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ព័ត៌មាននិងរឿងផ្សេងៗ

Partnerships Based on Trust

Paul opens his letter to the Philippians, saying, “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ” (1:4-5). “Partners” here is the Greek word “koinonia,” which can also be translated as “fellowship.” Paul enjoyed and encouraged “koinonia”: a oneness in relationship and purpose with other believers for the gospel’s sake.

When I first came to Japan, an experienced co-worker cautioned that partnering with Japanese pastors can be challenging due to cultural differences that hinder good communication and building trust. However, after 20+ years of ministry in Japan, I am surprised and thankful for how much I have enjoyed partnering with Japanese pastors and Christians.

In the church I currently serve, the leadership team meets every Tuesday morning. First, we read the Bible together and share what we have learned. Then we eat together and enjoy our fellowship. Only then do we go into discussing work and ministry. In this way, I learned from the Japanese that partnership means not first work, but relationship and friendship.

In my experience, trust develops in our personal friendships and then leads to good communication and shared purpose. Over the years, we have partnered for ministry with Alpha, Inochi no Kotoba (Christian book publisher), Billy Graham Association, Globalrize, other OMF co-workers, and Ben Jack of the Advance Evangelist Movement. Often these partnerships started with personal friendships. In cases where partnerships struggled, we found that returning to the foundation of relationship and friendship helped us rebuild trust and communication.

In his letters, Paul emphasizes the fact that the gospel unites us as one. This is where I see the power source of partnership. As we live our lives out of the love and grace we have received in Christ, we find the compassion to tackle differences with patience and overcome obstacles with love. And as we love one another, we bear witness to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord.

By Matthias, an OMF Missionary

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