5 questions your church should ask when picking a missions partner

by Kurt Rahn, World Vision Church Resource Team on January 18, 2017

Working with a partner is one of the best choices you can make for long-lasting impact on those in need and for engaging your church. But picking a partner can be a real challenge. There's a lot of options when it comes to groups you can partner with. In fact, according to GuideStar there are currently 84,706 Christian charities in the United States alone. One pastor told me that they could meet with a different organization every day if they had the time. 

So, with so many options, it is important for you to pick a missions partner that fits your church and helps you accomplish your church's goals. Here are 5 important questions you should ask before partnering with an organization.
What impact will this organization make for those in need?
This is probably the most obvious question but it's also an important one. Not all organizations have the same ability to transform people's lives in a lasting way. It's important to look at how much money goes to those in need and what lasting impact an organization is capable of making. When looking at potential partners or when talking with current ones, make sure you see their plan for making long-term impact on the people and communities your church will be serving.
How will this organization help disciple my congregation?
You know that one of the most important roles of your church is discipling your congregation. Discipling people specifically around God's heart for the poor is an area that many churches overlook. One way to do this effectively is to have your partner help you with discipleship. Ask potential partners what tools and resources they have that will educate and inspire your congregation.
How will this organization help engage my church?
Make sure you pick a partner that will help you get your church excited and engaged in helping in missions. Find out what kind of volunteer and giving options your partner provides. Will these opportunities help your congregation connect with the vision of helping those in need?
How does this partnership align with my church's vision and mission?
Think about how potential partners can help your church better live out your mission. By picking the right partner, you can work together to develop outreach opportunities, tell stories of life change in and outside the walls of your church, and help people understand the vision and mission of your church.
How long will this partnership last?
With every partnership, there's often a season of deep partnership. This can be anywhere from a year to over 10 years. Remember, you don't have to be in partnership with every organization for the same amount time. It's often better to think about having a few partners that last a long time so that your church can deeply connect with the needs of a group of people or community.
Make sure you think about how you will keep people engaged with each partnership you take on. Many times partnerships can become stale and hard to keep momentum within your church. Mapping out a plan with your potential partner will really help keep your congregation excited about meeting the needs of people locally and around the world.

Picking the right partner can be a difficult choice, but thinking through the 5 important questions will help you think more deeply about what partners you pick. There are so many needs in your church, in your community, and around the world that it can feel overwhelming at times. The most important thing you can do is pick a partner who makes a long-term lasting impact and who helps you engage your congregation to disciple them in understanding how to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Take the Missions Gap Assessment to gain insights into how your church can uniquely create lasting kingdom impact in the lives of your congregation, your community, and the world.
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