In the context of missions, what the difference between partnering with someone and partnering for them?
“I think the early version I had of helping other people was that I would help them get out of some situation. I was in a good situation, and I should go out and help them get out of a bad situation.”
Kent Annan learned that there are no quick fixes. Often service to others is not just about helping someone out of a bad situation, it’s helping them with their situation.
“When we try to help other people by doing something for them, it often fails. But when we do things with other people, it can take longer, and it’s more complicated to do the listening and understanding, but it can lead to change that really lasts and it makes a difference for the long run.”
When we do missions work, there is a temptation to be a source and not a partner.
“The more I’ve gotten to know people and the more I’ve started to respectfully partner with them so that we can really decide on goals together and figure what we want to solve together then we’ve been able to really make big changes to help.”
Making a difference takes time, there is no quick way to partner with God to build His Kingdom here on earth. When we do things for others, it’s not sustainable, because when we leave, they are in the same place they were before.
When we partner with others, and help them reach new heights and provide for themselves, we are teaching them to be self-sustaining.
“These people go in and there is this water well that was put in with good intentions and helped for six months, but then the people didn’t have the parts to fix it when it broke down.”
We don’t want just a temporary fix, we want to propagate the Kingdom of God in a sustainable way.
Kent Annan is author of Slow Kingdom Coming, After Shock, and of Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle. He is co-director of Haiti Partners, a nonprofit focused on education in Haiti. He’s on the board of directors of Equitas Group, a philanthropic foundation focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia.
Key Scripture: Micah 6:8
Featured Songs: Thy Will – Hillary Scott; Sovereign – Chris Tomlin; More and More of You – SelahSlowing Kingdom Coming