As you adopt a strategic focus, you’ll become very interested in all the potential resources that could help you reach your ministry goal. Some of those resources might be:
- additional field personnel for your team or the larger focus team
- an administrator or coordinator on the sending side
- Bible translation or copies of the Scripture in a variety of forms, ease of transport, and portions
- printed evangelism and discipleship materials appropriate to the language and culture
- media: music, Internet websites, DVDs, CDs, television programming/broadcasts, radio
- training for your personnel: personal development, spiritual development, biblical & theological foundations, support raising, culture & language acquisition, security/contingency, target religious background, evangelism & discipleship skills, church planting expectations and methodology, historical models
- agency partnerships having experience and expertise
- network of local or nearby-related indigenous Christian leaders
- legal & government officials
- transportation liaisons
- technology & communications experts
- financial advisors
- personalized support teams (advocates)
- and more!
It is important to correctly identify the position from which you wish to coordinate other resources:
- Is your church the leader-initiator? Are they helping you?
- Are you coming into this strategic focus following another entity which is the leader-initiator? Are you helping them?
- Are you coming together with others as equal partners? Are you equally helping each other?
It is also important to clarify these roles and the specific goals of each party:
- translation groups tend to want to work exclusively on translation, but not church planting
- publication groups tend to want to work on the process of publication, but not directly with the target people
- technology groups tend to want to serve your technology needs, but not supply personnel or finances to your end goal directly
- churches might be more willing to follow your lead or work with genuine cooperation, while agencies tend to want more control
- everyone who gives long-term personnel commitments will want some role in the process of how those personnel are managed and shepherded on the field
These consideration can all be worked out with sound relationships and good communication. There is no substitute for a mutual agreed upon document outlining parameters and responsibilities. Consciously commit to at least an annual check-up on the cooperative relationship agreement.
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