This video is session #8 of the YWAM IWT playlist, a series of videos including more than 12 hours of in-depth training in collaborative partnerships by Phill Butler.
Kingdom Partnerships Video Seminar
Phill Butler, visionSynergy
Session 8: Summary, Quotes, Questions
Session 8 gets down to nuts and bolts about the first meeting to form the partnership—still with great stories. (And the book, Well-Connected, goes into great detail. visionSynergy’s understanding is that this is a meeting of several days. The first three crucial steps ar:
- For every person to introduce him/herself and his/her agency and their work with some detail of their vision and programs. They all think they know what’s going on and that this takes too long, until they actually HEAR what each agency does. This should lead quite naturally to a discussion of
- What is the big problem in their place. What hasn’t worked? What are we missing? Where is there divison or duplication? How many DON’T know Jesus?
- There should be a serious exploration of the context of the place—the history, economics, spiritual history, social issues. This can be by a panel or expert presentations, giving time for input and discussion, but must ultimately lead to some consensus about the context of their city, country or people group.
By this point, the participants should have seen quite transparently that there IS a problem —and it is a problem that they can’t solve separately. They may not have any idea yet what to do about it, but they see that there is something bigger than them.
Now the work in small groups begins, because you cannot bite off such a big problem with so many people. Phill directs them through a series of refining steps, with abundant examples from actual partnerships. Before each of these sessions of smaller group work, it is crucial to pray fervently that God direct the process (and, as we saw earlier) also to pray personally for one another so that they are building community at the same time. The groups take on:
- Identifying the major roadblocks— then get this down to the 2 or 3 most critical .
- What are the solutions to each of these? Get this down to maybe 3 for each.
- What are one or 2 solutions that we could take on in the next 6 months and see progress?
Now that they have developed their OWN list, they decide what piece their ministry can actually commit to and who will convene them. Who will communicate? What date will they report back? This is the scary and important moment. Some will walk away, but some will commit to get to work together.
Finally, Phill takes on some of the specific issues for their YWAM-IWT teams—how they choose the cities they go to and what exactly they offer those cities—hopefully not just an evangelism event, but a process for coming together to form a long-term vision and a process for transforming their cities.
- God’s people working together does not just happen. It’s the product of intentionality and very very specific initiative.
- They discover for themselves at their first meeting overlap and wasted resources: We at least want efficiency, if not great spiritual breakthroughs, at least efficiency so we’re good stewards. Clearly we’ve got to do a better job of coordinating.
- I guarantee you, if you get the people together in Malaga or Stellenbosch or…… and people start sharing the details of what they’re doing, it will be transparently obvious to everyone. You won’t have to make the case.
- Many didn’t understand why they would take 2 hours to talk about history instead of about bringing people to Christ. You have to know the history and context of your city. You better take this time.
- The only people who came to Jesus and wanted to change were the people who had a problem they knew they couldn’t solve. In a way, you’re developing consensus and a frame of reference, but sub-consciously the sense of need. Ratchet up the sense of tension- the obvious need that something’s got to be done.
- Get them to pray. Each time you break into groups to try to figure out specifics, stop and PRAY.
- Concerning Billy Graham’s organization’s preparation in the cities: Unless you’re ready to work together, I won’t even come.
Questions for Reflection:
- How did the down-to-earth detailed steps of the partnership strike you? Can you picture your role or the role of your team in this process?
- Can you trust that God can lead you through such a process for YOUR team or partnership?
- How did you react to the Senegal story where 5 agencies had translated the same booklet?
- Have you ever experienced some version of this kind of duplication of effort?