Servant partnering is essential to the global ministry of One Challenge. We affirm that collaboration in the body of Christ accelerates the Great Commission. More so, believers from diverse backgrounds united in purpose bring honor to God and help answer Jesus’ prayer in John 17:23.
One of OC’s strategic partners is the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI). Reuben Ezemadu (MANI Continental Coordinator) traveled from Nigeria to speak at the installation of OC’s new President, Dean Carlson.
At the installation, Reuben gave a Challenge from the Nations and spoke of the importance of collaboration within the global church. In his message, he recounted the legacy built by One Challenge in Africa over the past 30 years. He described how he met One Challenge in the early 80s while serving as the first General Secretary of the Nigerian Evangelical Mission Association (NEMA). OC leaders came alongside him in friendship and asked how they could serve his vision of mobilizing the African Church for global mission.
In the years to follow, OC helped Reuben to:
- Build the first missionary training center in West Africa. Today Nigerian missionaries alone number over 5000.
- Assist the NEMA to undertake the first national research project on Nigerian mission-sending
- Develop MANI as the primary continental mission mobilization network of the past decade
- Coordinate MANI regional initiatives in Southern, East and Portuguese-speaking Africa
- Contribute to the MANI country assessment process to identify least-reached peoples
- Facilitate MANI continental consultations in 2006 and 2011
In his installation message, Reuben painted “a portrait of an authentic organizational legacy” as seen in One Challenge. He went on to describe seven attributes of a servant partnering organization.
- Listening & learning – as against the “know it all” tendencies of many mission structures
- People-building & empowering – as against perpetrators of dependency and fatalism
- Kingdom-serving, Christ-centered – as against empire-building, territorial tendencies
- Servant leaders, Spirit-led – as against the ‘masters and experts’ mentality
- Enhancers of God’s gifts in others – as against underrating the work of God in and through others
- Authentic partnership – as against fragmenting the body of Christ through divisive, selfish tendencies
His words came as an encouragement and challenge. We’re encouraged at how the Lord has enabled the One Challenge to partner with the global body of Christ. Today we’re engaged in 691 partnering initiatives around the world. And we’re challenged to further develop as a “partner-friendly” organization that God can use to build collaboration for the Great Commission.
Special thanks to Reuben Ezemadu and the MANI team for the plaque presented to One Challenge. It’s an honor to partner together for God’s glory among the nations.