How Do We Decide Which Churches to Partner With?

church-partners The concept of partnering with a church may seem simple enough, but what’s actually involved in choosing which churches we should partner with? It’s relatively simple question with a not so simple answer.

In the Philippines, it all starts in the country office with a process they call strategic mapping.

The first step of the process is for the Research Evaluation Analyst to gather information on the poverty situation throughout the country.

Using this information, the analyst identifies the poorest areas in the country.

  • Human Development Index
  • Child Development Index
  • Poverty Incidence
  • Percentage of evangelicals in the area
  • The peace and order situation in the area

The next step is an “ocular survey” of all the areas identified.

An ocular survey is an actual visit to the areas to ensure that the information gathered is accurate.

If the information can be validated then the country office establishes contacts within the area. This includes making contact with pastors, elders, church volunteers and so on.

Once relationships have been established it’s time for employees from the country office to present Compassion to the churches. An invitation is sent out to representatives of the churches in the area via word of mouth, email, ministerial fellowships and referrals.

On presentation day, the country office presents our ministry and mission. At the end of the presentation, the interested churches fill out an application form.

From here the country office will conduct in-depth, one-on-one meetings with the pastor and the church leaders.

The church also must provide documents certifying that it is indeed a church.

After all these steps take place and everything is validated, then the process of actually opening the child development center takes place.

While this process may sound tedious, it’s put in place for many reasons. One of the more critical reasons is to stress the long-term commitment the church is making to the children and families in its community.

What we don’t want to do is open churches as rapidly as we can to push up the number of children we’re helping. It’s important that we are able to provide consistent and dependable assistance for the long-term well-being of the children.

If a church does get involved and then decides a year or so down the road that partnering with us isn’t for them, it’s the children who suffer.

Once a church ends its partnership with us that means the child development center closes. The children who were able to be sponsored and receive the programmatic benefits no longer can.

A long-term commitment to working with local churches is one way we stay child focused.

11 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Alfred David Johnson August 26, 2015

    Wow. This is what I have been praying to connect with.
    We need this in Liberia. Children are with out food and clothing. Parents can not afford to send their children to school. Children are forceful bread winners on the streets of monrovia for parents.
    We are a great commission church. We focus planting churches in the rural areas of liberia. We feed feed less fortunate children once a month. Our nation went through fourteen years of civil conflict. We ask to partner with you to reach children in Liberia.

    1. Susan Sayler August 28, 2015

      Alfred, Thank you for your post regarding assistance from Compassion International. We very much appreciate your desire to help those in need in Liberia. Unlike a relief and development agency, Compassion International is a non-profit, child development agency that works with existing church-based organizations. The funds that we receive are donated from sponsors for individual children in Compassion-assisted projects to provide for their educational, health and nutritional needs. It is our policy to register children ages nine and under into our program. Compassion is not currently working in Liberia, nor do we have plans to expand there in the near future. Regrettably, we do not have access to additional funds to help with outside ministries nor can we recommend any specific organizations that might.

  2. Diana June 9, 2015

    Are there any procedures in place to make sure it’s a church that teaches the true Gospel?

    1. Emily Vanhoutan June 9, 2015

      Hi Diana! Compassion partners with strong local churches who agree with our Statement of Faith and Mission Statement. The Christian leaders and churches must be willing to invite our ministry into their country and competent Christians to staff country offices and lead the projects that your children attend. We work with local church partners and fellowships that represent over 58 evangelical, Christ-centered denominations and many indigenous churches. Our statement of faith is the same as that of the National Association of Evangelicals.

  3. ANTHONY MIAH October 7, 2014

    Dear Sir,

    I am an evangelist in Ghana and would like to enter into church
    planting in rural areas. I am currently a teacher in a high school. I
    would not like to start a new ministry or church on my own but would
    like to fulfil my ministry under the umbrella of a church or ministry
    who would like to reach out to Ghana, West Africa. I will be please
    to be part of that church and plant churches in Ghana. Thank you for your
    attention . God bless you

    KAKU MIAH

    1. Emily Vanhoutan October 8, 2014

      Hello Anthony! We appreciate your desire to love and minister to the people of Ghana! Please email us at ciinfo@us.ci.org for more information on partnering with us or job opportunities with Compassion Ghana :).

  4. juan jose garcia June 14, 2011

    TENGO UNA ASOCIACION DE PERSONAS CON CAPACIDADES DIFERETES AQUI EN JILOTEPEC ESTado de mexico ME PODRIAN ISCRIBIR A MI ASOCIACION PARA LOS APOYOS QUE DAN LES SUPLICO ME MANDE LOS REQUISITOS

  5. Jill Foley – Compassion Family June 1, 2011

    It helps me appreciate just how much thought there is in the process – how the long term commitment is important – and again, how Compassion is committed to financial integrity.

  6. Amy Sullivan May 31, 2011

    Wow, I had no idea what actually went into this process.

  7. Andrew Z May 31, 2011

    Does the analystlook for the areas with many or few evangelicals?

    1. Brianne McKoy June 1, 2011

      Hi Andrew,
      They look for areas with many evangelicals. Specifically, several evangelical churches in the area. The reason for this is because it is a better use of funds for Compassion to partner with many churches in the area as opposed to just 2 or 3 due to what goes into training the church leaders and getting the church set-up to register Compassion children.

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