• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Two categories of human partners and how to manage them

Two categories of human partners and how to manage them

In the previous article, titled, ‘Understanding Partnership with God and with Other People’, we looked at what partnership means and how we partner with God.

We also delved a little into how our partnership with God necessitates our partnership with people. We saw how partnering accurately with God always leads to harvests too great for one person, hence the need to beckon on human partners to ensure that no part of the harvest is lost.

In this one, we will look at human partnerships in more detail and zero in on two categories of human partners, and how to manage each of them.

The story of David in the Bible is probably the most appropriate for x-raying these two categories.

Before we look at David’s story, let’s describe these categories of partners. Let’s call the first category, the distressed ones. These are partners that would come into your life looking like problems. They are people in debt, in distress, needing help. They start off looking like people of no value but with some support, they become great assets bringing value to themselves, to you, to other people and ultimately glory to God.

Let’s call the second category, the skilled ones. They come with expertise and experience that you don’t have and they add significant value immediately they come in.

Here is the story of David. In First Samuel chapter 22, the Bible says, “David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.”

Later on, some of these distressed people were referred to as mighty men and their exploits are well documented. They came raw and rough, distressed and in despair. David first resolved their troubles and trained them until they became mighty and useful. They didn’t look like it in the beginning. You need to be discerning to identify them.

This is the first category of human partners. God uses such people to test and train you. If you pass the test, God will bring the second category, the skilled ones.

First Chronicles 12 shows us when this second category of partners came to David.

“Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war. They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.” [Verses 1 and 2].

“These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

“And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David. And David went out to meet them and answered and said unto them. If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

“Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them and made them captains of the band.” [15 to 18].

At that point, David already had skilled men, people he raised from scratch. We have spoken much about them and we have forgotten that there was a balanced operation in God.

David also had mighty men, who were skilled and equipped before they came. They were trained by Saul, who was trying to kill David. They were Saul’s relatives, but they came and submitted to David, and to help him.

A time will come when the Lord will bring you into partnership with people so that you learn to be a leader. The Lord will bring you into partnership with people so that you can grow together with them. The Lord will bring you into partnership with people who are professionals, who will challenge you to upgrade your operations.

The most important thing is that you learn how to adapt these skilled partners into your team and fix them in suitable roles.

In David’s case, though these people were newcomers, he received and made them captains. Once David confirmed that the conversion was genuine, and their surrender to his leadership was bankable, he gave them leadership positions, where their potential could be maximised.

They came when David’s influence had grown and his army had grown to a level where it needed to become more structured and refined, hence the need for partners with the expertise and experience they didn’t have.

This is crucial for entrepreneurs. When you are starting small, you could make do with employees and partners who you may need to train and coach. However, when you begin to scale, expand your operations or go international, you will have to enter into partnerships with people who have expertise and experience that you don’t have. If you insist on working only with the people you have trained, the growth of your business will be limited.

Putting new skilled partners in leadership positions is usually a delicate thing to do. Chances are that the older partners in the team would feel sidelined and disenfranchised. In such a scenario, you must trust God to grant you the wisdom to manage the adaptation of different types of partners in a way that will not cause rancour. If you don’t manage it well, you will have problems. The older ones will have pioneering syndrome and the newer ones will have skill syndrome.

As you advance in your career, business or ministry, be mindful of partnerships. Pray that God will help you discern divine partnerships He has brought to your life to bless you and that He should give you wisdom to manage them.


Reverend Austin Ukporhe is the Senior Pastor at Remnant Christian Network, Lagos. Raised in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, he was trained in peculiar firebrand evangelism and was ordained as a pastor in 2001. He has experienced countless and diverse workings of the faithfulness of God over two decades and has developed a passion to see God’s will for Nigeria become a reality. He can be reached on +2348060255604.