How Effective Partnership Leads to Eternal Impact
“Lord Jesus, if just one person opens his or her heart to You this afternoon, it would be more than worth the work we are putting into this training event.” This was my prayer as I finished the set-up of the meeting room. Yet, even if no one responded to the Gospel, I could accomplish my main desire. My goal: equip more workers for ongoing, intentional disciple-making in my city.
The morning progressed and people gathered. We began with small group Bible Studies. From God’s Word, we discussed our Lord’s heart for all nations and His promise. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth – Acts 1:8.”
We then demonstrated how easy it can be to offer to pray for a non-believer. We talked about listening carefully and then how to quickly pray on the spot if the person is willing. Next, we taught how to share our stories in less than a minute. Practicing this with partners several times came next. We introduced a simple tool for explaining God’s Story. A few useful questions were added. Asking these would help us understand the person’s response to what they had just heard.
After lunch we teamed up two by two and went out into the nearby community.
That afternoon we debriefed. Each person told stories of what happened during our 90-minute outreach. My friend Anja* from a YWAM ministry in the nearby mega-city told us her experience:
Putting It to Practice
“During our training time this morning, I practiced telling my personal story. It went like this: ‘There was a time when I was young and very sad. My father had died suddenly. It was heartbreaking. Though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t know what to do. One day I prayed and I felt God say He would be my Heavenly Father. I needed Him so much and He became my Father. I have enjoyed this close relationship with Him ever since.’”
Anja continued, “While my teammate and I walked through the neighborhood this afternoon, we met a girl in her early 20s. She looked sad, her eyes red. We asked her if there was anything we could pray for her about. She seemed surprised and asked, ‘Like what kind of things?’”
“Well, it could be a prayer for yourself, for your job, for your family…. ‘Oh,’ the girl said, ‘Yes, pray for my family. My father died.’”
Anja went on to tell us, “I knew how she must feel! Immediately I shifted to my testimony. I said something like what I’d practiced: ‘There was a time when I was young I was very sad too. My father died suddenly. It was heartbreaking…..”
“After sharing my story, I asked her, ‘What about you? Would you like God to be your Heavenly Father?’ Looking at the two of us she said, ‘Yes, I would.’”
“I could hardly believe it! My partner and I walked away saying, ‘Did that really happen?’ We helped her give her life to Jesus. Now she will begin to know God as her Heavenly Father.’’
Upon hearing Anja’s report, our meeting shifted from debriefing to worship. We rejoiced in what God had done!
This all happened just last Saturday. My heart is still full of thanksgiving.
- Twice as many people came to the training event as I hoped.
- The room was full that morning.
- We had believers from different churches, pastors, missionaries and fellow YWAMers.
- We ran out of chairs!
It would not have happened if I hadn’t partnered with others. Most of all, we experienced what happens when Jesus is our main partner.
Positive Results of Partnering
Over the years I’ve seen amazing fruit through partnerships. Though I am a full-time YWAMer, I also take time for active involvement with like-minded friends.
In this case, the friends were from No Place Left, an interdenominational, interagency coalition of disciple-makers. They are a movement of movements, with participants on six continents. Connecting with willing people and using proven resources, we aim at seeing “no place left” where Jesus Christ has not been made known.
A few of us teamed up to run this “Gospel Conversations Training” two miles from my house. Now, after the training, we will do our best to provide friendly accountability for all who want to stay active as disciple-makers.
The day after tomorrow, I will be joining a couple of my new partners. Our plan is to follow up on those who received Jesus. We plan to start simple Bible Studies in their homes. The stories related to the Commands of Christ will come first. If possible, we will move on to regular Discovery Bible Studies. Some of those groups may one day become new house churches that begin to multiply.
Working Together Toward Our Dream
Saturday was an example of a fruitful, strategic partnership. In our area, there are over 7.5 million people who don’t know Jesus. The task is way beyond the reach of one team, one church, or one organization. Why not work in unity with fellow, like-minded believers? Together we can see our dreams of disciple-making movements come true.
Partnership is one of the key values in YWAM Frontier Missions. “We value partnering with the diverse family of ministries within YWAM and the Church international, working toward our common vision.” Who could you effectively partner with to reach those around you?
*not her real name.