Local Partners


Search Party is working to catalyze discipleship movements among the unreached (see basic definitions of what we mean by this and other similar terms on joshuaproject.net) through Local Partners. Our Partners have demonstrated their faithfulness in sharing the Gospel, making disciples, and working to start new churches by training others to do the same.

In short, 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 start our discussion about Local Partners by listening 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?

We previously read the story from Luke 10 where Jesus sent out his disciples 2×2. Here are a few additional questions for us to consider as we think about working with Local Partners:

  • What was the first thing that Jesus commanded his disciples to do?
  • Where did Jesus send his disciples?
  • What are they supposed to take with them?
  • How many people should they talk to on the way?
  • What did he tell them to do when they arrive in the city?
  • Why is Jesus telling them to do it this way?
  • How can this connect to the way that we think about Local Partners?

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

Make it Practical

Here is a page that uses a tool called BLESSING to help you connect with Local Partners and develop partnerships with them.