Building Healthy Partnerships

Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. He wrote,

“All the way up and all the way down we helped, and were helped by, each other — and that was the way it should be. We were not leader and led. We were partners.”

Examples of healthy partnerships abound in the world around us. Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller of Gallup studied partnerships of all kinds and identified eight dimensions of a healthy partnership.

“Whether your joint mission is to build a successful company, coach a team, improve the government, do something spectacular for a charity, or any other worthy goal, all successful partnerships share the same crucial ingredients.”

Let’s take a look at these eight dimensions and view them from a ministry perspective.


Building Healthy Partnerships Acceptance

Whenever two partners come together there is bound to be friction from their different perspectives and skill sets. This can be a recipe for conflict unless both learn to accept the idiosyncrasies of the other.We are learning the importance of accepting the idiosyncrasies, perspectives and skill sets of partners. Yet “acceptance” of other perspectives doesn’t necessarily mean an “unthinking agreement” with those perspectives.

We’ve found that engaging in respectful dialogue often leads to a meaningful plan of action with better outcomes for all involved.


Building Healthy Partnerships Forgiveness

People are imperfect. They make mistakes. Without forgiveness, partnerships will not survive.

Forgiveness can, in fact, trigger a deeper and better partnership. We are called to forgive, and to ask for forgiveness, when mistakes are made.

Complementary Strengths

One of the most powerful reasons for partnering is to work with someone who is strong where you are weak, and vice versa. It allows you to tackle challenges together that you couldn’t face alone.

We need local church partners who have a presence within a local community, continuity, cultural relevance, personal relationships, and sensitivity to the real needs of the children who live there. We offer a biblical approach to development, a well-researched program model, systems and tools for program administration, and access to a worldwide network of assistance and resources.

In our partnerships, we are often seen as the stronger partner, and this can easily overwhelm a smaller partner. But the local church has resources and experiences that we cannot reproduce and cannot buy.


No one likes to be taken advantage of. Among non-governmental organizations, it is easy for a partner from the developed world to callously use a partner in the developing world for their own agenda and to fulfill their own goals.

In the same light, it is possible for a partner from the developing world to take advantage of the giving potential of their partner. The key is for each partner to utterly refuse to take advantage of the other.

A Common Mission

Building Healthy Partnerships Mission

When partners are passionate about reaching the same goal, they will make the sacrifices necessary to see it through. We have found that the common mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name unites us with our partners.

In fact, the sacrifices so many of our partners make on behalf of the children is a continued source of inspiration and encouragement.


Building Healthy Partnerships Trust

You aren’t likely to do your best unless you trust that your partner will, too. Our partners want to trust us to be there for them, not only in everyday matters but also to look out for their interests in times of crisis.

In turn, we want to trust our partners — that they are not merely avoiding “getting caught” doing something wrong, but that they are continually dedicated to doing what is right and best for the children and the mission. We build trust when we engage in trustworthy behavior.


Building Healthy Partnerships Communication

The only way partners can be united in one mission is when the pair communicates well. In our partnerships, partnership facilitators ensure a rich flow of communication between church partners and our ministry.

Our partnership facilitators are of the same nationality and usually of the same culture and language group as the local church partner, which greatly enhances our ability to communicate effectively.


In partnership, our concern for our own well-being should be superseded by the gratification we gain from seeing our partner succeed. Because our common goal is releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name, we are passionate about helping our partners succeed.

We believe it would be selfish not to encourage our partners to assume an increasing role in serving the children in their community. So we consider it a success when our partners mature in carrying out their ministry without dependence on us.

We simply can’t succeed without our partners. We want to build healthy relationships that last through our common mission, trust, communication, and unselfishness. We know that together we can achieve so much more than we could do alone, and we trust that God will use these partnerships to bear good fruit.

This was originally published on February 11, 2012.

