FPD stands for Forerunner Partnership Development. It is a campaign used by missionaries to go and share their vision with supporters and to build a partnership team so that they can be released into full time ministry.
I began this over the summer because I am a missionary with IHOPKC* as well as a student at IHOPU. I am called to build and strengthen houses of prayer around the world and to disciple the next generation from the context of night and day prayer. With my partnership team I will be able to receive training in children’s and youth ministry, serve my community on the Night Watch** and join a smaller house of prayer upon graduating.
So here they are, 10 things FPD taught me:
1. You CANNOT do it alone. Not without people (big shout out to my friends and family who have encouraged me all along the way) and not without Jesus. When He told His disciples “without me you can do nothing” in John 15:5 He really wasn’t kidding. As much as my independent heart would like to try to do things on my own, it’s just not possible.
2. You find out who you are. FPD forces you to go to the Lord in prayer and to ask what His plans for you are, who He’s made you to be, and how to be obedient to Him. This searching process has to happen with the Lord in order for you to have confidence to go and tell other people about it. It gives you conviction and a fear of the Lord on your life in a way that nothing else will.
3. Doing your best doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be successful. Just like everything else in Christianity, you’re ability to follow through doesn’t predict your outcome. If that were the case in salvation then my own good behavior would be the means for my salvation, and I would not be saved. Similarly, in FPD, God doesn’t reward you with partnership because you did everything perfect, never got scared, never wimped out or never lost a contact. His Kingdom doesn’t operate on our ability to “do better”. This is good news because you’re probably not going to do FPD perfectly.
4. FPD is ministry. Not only is it refining you and preparing you for ministry, it becomes the avenue for ministry opportunities itself. You can pray for, bless and encourage the people you meet with all along your journey and see the Lord move and restore in amazing ways.
5. God is your provider, not other people. People might be one way God provides, but the moment you switch to seeing people as your provider everything gets skewed. Your words and actions become fear based instead of confidence based. I slipped into the wrong mindset many times and the only way to get out of it is to remind yourself who God is. He is the one on the throne, He is the creator of heavens and earth, those other people aren’t.
6. New and renewed relationships far outweigh any monetary gifts received. Partners are not ATM machines, they are beloved brother’s and sisters in Christ. I have been blessed over and over again by renewed friendships in the last 3 months. It amazes me the way God uses something like FPD to put people in your path, bring about restoration, and rekindle love. It makes it all worth it, regardless if you receive money from them.
7. It’s okay to have meltdowns. I might have had one or two a week. It’s okay to not be strong enough. It’s okay that you can’t do it all on your own. It takes a lot to do FPD, and what I found out was that if I wasn’t abiding in Christ, I was filled with anxiety and fear. It became an overwhelming pattern until I finally sat down and talked to Jesus.
8. The fact that God is faithful doesn’t change based on your bank account. I don’t think there’s a plainer way to say it. This might be the most important thing I’m learning. God is who He says He is. He does not change. If you believe the Word of God to be true, then you can’t look at unmet expectations and impossible situations and say that God has abandoned you. Your circumstances cannot change the character of God. For “even when we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim 2:13).
9. It’s uncomfortable and vulnerable — but ultimately good. God brings about all things for the good of those who love Him. So even though I feel like I did it imperfectly and I don’t see all the fruit of it yet, I know that He will bring good in my life from it. I can be confident that He has been growing me and changing me this summer and that I will see the results in the coming years. He uses every situation to bring us closer to Him.
10. I had it all wrong. I was treating FPD like the validation for my calling. Basically, the thought process was “If God called me to this, He’ll provide and if He doesn’t provide then I’m not called to it”. God has asked me to have a different kind of faith. Faith that doesn’t hinge on the outward circumstances. Of course, I need Him to provide in order to do what He’s called me to, but when I said “He’ll provide” I always had a particular picture and time frame in mind. When my expectations are unmet and the promises are delayed, am I to throw them away? No. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). So therefore, I have decided that regardless of the way things look right now, I really do believe I’m called to the Night Watch and to the prayer movement.
*Find out more about IHOPKC
**See previous blog posts about the NIGHT WATCH: ONE & TWO
If you would like to help me join the Night Watch financially, please follow the instructions on my Go Fund Me page –> http://www.gofundme.com/ca6d7w