Decoding Church Partnership


by Kevin Squires

Setting out to correct all the church's wrongs, you most certainly will add to them.  Setting out to strengthen it, you most certainly will. Sure, you can point to several church reformers through the years, even Jesus himself, who corrected the church and made it better; however, the vast majority of church reformers simply split the church and created wakes of chaos for generations to come.  Rather than partnering with the church to help equip, inspire, and mobilize it to become what Christ intended it to be, they simply sought to change it to fit their specific doctrine or agenda.

That’s why we believe the key to strengthening the church is finding unity in Christ through church partnership.  At World Orphans, we have Baptist churches partnering with Pentecostal churches… rich churches partnering with poor churches… city churches partnering with village churches… and mega churches partnering with house churches.

But, what exactly is church partnership?

In this day and age, it’s easy to get lost in translation when it comes to the idea of church partnership.  Organization after organization has its own idea about what partnership looks like.  So, perhaps now is a good time to unpack what we mean when we say church partnership.

Church Partnership: A complementary relationship between two churches guided by a common, Gospel-centered vision and sustained by an equal willingness to learn, to serve, to grow, and to extend grace to one another under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Decoding Church Partnership…

“Developed through a complementary relationship between two churches”

  • Implemented in a mutual, non-paternalistic relationship with equal parts
  • Implemented between one US church and one international church, with World Orphans serving as the facilitator and mediator

“Guided by a common, Gospel-centered vision”

  • Committed to Christ, the Gospel, the local church, and church partnership
  • Committed to the wholistic care of children in families

“Sustained by an equal willingness to learn, to grow, and to extend grace to one another”

  • Guided by the belief that the local church knows what is best for their community
  • Guided by the understanding that the body of Christ is made up of many parts, each with something to contribute

“Surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ”

  • Committed to surrendering the ownership and authority of the partnership to Christ
  • Committed to role of servant

Currently, World Orphans facilitates approximately 50 church partnerships throughout 12 countries around the world.  Available partnerships currently exist for Guatemala, Cambodia, South Africa, and Iraq.  If you would like profiles of any of these projects or more information about ways to partner with World Orphans, please email your inquiry to info@worldorphans.org.

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