I have heard it said that Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) has two ditches. After five years of working through our own MPD and as a MPD training facilitator and coach, there is truth to the statement.
The first ditch is the one where the missionary views support raising as something they have to do, have to endure, have to go through to get to their “real” role. The second ditch is the one where the missionary decides that raising up a team to join them in what God is doing is a task worthy of doing well, worthy of being joyful about.
How does our role affect these two ditches? The first part of our role is to provide training for the missionary candidate (or veteran missionary) that will challenge their hearts to view MPD from the second ditch. We also provide them practical teaching (presentations, phone calls, record keeping…) and tools (media, contact management software…). The second part of our role is to keep them encouraged as they raise up a team to join them in what God is doing–encourage them to be in ditch two. As their MPD Coach, we do provide accountability. However, we believe our conversations, encouragement and shepherding are most vital to their journey.
Honestly, at times, a missionary may go back and forth between the ditches as the MPD journey has many peaks and valleys–which is where we pray our role helps them stay in ditch two. From personal experience, some days it is easy and others not so easy.
So we ask — Would you join us in prayer today for the 40 plus missionaries we are partnering with in their journey to raise up a support team. Pray they will–daily–decide to be in ditch two. Your prayers for them are needed and appreciated! Pray for us as we encourage and shepherd them that we would be great listeners and Godly encouragers.
Great quote from Jenn York with Every Nation: “Ministry Partnership Development is definitely one of the most faith-stretching things missionaries do, but at the end of the day, it’s also one of the most fulfilling: to be sent by partners to reach a campus, or a city, or a foreign country, with the Gospel. Together, missionaries and partners make an impact.”