By Bob & Dian Harner, Missions Mobilization
What is happening in Cleveland? Has a winning pro football team actually been developed? After waiting over 50 years, might we have a championship team again? The new leadership of the Cleveland Browns has been assembling a team of talented players. Many of them are divas of sorts. Others are disgruntled or have a chip on their shoulder because they feel overlooked or underappreciated. Most have been somewhat problematic to their former team’s leadership. But that is part of the plan because these guys feel they have something to prove. They are, nonetheless, a talented group that is being formed into a (hopefully) cohesive, winning team.
God, too, has been forming a team. His team is not like this Cleveland Browns team. In fact, at first glance, some may think His team is more like the Browns team that went 1-31 over a two-year stretch. Yet God has a plan. The world would call it a foolish plan, but “this foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” (1 Cor. 1:25 NLT)
God has already chosen the team and you are part of it! “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Cor. 1:26-29 NIV)
Am I calling you a fool or weak, lowly or despised? Not at all! Each team member that God has chosen may have been those things, but each member has also become part of God’s team which has “Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God” available to them. (1 Cor. 1:24 NIV) This team is composed of pastors and lay people, of churches and individuals, and of fields, teams and individual International Workers (IW) from clergy, vocational, and marketplace tracks. God’s team is meant to partner together to bring Gospel access for and from all peoples.
For the team to function at its highest potential in true partnership, relationships must be forged. That is why we want to help you and your church discover the joy of partnership with our Alliance IWs by offering Partnership Exploration Trips. The Central District will cover the expenses of lead pastoral couples if they have 3 or more influencers from their congregation who commit to going on the trip with them, either raising their own support or supported by the church. The church can choose the field, team or IWs they will visit. We will arrange the first trip and accompany you, assisting you in asking the questions that will help you determine how you would best fit in partnership with that team or IW.
What are the requirements?
If you don’t already know an IW you think you could work well in partnership with, start praying that God will introduce you to one.
Consider the types of ministries, talents, and skills your church enjoys or excels at, and then feel free to contact us to see where those ministries, talents, and skills are needed overseas.
Discuss the idea with your church leadership (whether you are a pastor or in some other role).
When the leadership is open to the idea, contact us.
Fill out the application form.
Once you have successfully done these things, we will work with you and an IW or field to set up a trip.
You and your church’s value in missions partnership doesn’t come from the number of people who sit in the pew or the number of dollars given, but from the size of your heart’s passion for God and His work. God has already equipped you for the task. He has already chosen you to be part of His team. What are you going to do about it? If you’ve been on the sidelines, here’s your chance to actively engage on the field.