Here’s a good word from MissionsMisunderstood.com:
More often than not, “partnering in missions,” means small churches give what little money they think they can afford to a larger church or a missions sending agency that will handle mobilization, screening, indoctrination, training, sending, and maintenance of missionaries on the field. This is not “partnering,” it’s outsourcing.
The difference is subtle, but detrimental to our efforts and disastrous for our missiology. The myth of “insufficient resources” perpetuates the distinction between the “professionals” and everyone else. But the Great Commission belongs to every local church. The missional church thinks and acts like a missionary at home and abroad.
For me now is a particularly good time for this good word on partnership and missions. My wife and I are preparing to serve in Cameroon with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We’re in what you call the initial stages of “partnership development” which means that in order for the ministry we hope to have to get off the ground people and churches are going to need to “partner” with us by committing to pray for us and by give financially.
The last effect we want partnership with us to have on the individuals who partner with us is that they see their missions obligations outsourced to us. “This is not ‘partnering,’ it’s outsourcing.”
The truth is God has gifted all of us to bring his message of redemption to this battered and broken orb. I know that he has made me to be a linguist, working with African pastors to translate God’s word into their language. I know that he has gifted you–made you–to do something for his glory. So do it! And let me help you along while you help me along and we’ll both build for Christ’s kingdom that we eagerly anticipate.
Let me know what I can do to partner with you. Here’s information on what you can do to partner with me.