Local Partners and Team

Let’s go back and take some time to review the idea of working together in a team with Local Partners. Let’s review some of the things we discussed previously, all of the way back in Week 4:


We believe that the church is intended to be local, which means that “locals” should primarily be the ones reaching those from their people group.

Beyond this, experientially, one of the things that researchers of discipleship and church planting movement have found is that more than 99% of these movements start as a result of partnership between “Outsiders” – those who come from outside of the culture that they are trying to reach – and “Insiders”, those who are inside the culture, in this case, those we are calling Local Partners. In this high percentage of these movements, the Outsiders have helped in the partnership by bringing vision, encouragement, and simple tools that can be reproduced while the Insiders help in the partnership by bringing a desire to see their people reached and local understanding of the culture and language that the Outsiders will likely never possess.


Let’s listen again to this recording between a mission leader and a researcher of church planting movements from a few years ago:

Here are a few questions for discussion from this recording:

  • Who is the Insider? What is his role? Why?
  • Who is the Outsider? What is his role? Why?
  • Why should they be partnering together?
  • Why do you think the Outsider teams are smaller, 2-4 people?
  • How do you know if you may have found a Local Partner?
  • What are some ways that the Outsider can connect with the Insider to make a partnership?
  • What do you believe will be the challenges in working together with a Local Partner in a team as described here?

What do you think is the definition of a Local Partner?

Make it Practical

Let’s practice together using the BLESSING tool:

  • Divide into groups of 2.
  • One person should practice being the potential partner while the other should be the person casting vision.
  • Use the BLESSING guide to role play a conversation with your partner.
  • Debrief:
    • What went well in the role play?
    • What was difficult?
    • How can you improve in the next time?