When I was in school, I always liked group projects or even simply working with one other person on a project. Specifically, when I was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary I had a professor that would actually let you partner up with a fellow student to write a paper and it actually counted as 1.5 papers, instead of just 1 paper. So, if you needed to write 6 papers that semester, you could actually write 4 papers with a partner and you are done. In one regard, that seemed like a much more efficient way to get papers down, but it was also really fun and great partnering up with someone else to tackle a particular passage of scripture and learn together.
A biblical example of a ministry partnership can be found in Paul’s partnership with the church at Philippi, a church he planted earlier in his ministry. When he writes his letter to the church approximately ten years later, he speaks in Phil. 1:5 of the Philippians’ “partnership in the gospel” – a partnership that we learn later involved the sharing of personnel (Phil. 2:19-30) and financial resources (Phil. 4:10-20). It was also a partnership that had existed since the church was initially founded (Phil. 1:5; 4:15).
From time to time, churches, ministry organizations, and individual Christians find it useful to partner with other churches, organizations, and Christians for a shared purpose or to meet a specific need.
An example of a ministry partnership might be when a group of churches work together to conduct a community-wide evangelistic outreach. Another example could be when one Christian partners with another Christian missionary through prayer and financial support. Another would be a church or ministry partnering with a camp and retreat center to accomplish a particular goal by getting away for a weekend retreat.
When thinking about ministry partnerships, I think the possibilities are really endless. These partnerships can come in all shapes and sizes, but they share some common characteristics. Here are three characteristics of effective ministry partnerships:
- Shared vision. Ministry partnerships always involve a common vision.
- Shared values. Ministry partnerships include some shared values.
- Shared beliefs. While it’s unnecessary for ministry partners to agree on every jot and tittle of doctrine, there should be an agreement in the basic fundamentals of the faith when two faith-based organizations are working together.
Are you someone who likes partnership or not? Looking to partner with a camp and retreat center? At New Life Ranch we love partnerships, give us a call.