All successful projects can in one way or the other be traced to the foundation and structure of the precise partnership. An example of this can be seen in the concept of church in the Acts of Apostles. The church stands as a true representative of a functional community in giving and receiving of God's Kingdom resource for development.The life of the people shows the three levels of connection(relationship)in life which are;Dependent,Independent and interdependent. This connection also reveals three stages of ministry development. A clear understanding of these stages will help the minister to flow and function with a higher capacity of the anointing and wisdom in his area of calling and gifting.
Today,it is sad to know that most ministers called of God,gifted and empowered for their generation lacked the basic ministerial support because of the insensitive attitude of some brethren and church leaders. The word of God teaches us that life is in stages. Each stage prepares us for the next as we respond to its instructions and dealings.
Young itinerant ministers and ministries are supposed to depend on the corporate church community for their support and welfare,especially in the areas of finance and socioeconomic development. Where there is lack of adequate finance to express their gifts and anointing in the areas of their calling, this invariably leads to discouragement and frustration in most cases.
This has nothing to do with the period in which God processes His man,incomplete trust and obedience to His will in pure faith. The same God who led Elijah to the brook also commanded the widow of Zarephath to feed him after the brook dried up. The second stage demands that we grow mature and become independent in our service to God and man.
At this point faith is released to believe God for some basic things because the level of maturity at this stage has grown to a point where God responds to the truth of our hearts in meeting our needs. A lot of testimonies are given at this stage of how one prayed and got results. This does encourage the minister;even though the level of responsibility and accountability is enormous.
Now the last stage reveals the true ministry of partnership. Here, everybody depends on somebody for greater impact in the work of ministry. Irrespective of the level, whatever we have at this stage of ministry can never be enough to fulfill the vision of God. Help by the spirit of must be sought for to assist the work in order to move it to the next height. Partners are raised not just for financial support but also for the total spiritual edification of the church. Every joint supplies its gifts for the building of the total church.
At this point God knits the hearts of people together in prayers and other forms of support for the advancement of the Kingdom.This was the stage of the Philippian church that assisted the church in Judea of Galatia for the establishment and welfare of the people. This has nothing to do with their doctrinal connection or individual benefits but the command by the spirit for the mutual benefit of the churches.
The grace to understand the uniqueness of each person's calling and gifting will help other parts of the church to function better especially in releasing resources. For too long, the enemies have succeeded in blocking the members of the body of Christ from enjoying each other's giftings because of the spirit of Mammon, self-interest insecurity denominationalism.
There are people that God has called and commissioned with the Kingdom wealth to help strengthen the feeble knees and the weary hands in the field of labour that are shut up within the walls of some of these institutions who perpetually obstruct their people from giving to a ground that is not directly connected to membership or so called vision. And so,they perpetually engage themselves in some kind of soul motivated project instead of diverting required resource to help their fellow (ministers)brother who is urgently in need.
I believe that wealth and prosperity are gifts in the hands of men who understand the burden of advancing the purpose of God's Kingdom to the next frontier. Wealth is never a tool to gratify our selfish desires. It is never to be abused for building self empires and ungodly security. The Bible says,"God is the one who teaches our hands to make wealth that He may establish His covenant."The moment we lose focus of the assignment of money, the spirit of Mammon hijack the soul and brings us into an attitude of pride self-delusion and ultimate destruction if repentance is sought after.That means, the enemy can easily take the advantage our ignorance and arrogance to hinder the advancement and impact of the work of God in a community or region. Every partner in the Kingdom must understand why God has placed certain resources in their hands. This cannot be over emphasized.
By Isaiah-Philips A.