News & Updates Category
In a season of declining budgets and financial crisis, why would congregations in Canada even think about the needs of the global church?
At Partners International Canada, we are discovering that the scale of the impact of Covid-19 globally is substantially greater than the strain we are facing in Canada:
In the initial stages of Covid-19, many churches in Canada pivoted so effectively towards online weekend services with surprising success. Now that we are through that first phase, it is time to think about other ways in which we can be the church.
How will you engage and empower your people to be the church in the weeks to come?
In the Great Commission, Jesus told us to go into all the world. Your congregation wants and needs to be a part of God’s work around the world. Our vision must extend beyond our congregation and community.
At Partners International, we are hearing from donors that they want their gifts to go towards ministry action that truly matters. When they feel powerless, the chance to be empowered to make a real difference will encourage, motivate and inspire your congregation.
When you connect your church with pastors and ministry leaders in the developing world through video technology, your congregation will be informed and inspired to resource and pray. Your church could be a real encouragement to ministry leaders who are giving their all to serve in challenging contexts. Lead your congregation by shifting your focus and priorities to serve and encourage the global church. It doesn’t cost a lot to make a grassroots difference in this crisis.
It’s time to be a both/and church – to continue to engage your congregation and community and to be global leaders by putting the needs of our most marginalized and vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world at the centre of your decision-making.
Galatians 6:10 says, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Let me suggest several ways your church can respond to the global Covid-19 Crisis:
In your pastoral prayers and your prayer updates to your congregation – add specific prayers for our brothers and sisters around the world.
Partners International and many other agencies publish monthly global prayer updates. Your denomination may do this as well. Use these prayer updates to challenge your congregation to pray for indigenous and cross-cultural Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are struggling to respond to the needs surrounding them.
Around the world, the response to the Covid-19 virus is felt most acutely by the poor, marginalized and vulnerable:
Pastors and ministry leaders in the developing world are often in the same situation as their communities. We are hearing from many who are struggling with food security themselves even as they look to assist others.
Who in your church’s network is already responding to these challenges?
Almost all of our locally based leaders and missionaries are responding to the needs in their communities. They have arranged to feed the most vulnerable, provide health and sanitation products, and have even set up mobile medical clinics. They are caring for those who are ill.
Are those your church is partnering with around the world responding, in their communities to the impact of Covid-19?
Your church can have a tangible connection at a grassroots level to those who can make an immediate difference in communities where they live, work and minister. Your church may not need to look very far to discover people who are already hard at work, making a difference in the places God has placed them.
4. Determine your Resources
In addition to making difficult decisions and adjusting church budgets, globally-minded church leaders must also ask: What resources will we direct towards a global response?
Here are some ways your church can respond financially:
5. Build Relationships and Develop Partnerships
In a time of crisis, the most urgent need is not for new organizations, the urgent need is for the efficient deployment of resources through on the ground partners already hard at work. By building on existing relationships, your church will be able to respond faster and better.
If you aren’t connected to ministries that can respond right now, consider joining with us. At Partners International, our local mission leaders have the experience and expertise to provide a gospel-centred response, not only ministering to people’s physical needs but also their spiritual needs.
6. Mobilize your Congregation to Action
Our Finest Hour.
It’s hard to be the church in times of peace and prosperity, but this global crisis has provided a chance for the church to step up and lead. The church was made for times like this.
International Partners who regularly face persecution are being invited by the very authorities that persecute them to step into the gap and serve their communities. Let’s move beyond our challenges and partner with them to care for a world that is watching!
In our context, our digital weekend services are reaching people in ways we could have never imagined a few months ago. Our churches are rushing to care adequately for our communities in new and creative ways. But the opportunity to engage our globe may be one of our most essential reactions as a church.
As this Covid-19 crisis continues, we have the chance to inspire our congregations to engage in prayer and to partner with leaders who are making a tangible difference right now around our world.
Can Partners International Canada help?
One of Partners International’s core values is Partnering is God’s Ideal. God calls us to work together, and we best achieve our mission through meaningful collaboration with local leaders serving God in our communities and around the world. The body of Christ only succeeds when we work together to achieve God’s purposes. When we partner with fellow believers who are already working in the most vulnerable communities, we are following God’s strategy. At Partners International, we have been doing this effectively for over 75 years.
We would love to partner with you and help to resource your church to take action. To discuss how your church can partner globally in this critical moment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.