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    Stronger Together

    International partnerships are key to successful ministry. February 3, 2015 by Commissioner Susan McMillan
    Filed Under:
    Opinion & Critical Thought
    This month, Salvationist is highlighting the international self-denial appeal, which we call Partners in Mission. We are thinking about three of our African Partners in Mission—Liberia, Malawi and Zimbabwe—territories that we partner with to further the mission of The Salvation Army. The Partners in Mission concept is not only related to self-denial, but it also allows us to pray more intelligently for these territories and to share ideas and other resources for ministry. We can learn from them as well, as we see the wonderful work they are carrying out in the name of Christ.

    I count it a huge privilege to have visited Zimbabwe last November to see first-hand the enthusiasm of Salvationists in worship, to learn of the wonderful service they are giving to people in great need and to appreciate their devotion to the Lord. What a blessing and privilege we have to be able to partner with these territories.

    A Cord of Three Strands
    Scripture talks of the benefits of collaboration. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 we read: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
    There should be a sense of partnership in mission that extends to the core of our mission: bringing people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

    We are indeed stronger when we work together. Our resources can stretch further when we pool them together. Our voice is louder when we sing together.

    Integrating Mission
    As an Army, the worst thing we can do is work in silos, or “everyone for himself.” We have some wonderful programs around the Canada and Bermuda Territory, and the more I visit the more I realize how diverse and effective our work is. However, I think it is important that we continue to integrate our ministries, build bridges between programs, and provide opportunities for greater collaboration among soldiers, officers, employees and volunteers from distinct expressions of Army service. There should be a sense of partnership in mission that extends to the core of our mission: bringing people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

    Paul prayed for the Philippian church that they would continue to work in partnership with him and with each other until God had accomplished his purposes through them: “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:4-6).

    For Salvationists everywhere, “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 1:6).

    We serve a great God, and as we work together, he will strengthen us to do even more.

    Commissioner Susan McMillan is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Follow Commissioner McMillan at facebook.com/susanmcmillantc and twitter.com/salvationarmytc.

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