A story of collaboration and partnership

“That story inspired us” Ramez Atallah and his wife Rebecca just told 4000 of us sitting at our tables this morning at Lausanne World Congress. The theme of this final day, Day 6, is “partnership

The story he told was of a moment in the 1970’s when an organization named YWAM was told by God to take the money they had raised for a ship and give it to another organization named Operation Mobilization so that they could buy their second ship. OM already owned the M.V. Logos and with this gift, they were able to purchase their second ship, M.V. Doulos. That’s uncommon in the business world but in the world of global mission, it shouldn’t blow our circuits. Partnership should characterize how we relate to each other.

I have heard this story before. In fact I spent almost 2 years of my life on the Logos and thats where I got to know a young California girl from Yorba Linda named Debbie Cosper. We returned to California after the ship and got married. She has been my partner for 23 years.

As for mission partnership, my Lausanne Congress handbook tells me that the remaining task is too complex for any one mission agency, denomination or network to accomplish on its own. “While many agree on the benefits of collaboration, few practice it well”. Partnership needs to happen geographically, among the genders and among the emerging generation.

“We all bring gifts to the table – let us give them and receive them in a humble and expectant spirit.”

The Skinny? I agree. But the challenge I am facing now as I seek to collaborate more between our networks and some of the larger, more powerful networks represented here, is how to collaborate without getting sucked into the vortex of a big powerful mission enterprise which might open up the young leaders, my young leaders, to potential abuse by turning them into someone else’s numbers on a powerpoint presentation.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


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