When Jesus commanded His disciples to “go and make disciples of all the nations,” (Matthew 28:19), He did not (at that time) give them many details on how this task was to be accomplished! Yet one of Jesus’ helpful instructions was to “teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you,” (28:20). Among other things, Jesus wanted the Great Commission itself to be passed on to all believers as a personal responsibility!
It’s very easy to look at missions as a job for only a few, namely those missionaries who actually go to other countries and personally share the Gospel. This perspective immediately does a disservice to the many indispensable support missionaries around the world – pilots, leaders, government representatives, supply buyers, and many more without whom missionary work would never happen! But the greatest fallacy in this perspective comes when we fail to realize a basic fact about the Great Commission:
God did not intend missionary work to be done by individuals, but rather designed it as a job for the whole Church to accomplish together!
All believers bear the privilege and responsibility to share the hope they have in Christ! And the picture God paints of the Church in I Corinthians 12 is that of a body, with all parts necessarily working together toward a common goal. We cannot hope to accomplish the tasks God has for us if we operate independently of the rest of the Church!
Partnership reminds us of the necessity to work together to extend the reach of the Gospel. Just as an arm cannot lift a load without a hand, shoulder, back, or head… church planters like Amy and I cannot accomplish our part in the Great Commission without the rest of the Body of Christ. Like every other Christian we need accountability, friendship, a helping hand, leadership, counsel, love, and so much more… and our physical absence from our home church in the United States doesn’t change those needs at all!
For all these reasons, our home assignments in the United States focus on partnership: spending precious time with the churches and individuals who stand alongside us in ministry. While we certainly need financial support, having our ministry’s bills paid is not our ultimate focus! We pray that God will continue raising up a true team of partners around us – fellow believers who are passionate to see the unreached told of Jesus’ love for them, and who are excited to reach those people through us! We crave partnership with people who will pray for us continually, give cheerfully and generously to the Lord through our ministry, and encourage us when we’re struggling or facing opposition. These partners are just as integral to the missionary work as we are – in different roles, but equally included in the blessings that come from sharing Christ with others.
Finally, we are looking for those who view us as partners in their lives! Brothers and sisters in Christ who will share their prayer requests with us, and invite us to intercede for them. The opportunity to lift up the needs of others before the Lord is precious to us, and we love when those who invest in us are also willing to let us invest in them.
So… that is what partnership means to us. A team of believers, working together even when physically apart – reaching out to fulfill the Great Commission as enabled by the Lord. Will you consider partnering with us? There are millions of people in Mexico who have never heard that Jesus died for them – and we would treasure the opportunity to work with you to tell them.