This morning, Dave Black posted a new essay called “Can We Please Do Church Planting Cooperatively?”
The post is about working together with “nationals” – i.e., working with people who already live in a certain area. For example, he and his wife work with Ethiopians in Ethiopia. I know… it sounds obvious, right?
But, this is not always the case.
At one point, he quotes from his new book Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?:
Unfortunately [I continue], many U.S. mission teams fail to coordinate their efforts with the churches of host locations. Recently a student of mine mentioned that his local church was going to plant a new church in China. I asked him, “Have you ever considered simply going to China and asking the existing churches how you can come alongside them and help?” Failing to understand and connect with God’s already-at-work global purpose is one of the greatest mistakes we can make as churches. More and more local churches in America are forging effective partnerships with local churches in foreign nations, asking how they can best serve the needs in those countries. When done well, everybody benefits through this kind of beautiful partnership, and Christ is honored as His people submit to one another in love.
I wonder if one of the biggest reasons that we don’t work with others on “global missions” is because we don’t work with others on “local missions.” The church has become so sectarian that we tend to isolate ourselves, even (and especially) when it comes to gospel work.