Reviewed by Ka-Neng Au
Librarian at OMF International
Mission Round Table Vol. 14 No. 1 (Jan-Apr 2019): 9
The book is a call to developing good relations between churches, mission agencies, and their missionaries, with many helpful suggestions for best practices to address some important issues in missions. The editor is the Missions Pastor of a church in Singapore and the contributors are leaders in churches and mission agencies.
The first half of the book discusses the biblical, theological, and historical foundations for partnerships between churches and agencies, and describes a model for partnership practice that was initially developed through research focused on experiences at the editor’s church.
This model was then validated and improved upon by a series of meetings held by a group of leaders of sending churches and mission agencies. The group affirmed a set of four values as foundational to the relationships between churches, mission agencies, and missionaries: (1) the biblical centrality of the church; (2) equal value of church and agency in missions; (3) mutual deference and glad submission; and (4) joyful fellowship and encouragement. These values are applied to several case studies in the second half of the book.
The case studies focus on several major issues which require a common understanding for resolution, such as candidature, conflict, crisis management, finances, and ministry philosophy. The book is of great value for the high regard it places on group analysis, the way it deliberates important issues, and the recommendations given for ideal partnership practice that enhances the relationships and well-being of all parties. While the contributors note some Singapore-specific circumstances, the partnership practice recommendations are applicable in many other missionary-sending countries. This book is recommended for every missions-minded person who desires to improve communication among missionaries, mission agencies, and supporting churches.
Churches and Mission Agencies Together: A Relational Model for Partnership Practice
By Ivan Liew, ed.
Singapore: Condeo Press, 2017