37 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Onel JEAN December 22, 2022

    Hello Compassion!
    I am Onel JEAN, I am Christian. I preach the world of God in the city of Jeremie Haiti, a lot of children can’t go to school in are that I am for less thant $10,
    Please, help us to help more to go school. While I helping them to know Jesus
    May God bless you,

    1. Grace December 22, 2022

      Hello Onel Jean! Thank you for reaching out to us on behalf of these children who need help. Can you please email us at [email protected] to see if we can assist you further? Thank you, and God bless!

  2. Josephat Mbui October 28, 2022

    Very informative and valuable. I would wish to partner with concern through my local church assembly

    1. Nicole October 28, 2022

      Hi, Josephat. We would be happy to speak with you about potential partnership. Would you kindly send us an email to [email protected] ? Thanks!

  3. Chisholm Obed Mwenya September 8, 2022

    Am a Pastor in rural town of Samfya under the Fire Baptised Church. In my church I have venerable children and women. How do I partner with you to help this families.

    1. Christina September 8, 2022

      Hello, Pastor Chisholm. We greatly appreciate your heart for the children in need in your town. Please email us at [email protected] to see if we are able to help you. Thank you!

  4. James olufemi Cooper May 23, 2022

    My name is pastor James olufemi Cooper Sierra Leone an pastor and founder faith for salvation outreach ministry ,my ministry have children with single parent (mother) shelter, clothing ,and education is a challenge to them as we are in the same kingdom may we find favour in your eyes to help them be whom God wanted them to be

    1. Amy May 23, 2022

      Pastor James Olufemi Cooper, thank you so much for your work to minister to these precious children and mothers in Sierra Leone! We welcome you to email us at [email protected] so we can speak further with you. God bless!

  5. Manyoni Moses Nyau March 27, 2022

    Hello. My name is Moses Nyau from Zambia. I am a Coordinator of Vine Branch Ministries of Zambia. We run a community school for needy children and a women empowerment programme. We are based in rural Zambia. We are asking for help to enable us change the lives of the so many needy women and children in rural Zambia.

    1. Elizabeth March 28, 2022

      Hello Moses Nyau, thank you for reaching out to us and for the work you are currently doing to help those in need in Zambia. Please send an email to [email protected] so we can discuss if we can help you. Thank you!

  6. Daniel Obeng Danquah February 16, 2022

    How can I join this group and work with you?

    1. Christina February 16, 2022

      Hello Daniel! We are grateful for your desire to work with us in our mission. Please email us at [email protected] to learn more. Thank you!

  7. Alice kerubo August 22, 2021

    Am Alice from Kenya,l have an orphanage and school for the poor in my community what I lack is finance to enable me I supporting them

    1. Nicole August 23, 2021

      Hi, Alice! Would you kindly send us an email to [email protected], so we can learn more about this situation and see if we can help? – Nicole

  8. Leanne Evans August 20, 2021

    Hello, my name is Pstr. Leanne from NH. I began my little ministry – Inspiration Africa – a bit ago and it is growing. What saddens me is a pastor I currently have in my ministry who cares for children; who he is trying so desperately to assist and find proper care for. There is so much good will in Africa, yet so many unwilling to be the Hands and Feet of our precious Lord and Savior. We have no idea who these children could become, if only given the chance and taught how to fish. God bless…

    1. Grace August 20, 2021

      Hello Pastor Leanne! We are very encouraged to hear about your work ministering to children in Africa. Can you please send us an email at [email protected] so we can speak to you further there? Thank you very much!

  9. Pst. Benjamin Oten July 5, 2021

    I’m a pastor serving God in Western region in Kenya. I have faith based organization which is comprised of fourteen Churches of different denominations. In this organization there is an orphanage which helping children who are orphans and vulnerable. The orphanage at her capacity is managing 56 children with provision of food, clothes, school uniform and fees. We have accommodated only to 56 but there are other 70 children who we do not have the capacity. These children are completely in critical situation where by they have no food, clothes and education. This has resulted due to COVID 19.Their parents used to work in different firms but now they are jobless due economic situation in the Country. I therefore request you to partner with me for the purpose of prayer and extend your hand of support to these children so that to my they may aquire the basic needs for there life.

