Partnering- First Steps

Don’t Be Intimidated!

By Peter Blackaby

I love cycling around a city.  As soon as the gravel is off the roads, I will begin my biking season.  When I lived in Calgary, I would often take a similar route from my home to downtown and back.  Along the way, there was at least one significant hill that needed to be conquered.   

In early Spring, I would take a running start and quickly begin gearing down until I finally came to a stop.  This was the point at which I would swallow my pride, disembark my bike, and walk the rest of the way up the incline.  Each ride, I found that I was able to make it a little further up the hill until finally I could peddle my way to the top without stopping at all. 

I sense that many church leaders feel a similar intimidation when they begin thinking about partnerships, especially in location outside their city.  The idea of developing a long term partnership with a church plant seems like an insurmountable task.  Where do we even start?

The good news is that partnerships will often be stretching but they do not need to be intimidating! 

PRAYING...  You may begin by attending a vision tour and committing to intentionally pray regularly for a specific church plant.

PROVIDING… Giving can grow.  Once you have a heart for a church plant, you may want to help with resources.  Beginning small is fine.  $50 per month can cover the cell phone bill for a church planter!  If enough churches give this much, then they are making a big dent in a planter’s salary or the church plant’s ministry budget.  If necessary, begin small and increase each year as you are able.  Also, don’t underestimate physical resources that can be donated by your church or church members (keyboard, sporting good, etc based on need). 

PARTICIPATING… Travel light at first.  If your church has never sent a volunteer team on mission, smaller could be better.  Recruitment and logistics are much easier for a team of four compared to a team of forty.  Start small.  Send a small team the first time.  Allow them to learn lessons that can be applied to future teams.  This team will often return home with a passion for the mission and will become ambassadors for future team recruitment.  Or travel with a buddy.  Sometimes even sending a team of four can be intimidating.  In this case, you may consider “buddying up” with a church who is more experienced in organizing travel and logistics.  Learn from them.  

YOU ARE NOT ALONE…  Still feel intimidated?  Someone from the Mobilization Team will walk with you.  We can help you think through first steps and next steps.  Like climbing a hill, the most important thing is the willingness to take the first step.