The KBC approaches mission partnerships with the goal of helping churches develop gospel partnerships. Partnerships, in the past, were developed between the KBC and certain organizations/denominations. For example, the KBC had a partnership with the Kenya Baptist Convention in Africa or the New England Baptist Convention in the northeast. God used those, and we are grateful for those relationships.
However, in recent years, we have shifted the focus of partnerships away from the KBC and placed the emphasis of the partnership between local church and local church . The KBC exists to help churches form gospel partnerships for Great Commission impact.
Therefore, we desire to connect KBC churches to gospel partnerships in Kentucky, North America, and the nations. We want to resource, train, and introduce KBC churches to missionaries, church planters, established churches, and ministries in order to develop relationships that will further the gospel around the world through the local church.
There is no better way to develop strong gospel partnerships than by spending time together. The church and/or missionary you are prayerfully considering partnering with is best begun with an initial visit. As your church explores possible partnerships with other local churches or missionaries seeking to plant churches, how should you approach your time of discerning if this connection will make a good partnership? Make the most of your short your time while on an initial visit to the church and area. How might you do that?
- Be prayerful—With Paul, pray always. Be in prayer as you travel from point A to point B. Pray as you walk and talk. Pray as you hear from planters. Pray as you return to your room. The point…pray! Ask the Lord to lead you in how He would have you maximize your impact in this place.
- Be flexible—the time is short and filled with much to see and hear and experience. Be prepared to spend long days with potentially shifting schedules.
- Be attentive—take careful notes both on paper and in your head of missionaries/planters, stories, and situations that stand out to you. What might speak to you now might be forgotten if you do not write it down and make note of why it impacted you. Be observant of the area you are in (what is the community like, the people, the needs, etc.). Take whatever notes necessary, so that you can make a prayerfully discerning decision about partnerships later with your leadership team.
- Be interactive—this partnership is an experience, not a vacation. When able, talk with the planters or your hosts about the city, the needs, ways to be involved, etc. The point is to be engaged in the mission.
- Be willing—to partner as the Lord leads you. As David Platt suggests, bring a blank check (of your life) to the table and ask the Lord to fill in the amount.
In the end, the Great Commission is about the local church partnering with others for the advancement of the gospel.