This article reflects on the manner in which the well-known South African missiologist David Bosch handles the identity-involvement-dilemma. Bosch maintains that the church is always in a state of crisis. It is argued that, although Bosch is correct in his notion that the church can only be relevant in the world and maintain her identity in Christ by being attentively aware of her status as "alternative community", he does not articulate well enough what the possible risks for congregations engaging in partnerships with secular institutions are. A few of these risks are considered. It is concluded that a relevant missionary model for the Family of Dutch Reformed Churches will have to include partnerships with secular bodies and attend to the development of institutional resources in order to effectively address larger scale challenges such as violence, HIV / AIDS and poverty.