It is said that Gospel came to India in the first century AD ehen Apostle Thomas visited the Southern part of India, yet Christianity has not taken deep roots in the majority of the people. There could be many reasons for this but I would like to concentrate on one important aspect – that is Lack of Partnership. Many Christian workers, churches and agencies have worked very very hard to promote the Godpel-but unfortunately often in isolation.
There have been instances where instead of co-operating and making efforts to see God’s resources are properly employed; there has been duplication of efforts, resulting in less impact and waste of resources.
Misunderstanding of the word “Partnership”: Often the word “Partnership” is understood in the context of sponsorship. Though the word partnership could include sponsorship but it goes beyond that. In a partnership context, it is not always “what I get?” but also “How and what”, I contribute to achieve a common goal.
For the past couple of years Interdev India has been working to form Partnerships to reach the unreached people groups. So far we have been able to see partnerships formed and at various levels of development in at least five people groups.
What God is doing in India by bringing His people together? Few examples:-
1. There are at least three agencies involved in Bible Translation work in particular language. For more than 18 years the work is not completed. At one of the consultation the representatives of the three agencies met and decided to work together to complete the work. In less than 4 years the New Testament was published.
2. As a result of our work in encouraging partnerships, number of “hesitants” became “Partnership Converts”. This was the grace of God at work. For instance a Senior Pastor of a church had been extremely reluctant to attend one of the people group partnership consultation despite his deep commitment to reach that people group. As a result of our follow-up, he agreed to attend and see what was going on, but with serious reservations about the practical possibilities of working together. After two days of sessions praise God, his negative view about partnership was changed to a positive one.
3. One leader what attended a Partnership training course was instrumental in starting a city network to bring together to focus on reaching the city.
4. Joint efforts to broadcast radio programmes, develop literature and other cooperative efforts are being made to specifically, reach the unreached with the Gospel.
Partnership in the Indian context is so very important to effectively make Jesus known to people who do not know him yet. Today partnership is not a choice in India, but a must for anyone who wants to be involved in transforming lives.
Director, Interdev India