Lessons from Partner Developement (Posted 3-18-2010)

At the moment of our appointment almost 2 years ago, we probably underestimated the significance of choosing a mission. We knew that the mission we chose would affect the process of successful transference from seminary life to partner development, but we didn’t really know the significance of the challenges. Now we understand more clearly how multiple aspects of deputation life interface with a mission and its values and objectives. The mission you choose really matters.

In upcoming blog posts, we want to give some perspective for prospective missionaries. We have been incredibly pleased with our decision to go with WorldVenture, and as you hear us share, we hope to show you a few reasons why.

1. Partnership Philosophy – Nothing will challenge your theology of personal possessions, stewardship, and asking for support quite like full time support development. Asking others to give monthly donations to your ministry rattles your nerves. Of course, good theology says that you’re asking people to give God’s funds to God’s work, but at first it doesn’t feel this way. So in the beginning, your theology gets singed by the fires of trial. You begin to ask questions. Is it right to ask for support from a non-Christian? Should you always ask in every meeting, no matter what? Should you never ask, and just pray?

If your mission’s philosophy of asking churches and individuals for funding doesn’t match with your own, be prepared for a massive three year stress headache. So instead, find out how the mission trains their people to raise support. Are they in line with George Mueller (never ask) or Bill Bright (ask!)?

WorldVenture has in house staff working full time to see appointees work hard according to God’s will for raising support. Thankfully, their philosophy matched quite closely with ours: something of mediating position between Mueller and Bright.

We are thankful for the WorldVenture staff members who helped us walk through deputation well.

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