This video is session #3 of the YWAM IWT playlist, a series of videos including more than 12 hours of in-depth training in collaborative partnerships by Phill Butler.

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SESSION 3: Summary, Quotes & Questions.


SESSION 3:  Summary, Quotes, Questions


Phill Butler and his partners in his previous organization asked themselves in 1986 how to get the greatest return for the Kingdom on the use of their resources – as in Jesus’ parable of the talents. They decided the biggest issue in evangelism and ministry was that God’s people, good people, were doing good things for the Kingdom but not talking to each other.

So they went to all their contacts all over the world to ask the one question … Would there be any value, if we really want to see more people coming to Christ, in sitting down  one time together to explore one simple question: Is there anything we might do better together than if we continue to work separately?

The first place they got a positive answer was in North Africa. People in ministry there from diverse missions came together in 1986 to explore partnership, and of their 12 strongest goals, they  picked ONE short-range priority to try to achieve to change the future. And they DID, by God’s grace. Since then, strategic evangelism partnerships have been painstakingly developed and facilitated in unreached people groups all over the world with amazing results.

Phill is facilitating THIS training to help YWAM Impact World Tour (IWT) teams that will be working in major cities in many places benefit from the almost 25 years of experience in this kind of partnership-building. They will then have the skills to facilitate partnerships in the cities they will serve that will produce not just short-term results, but long-lasting impact on these cities for Christ.

In this session he worked on the initial principles by which a partnership succeeds. First, he says, always, always, everyone must agree that the objectives they set are something that God desires AND that they will help the individual partners to achieve their mission’s goals.  Then, there are many principles that will lead to success starting with short-term achievable goals and prayer and including communication, listening, fostering relationships, celebrating victories along the way, engaging the local churches, developing skills , building unity in diversity and long-term commitment. There must be vision and there are basic Biblical principles, and there are nitty-gritty, down-to-earth details. And there are pitfalls and dangers and disappointments. But applying this experience and these guidelines, with the leading of the Spirit, CAN produce a real spiritual harvest in the projects the participants are planning.

Notable Quotes:

  1. The #1 issue is that God’s people, good people doing good things, are not talking to each other.
  2. There is one simple question to ask of these good people in ministry:  Would there be any value, if we really want to see  more people coming to Christ, in sitting down one time together to explore ONE simple question: Is there anything we might do better together than if we continue to work separately?
  3. If you get people together, it raises expectations (even if they were resistant). So they have to see SOME success pretty quickly to continue – or else it was just more talk.
  4. What you’re really hoping to do is not tell people what to do, but to fire their imagination as to what they can do working together and with some help at facilitation.
  5. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “I have finished the work You sent me to do.” Women were still being raped, widows being ripped off, judges oppressive, a ruthless occupying army, the political system bankrupt, religious system vacuous; and within one hour, his disciples would flee.
  6. The specific objectives must always meet these 2 objectives:  We must be sure it’s a God thing and that it will ultimately help us with our mission.
  7. Jesus never once said “Well done thou good and successful servant”.  He said “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
  8. Today there are more Muslims making inquiries about the Gospel by internet every day than by all face-to-face church planting in the world. Nothing even comes close – hundreds of thousands per day

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What 2 or 3 principles of partnership that you heard today were new or surprising to you?
  2. What did you think about the emphasis on prayer?
  3. What skills will you have to develop – or find in others – to complement those you have?
  4. How much research do you think you need to do to understand your assigned city better before you arrive there? How will you do that?
  5.  How could Jesus say that he had finished the work the Father had sent Him to do when so much was yet wrong with the world? How does this apply to your project?