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Why can’t we work together for the gospel?

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in blog links, missional | 4 comments

Why can’t we work together for the gospel?

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.


4 Comments

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  1. 2-20-2012

    I am living this out in my neighborhood in the states. Others may disagree with me, but it creates a vertical relationship. Whether Urban or Global we should see how God is already moving in a community. Very easy to drop money and personelle (some of which the community may not have) it’s harder to spend time listening to God and learning from the locals (maybe even being rejected). I’ve said this before, butI feel a lot of the racism and classism is a lack of good discipleship. Results just don’t always happen in a short term experience; sometimes it’s lifetime. My wife speaks creole and works in Haiti, I see this as well EVEN with folks doing simple churches there; an attitude of our way is better. It’s so INSULTING to the local people. Decades of dictatorship, disenfranchisement from the US, and now Christians say we know how to do it better than you. I say the same thing to missionaries and to folks who want to ‘do ministry’ in my neighborhood-Get a job, move, live among people you want to serve. I’ll bethca there are believers, a person of peace already there. just gotta take time.

  2. 2-20-2012

    I blogged on this not too long ago, and it got some interesting comments online. But nothing to the reaction I got “offline.” You can see that post here http://wp.me/p1JPJU-pe and if posting that link is in poor taste, by all means, edit it out.

  3. 2-20-2012

    Jonathan,

    I’d love to hear more about that. Would you email me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]edu?

    Miguel,

    Not in poor taste at all… Thanks for the link!

    -Alan

  4. 2-20-2012

    Sent you an email Alan

    Miguel I sympathize with the commenter who talked about building relationships with neighbors