Jigsaw 2

Elim’s strategic evangelism partnerships

By working together we could reach more people with the gospel and have a broader impact, writes Mark Greenwood.

Have you ever found yourself needing help to do something but you had to get on and do it by yourself?

Then, when you tell some friends later, out come the immortal words: “You should have called me...”

Conversely, have you ever been aware you needed help, and asked for it and were glad you did, because the help came and was really essential?

There is a temptation to think that asking for help is somehow weakness, or that people won’t be able, or even want, to help.

But in my experience most of the time people are only too willing.

As an evangelist, I have been honoured to work with some fantastic people and organisations down through the years.

We’ve had differing methods and, in some ways, differing slants and passions, but we have built relationships on the common ground of desiring to share and demonstrate the gospel to as many people as possible.

We realised that we have something that we can bring to each other’s ministries that mattered and made a difference, as well as facilitating them.

Luke chapter five is a well-known passage where a miraculous catch of fish takes place after a night of nothing.

In verses five and six we read: “Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”

I have been a full-time evangelist since 1988. When I first started out, I tried to do it all myself, and then I grew up and realised I couldn’t... and shouldn’t.

I started to develop relationships with people – it used to be called networking; my wife jokingly called it, ‘notworking’.

We would do mission and evangelism together and it made a significant impact on my output but also on my input, as I personally became better for them.

We could reach more people with the gospel as well as having a broader impact. .

My dear friend J.John often asks, “What can I do for you? What can you do for me? What can we do together?”

I love that the NIV uses the word ‘partners’ in this passage.

I love that they had gone from working hard and catching nothing to sharing the work, and the result, as they signalled for their partners – they did something remarkable together.

There are many applications to this great passage but one that I cherish is the thought of what we could catch from our Elim boat, if we called our partners in another boat to come and help us.

We give something, receive something and do something together when we partner with others as a Movement, to help us advance the gospel as we seek to make disciples, plant and grow churches, raise and equip leaders and reach the nations at home and abroad.

Over the course of the next few months I would like to introduce you to Elim’s strategic evangelism partnerships – I am really excited to share them with you.

We see them as family living in a different home rather than just organisations that will help us.

You will see and hear lots more, so keep a look out as we roll out media and information.

Chris Cartwright, the National Leadership Team and the REACH team really believe this is from God, so we look forward to what God is going to do as we develop these relationships.

Partnership is definitely a principle of the kingdom of God: we do it to gather and we do it together. 

First published in the April 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.

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Saturday 24 September 2022 10:00am – 5:00pm

A conference for anyone doing the work of evangelism or church planting, or those that want to learn how. Whether you are just starting out or have years of experience, come and be fuelled for the mission.

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