches in rural, impoverished areas. Pray with us as we look for 15 churches or groups who will sponsor a trainer for a year: supporting our trainers as they take brave risks to bring the Kingdom of God to some of the hardest and most dangerous places on earth.
Because of the sensitive nature of the countries we work in, we have to be careful about how we connect our church partners in the West with our work in the field.
How about your church? How is God nudging you to build relationships with people who are bringing the truths of scripture to broken, difficult places? If you are ready to explore partnership, connect with Doug, our Director of Church Engagement. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Doug is the Director of Church Engagement for Reconciled World. From an early age, he had a heart for cultures around the globe and has had opportunities to learn and minister in a wide variety of international settings. He now regularly speaks at churches and retreats on a wide variety of topics, and is an enthusiastic fan of the Minnesota Vikings and Twins.