A Strong Partnership Is About Relationships

While the Bible doesn’t use the word partnership, we see examples in the Bible of churches partnering together from the earliest history of the Church. And the principles we learn from the Bible about humility, equality and mutuality should guide how we work in partnership.

At Compassion, we highly value our relationships with local churches in the countries where we work. They minister on the front lines to the children we serve. They also minister to us.

As Compassion Latin America and Caribbean regional vice president Edouard Lassegue writes,

“Though these congregations may be under-resourced financially, often they are spiritually rich and vibrant and able to contribute in an authentic two-way relationship.”

Much of the Christian Church today has been blessed with significant resources, financial and otherwise. Other parts of the global body of believers struggle with tremendous limitations of resources yet have incredible opportunities for ministry.

Partnering between the resource-rich part of the Church and the resource-poor part of the Church is not something particularly new or noble. It is just what we should do. It is simply what Paul asked the early Church to do.

It is only right and practical for churches in various parts of the world to partner together to care for each other and to advance the gospel and the kingdom of God.

When the Body of Christ comes together in partnership, we honor and obey Jesus’ mandate that His followers act as one. But it takes time to develop a partnership — especially the relational aspects of partnership.

Partnership Relationships

Relationship is central to partnership. In the countries where we work, partnerships are perceived as being primarily relational. But often in North America and many of our sponsoring countries, partnerships tend to be contractual in nature.

True partnership requires the ability to set aside tasks and agendas long enough for the partners to listen to each other, identify their common mission and understand what each partner can contribute.

Edouard Lassegue says:

“Many times we rush through the process of partnership without taking the time to recognize and put in place the necessary building blocks of partnership. We jump into action without developing the foundation of true partnership — solid relationship.

“On one hand, lack of relationship causes a church in [a developing country] to see its relationship with a parachurch organization or congregation [in a developed nation] as a funding mechanism and not as true partnership that demonstrates equality in Christ, mutual benefits, and sharing resources and lessons together.

“On the other hand, lack of relationship causes the church or parachurch organization from [the developed nation] to want to solve problems for the local church in a paternalistic way, treating that church as a child needing direction, provision and supervision. … True partnership is based on solid relationship.”

At Compassion, we seek healthy relationships in spite of these potential obstacles. We intentionally hire national staff in every country in which we serve. Our front-line relationship manager with every church partner (the partnership facilitator) is selected as one who is as close to the partner’s culture as possible to encourage relationship and communication.

We must walk together, talk together, and have tea together before we will be effective in working together. Real partnership is an ongoing journey, and it takes time.

This was originally published in February 2012

10 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Francis Agbemade September 8, 2021


    Please I am a welfare committee chairman in my church in Ghana. I have many children in the church whose parents are poor as a result of broken homes and husbands death.

    I am therefore entreating your management to grant sponsorship for them to enable the church to care for the children according to the will of God Almighty in Christ Jesus name. Amen.

    Thank you very much for your concern.

    Lighthouse Chapel.

    1. Mackenzie September 9, 2021

      Francis, we are so sorry to hear about the suffering that is going on in your community, and we appreciate you reaching out. Could you please send us an email at [email protected] so we can speak to you further? We look forward to hearing from you!

  2. Beni July 24, 2021

    Really it’s so good may God help you all

  3. Benson wanjala July 16, 2021

    I appreciate for the good work you started.i request if you can stand with us.in the ministry we need ones.

    1. Christina July 16, 2021

      Benson, thank you for your desire to partner with our ministry. Please email us at [email protected] to see if we are able to partner with you. Thank you!

  4. Robert March 4, 2021

    Am Robert from Uganda here to thank God for the lighting of the people in our community and i I’m here to introduce to you the regece Uganda as a community based organization

    1. Mackenzie March 4, 2021

      Hello Robert! Thank you so much for reaching out! Could you please send us an email at [email protected] so we can speak with you further? We look forward to hearing from you!

  5. GEORGE SASABI December 2, 2016

    i want to thank you for good work you are doing allover the world
    to the body of Christ
    I am a pastor doing the work of God here in kenya i want to partner with you guide me sir

    1. Christina Wilson December 5, 2016

      Hello Pastor George Sasabi! We would love to speak with you more about the possibility of partnering with Compassion International. Please email us at [email protected]. Thank you!

  6. karina February 5, 2012

    Great post on partnership.I write for the Far East Broadcasting Blog…http://www.febc.org/blog/febc. I often check the Compassion blog and find it powerful and inspirational.
    Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement.

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