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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Spring 2001


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Ministry Partnership

It's a new day-responding to "growing pains" in young mission agencies

In the last 20 years, the world has gone from having mostly Western mission agencies to a situation today in which there are at least as many agencies and missionaries from non-Western countries as from the West. That's a radical change!

Recent developments on the mission scene-especially this rapid growth of indigenous ministries in the Two-Thirds World, growing appreciation of the value of applied research, and rising donor interest in evaluation and impact assessment-have brought together several people to address the need for better mission, not just more mission.

The fundamental purpose of this emerging, collaborative group is to encourage mushrooming Two-Thirds World ministries to grow into ever more effective service, aligned with God's plan and empowered by his Spirit. As their appreciation for strategic evaluation, research, experimen-tation, and innovation grows, they become "learning organizations."

Their capacity increases, giving them confidence to move away from Western models and into fresh, locally appropriate ways of planning, funding, and carrying out their God-given mission. Such growth is desirable both for the evangelical ministry leaders in the Two-Thirds World and the donors who assist them.

This new group is committed to developing the following services, with an initial focus on program evaluation and assessment:

Group Training
Equipping ministries to design, test and improve their programs, drawing on relevant research and/or doing their own.
Individual Mentoring
Coaching ministry leaders through their evaluation and research projects into more effective service.
Providing practical evaluation and research support services, including information technology, data acquisition, networking, and other resources.
Practical Research
Designing and executing projects with and for Two-Thirds World ministries and their donors.
Communication of Findings
Articulating information and fresh missiological insight to the broader mission community through journal articles, confer-ences and training initiatives.

The group is pursuing a holistic, multidisciplinary approach including applied field research, ministry program evaluation, survey research, theological reflection, and experimentation. It seeks to incorporate a rich biblical/theological perspective and cross-cultural sensitivity while meeting real needs of ministries and donors for increased accountability and effectiveness.

Obviously, mission research and evaluation is something we care a lot about here at GMI, so we are delighted to be part of this new initiative. To date, participants include Mr. Mike O'Rear and Dr. Stan Nussbaum (both with GMI); Dr. Jim Engel, Ms. Jane Overstreet, and Mr. Scott Morey (all with Development Associates International); Dr. Sam Voorhies (World Vision); Mr. Bob Oehrig (Daystar University); Dr. Michael Phillips (California State University, Northridge and GMI); and Dr. Daniel Rickett (Partners International).

If this group interests you, let us hear from you. Feel free to email Mike O'Rear at for information on how you can participate in this new partnership for world mission.

GMI Recommends

Building Strategic Relationships

by Daniel Rickett

Although partnership in mission has come of age, few churches are accustomed to working across cultures with non-Western missions. Nor has their experience with Western missions prepared them for handling issues of dependency and accountability. Building Strategic Relationships provides both conceptual and practical tools for assessing intercultural partnerships and building collaborative relationships that work.

For more information, or to order Building Strategic Relationships, see the Partners International web site:

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