    1. Nicole July 7, 2021

      Hi, Pastor Benjamin! Thank you so much for reaching out to us! We are deeply encouraged by your ministry in Kenya and by your helping those around you, and we are praying for you community! As for your request for partnership, would you kindly send us an email to [email protected], so we can further discuss this situation and any possibility of our helping your ministry and orphanage?

  10. Stanley JZ chitukwi November 6, 2020

    Dear Madam,
    Good afternoon. I would like to introduce myself to you through this discussion on the partnership of build local churches. iam looking for partner to work together in Mozambique to build church in Angonia. The name of the church is Rejoice International Ministry.
    lam also passionate to pray together so that we can strengthening our relationship
    Stanley JZ chitukwi

    1. Christina November 6, 2020

      Hello Stanley, we appreciate your heart for children and your desire to partner with our ministry! Please send us an email to [email protected] so we can discuss whether we can help you. Thank you!

  11. Christopher Dzinja September 17, 2020

    I feel this is God’s call to alleviate many orphans and vulnerable children who are in dare need of help. Church has been called for this in this present generation where many children live in abject poverty. I thank God for the work you are doing.

    May Bless the work you are doing and gives fresh ideas on how you do to reach more people across the world

    1. Shannon September 17, 2020


      Thank you so much for your support! We truly appreciate your heart for those in need!

  12. Joseph w Mutamba February 13, 2020

    It is good help each other

  13. Peter Obonyo Odhiambo January 24, 2020

    Hello I am Pastor Peter Obonyo Odhiambo from Rambula north in Ugunja sub county siaya county in Kenya ,I do evangelism care for orphans and vulnerable children in rural area and I would like to partner with your esteemed organization compassion, because I find it very very difficult for just one person at the moment I have 122 children please I appeal for your partnership to remove these children in poverty and add more value for the kingdom of God to this community, hope for your response

    1. Mackenzie January 24, 2020

      Hello Pastor Peter! Thank you so much for your interest to partner with Compassion! We would love to talk to you about a possible partnership.
      Please send us an email us at [email protected] so that we can further assist you.

  14. Keneth mkali November 17, 2019

    It is nice, I have an idea of establishing the ministry that will will help the village people to overcome their poverty problem and empowering village churches to grow. But I miss only one thing, which is capital, can compassion join my ministry?

    1. Sierra November 18, 2019

      Hi Keneth! If you are interested in having your ministry partner with Compassion, please email us at [email protected]! We look forward to hearing from you!

  15. Pr Outa ben October 18, 2019

    I would like to partner with you .

    1. Shannon October 18, 2019

      Hello Pr Outa Ben,
      Thank you so much for your interest to partner with Compassion! We would love to talk to you about a possible partnership. Can you please email us at [email protected]? From there, we will be happy to talk with you more. Thank you so much!

  16. Pastor Onesmus Mweu Kyule March 8, 2019

    This is a good work you are doing God bless you

  17. omutoj joseph steven March 27, 2017

    very good job people of God,the way to get more blessings is helping orphans.i have the same bunden to help orphans but i request to partner with you.joseph from uganda bukedea.thanks

  18. vikash mandal July 23, 2016

    Dear Sir,

    Greetings in Jesus name.

    I am vikash from Jharkhand, I have a church in uttar Pradesh.i am looking for partner for

    my church. please let me know. if you can join me.

    Thank you

    1. Sarah July 25, 2016

      Hi Vikash! Please email us at [email protected] for more information on partnership. Thanks!

  19. Lamuel Raiborde July 20, 2016

    Hi I am Lamuel paster of The Redeemer church 150+ congregations at Nashik Maharashtra India,we having disciplieship collage every year we make 25 descipal after that handover to each of them cell group so that the they win the sole for Christ and make descipal.i wanted to become mission partner with compassion international for furthermore.

    1. Sarah July 21, 2016

      Hi Pastor! Please email us at [email protected] for more information on partnership.

  20. Varney G.Johnson June 6, 2016

    I will be thankful to GOD if I am accepted

    1. Sarah June 7, 2016

      Hi Varney! Please email us at [email protected] for more information on our program!

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