Western missionaries often define partnering with nationals as moving into a country as a PAUL looking for a national Timothy and Titus to minister to. Live Global is different as we partner with nationals. We go as a BARNABUS looking for in-country national PAULs who make Timothy and Titus leaders within their own culture.
Over the past 100 years, Western missionaries across the globe overcame all sorts of hurdles, persecutions, government opposition, cultural obstacles, and spiritual blindness from major world religions and opposing regimes and cultures. The decades of effort helped to establish and leave in place bold and mature national leaders, often serving in the hardest of places among people groups they belong to.
These leaders know the culture, the language, the theological implications, and the necessary approach for creating deep relationships. In addition, these national leaders need no visa or passport. They don’t need funding for Outfit and Passage, and they are already embedded in their culture. They’re uniquely positioned for lasting gospel impact.
Over the past 30 years Live Global has been seeking out and connecting with leaders like this, scattered over the globe. Today, we work with more than 120 national leaders and ministries in many countries. Here is why Live Global partners with nationals:
- National Partners are insiders. These men and women have several advantages Western missionaries do not possess. They are already and forever part of their culture. They speak the local language, and often surrounding languages and dialects, fluently. They understand the customs, history, and worldview of the people around them. They know the gaps their people need to cross to understand and accept the gospel. They intimately know the cost of being a disciple of Jesus in their culture and community. They are the experts in their location.
- National Partners are already serving. These leaders are already trained and “on the field.” They do not need time for language and cultural acquisition. They aren’t waiting to reach 100% of their support needs. They are accustomed to living in the region’s living conditions, including how to thrive despite the challenges of a struggling economy, oppressive climate, lack of infrastructure, persecution, and injustice. National Partners are experienced in evangelism, discipleship, church planting, and serving within the community they belong to.
- National Partners are amazing followers of Jesus. Many partners share incredible stories of how God saved them and called them into ministry. Their faith, perseverance, and boldness serve as incredible examples and role models to us in the West. To see their joy and servant attitudes in the face of minimal resources and persecution is humbling and motivating.
What do National Partners need then?
Serving in a gospel-destitute place is tough, lonely, and often dangerous work. National Partners crave fellowship, prayer support, and encouragement. They don’t like doing ministry alone any more than we do. Yes, most National Leaders need financial resources due to many factors, but more so, they crave friendship.
It has been a joy to come alongside National Partners like these, witnessing the exponential ministry impact of their committed service to the King. And along the way, we have learned so much about the God who loves all cultures. As an amazing bonus, we’ve made sweet friends around the globe along the way.