A real life blueprint for partner development

Yesterday we shared a blueprint for champion development from Spencer Cowan at Dare2Share Ministries.

Today Partner Development is center stage.

As we mentioned yesterday, “partner” refers to churches and organizations (essentially, formal networks) that we are coaching to full maturity in our shared cause.

One of the most exciting figures to watch in the area of partner development is World Gospel Mission‘s Todd Eckhardt.

Here’s Todd’s Partner Development Department blueprint.

Do crib liberally, dear reader; this is exceedingly good stuff.

(Note that World Gospel Mission uses the phrase “CMS”, or “Champion Migration Strategy”, as their name for the Transformational Giving process.)

Partner Development

Purpose:  To equip our partners in fulfilling their Biblical role in the Great Commission.

To achieve the stated purpose we will:

  • handle the partner in the context of serving the partner’s mission goals.  We will always keep in mind how God may use us to increase the maturity of the partner and their view toward missions.  We will strive to help them define their role in the Great Commission and then do what we can to help them fulfill this role
  • interact with partners at the level of transformational giving
  • assist partners in overcoming barriers that prevent them from fulfilling Great Commission

The following are practical steps to be used by the Partner Development Officer (PDO) to achieve our purpose:

  • Ask questions about the current partner’s mission program.

Operate in the context of serving their mission goal. (Sample questions to ask Partners)

“How can we serve you?”

“Why do you want a missionary?”

“What ministry do you need our missionary to address with your group?”

“When WGM leaves your group what would like to have seen happen?”

“What would you identify as a success as a result of our serving you?”

“Where would you like your group to be in relation to [X] discipline of missions activity?”



  • Listen to what their needs are



  • Identify needs of partner in the area of the Great Commission


  • Make every touch strategic

Following the information gathering stage that you do through questions and listening, develop intentional steps that you can take in serving the partner.  Then make every touch with the partner intentional according to your plan. People have steps in mind but rarely a strategy.  Be strategic.

Did I mention the need to PRAY?


  • Identify passions of partner

As you work with partners their passions will rise to the top whether they were ever stated or not in the listening stages of your information gathering. Help flesh out if their passion equals their Biblical call. Are they being obedient to the call or simply following a passion? They are not equal.

  • As the PEO strategic plan unfolds for the partner the following ‘paths’ will take shape in building a strategy for the partner

Move through the PEO process

  • Participation
    • Project oriented
    • Short-term high touch events/projects
    • High yield events/projects

Some Examples :

–          Concert of Prayer

–          Small project from Great Co-Mission Catalogue

–          Work team

–          Fund raising event

–          World Go Manual

–          Gospel Outreach Weekend (GOW)

  • Engaged
    • The partner equips others beyond short-term projects to the cause.
    • Move beyond one regional project to causal activity

Some Examples:

–          Work team leader training

–          Partnership with national church as follow up from a short-term team

–          Use Great Co-Mission Catalogue to teach Stewardship principles

–          Duplicate international work team in local area (If team went to Honduras to help street kids, help street kids in own town or a US city)

–          Move from Concert of prayer to small group prayer times for the Great Commission

–          Teach World Go Manual

  • Ownership
    • Supporting others to advance the cause
    • Provide tools to the partner and to help them partner others
    • Transfer of cause

Some Examples:

–          Nappanee Missionary Church having church members serve on the board of the AGC Baby Center

–          Pastors teaching other pastors about GOW

–          Adavance Volunteer Network service

–          Butler, GA getting other churches involved in the dump in Honduras

Commentary on migrating churches with the above guidelines in mind:

  1. Everything we do is to be done in context of serving
  2. Grow the partner during the process not WGM, and avoid the myth that activity equals growth.
  3. Work with a goal in mind
  4. Keep thinking of next steps
  5. KEEP STEWARDSHIP AND GIVING AS PART OF THEIR MIGRATION.  We must not fear finances while at the same time not making them a false ultimate.
  6. Keep the Biblical mandates always in the forefront and build your language around the Biblical call of service to achieve the Great Commission.
  7. Every partner will enter the process at a different level, so meet them where they are.
  8. Help the partner do locally what we want they want to do internationally.
  9. Come as a gift to the partner.  Work to be sure they are richer when we finish than they were when we first met them.

Cautions about giving:

  1. CMS does not remove presentations about getting funded.
  2. Giving is great but not enough. Prayer is great but not enough.  Going is great but not enough. All three must be in place therefore it is appropriate to broach the need for giving.
  3. The need for giving must come out of the Biblical call to stewardship not our need to get funds.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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