I average one about every other day. Someone wants our church to become a mission partner. The requests come through different means—email, in-person, lunch meetings, over coffee, phone calls, and social media. The asks all differ slightly, but the spirit of most of them is the same: Will you support my ministry? Sometimes they want people resources (we need access to your volunteer base). Sometimes they want funding (we need help financially). Sometimes they want the church to help raise awareness (we want to use your social media platform).
Most church leaders—especially senior pastors—field a lot of requests from ministries wanting to be mission partners. I can’t blame them. If you believe in your ministry, then you should want as many mission partners as possible. Churches are often the first place people seek help, and I understand the desire to raise a lot of support.
The Internet age makes it much easier for independent missions, movements, and ministries to raise funding, as well as gain access to the decision-makers in churches. Independent works are on the rise. Expect these types of requests to continue and to increase in number.
How do you begin to select a mission partner with so many out there? What do you say when you’re inundated with requests? I’ve created three filters that help on the front end. There is more to selecting a mission partner than these filters. However, with three simple requirements, you can eliminate most requests without sounding harsh with a quick “no.”
Filter 1: Doctrine. The first requirement (and in my view the most important), is a formal doctrinal statement from a potential mission partner. If a group cannot tell you what they believe, then you have no business partnering with them. Some churches may want narrow doctrinal parameters. Our church has broader doctrinal parameters (we partner with people outside of our denomination). However, I must know what you believe before I ask my church to send people, money, and time to support your work.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sam Rainer