“We will work alongside other Christians and churches. We will be a distinct movement, but will also hold a collegial spirit and maintain a helpful and cooperative posture with whom we can partner in mission.” —Foursquare’s Global Distinctives
I come from a family that looks like the nations. My mom is Vietnamese, and my dad is African-American. My family covers the spectrum in skin tone and complexion. In the city of Detroit, in the 1970s, we were different; we didn’t look like our neighbors. Today, our neighbors are from all over the world.
My mom didn’t speak English fluently when we first came to the U.S. in 1973. In my younger years, I saw how my mom lacked confidence in speaking to people. She avoided conversations with strangers because she felt like an outsider. My mom is a loving person and would do anything for anyone who was in need. People didn’t get to experience the love she had to give back then because of a language barrier.
My mother’s experiences clearly demonstrate the reason there is such a need for kingdom partnerships. My city is being transformed by working with not only Foursquare churches, but also with churches outside of the denomination. Matthew 4:17 states, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'” (NKJV). Jesus came to change our minds about how we do life where we live.
More than 40 percent of the population in Hamtramck, Mich., is born outside of the U.S. We are experiencing a tremendous culture shift, so we have strategically partnered with leaders in our community, other churches and nonprofit organizations who work with the Bengali and Yemeni populations in our city. Together, we identify resources and how to most effectively distribute those resources to our neighbors.
Kingdom partnerships have far-reaching effects and go beyond the cities we live in. Those partnerships helped us get water to Flint, Mich., during the recent and ongoing water crisis. Local Foursquare churches, Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR), American Red Cross and Convoy of Hope worked together to provide over 200,000 bottles of water to the citizens of Flint. Aligning with our Global Distinctives to develop effective partnerships, we were able to help a non-Foursquare church become a water distribution site.
The apostles we read about in the Bible preached the gospel, and the message spread like wildfire. But they needed kingdom partnerships to have the type of impact they experienced. As we continue to be God’s hands and feet on the earth, let us strive to reach the lost with others who have the heart to see God’s kingdom come.
I am reminded of the cornerstone at Angelus Temple, which states, “Dedicated unto the cause of inter-denominational and worldwide evangelism.” Our mission is God’s mission, and it will take all of us working together in love to see the lost come to Jesus.
The Global Distinctives, agreed on by nearly 240 leaders at the 2012 Global Summit, are six unifying principles that bind our whole Foursquare family in doctrine and culture.