There is a strong biblical case to build partnerships. One of my favorite passages is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. The old man looking back on life recognizes that the person working on a team is going to be more productive and will not give up as easily as the person working alone. In the past few decades leadership trends have once again been turning back to these time tested principles taught in the Scriptures.
Here in the Central Baptist Association we recognize the importance of partnership. I believe we must look to partners outside our immediate circle to help us move forward. There are many resources available at our fingertips if we only ask for help. While I do not promote co-dependence I do encourage our leaders in the CBA to enlist help.
Our denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, offers many free resources through our different agencies. The North American Mision Board, Lifeway Christian Resources, and the International Mission Board are great examples of agencies servicing our churches. This year we have experienced a great deal of assistance from NAMB through our Vision Tour and the funding of our block party trailer.
With more than 40,000 churches nationwide there are literally thousands of churches willing to come to Wisconsin to be involved in missions. As this blog is written I can say with gratitude that we already have a number of churches planning to bring their mission teams to help CBA churches.
We also have churches from other states investing money into our church plants. With this money comes prayer and concern from other churches. I believe that genuine partnership takes place when there is a wholistic approach to missions like we are now experiencing.
I believe Paul worked with partnerships as the early Church spread throughout the known world. Paul leveraged resources so the gospel would spread to the uttermost parts of the earth. The letters to the churches in the New Testament are great examples of the ongoing partnership that Paul developed with people.
What are the results of partnership? I believe that the pastors and leaders in our churches are being encouraged. Morale in the leadership has visibly increased with our churches who are working with outside volunteer teams. Pastors and other leaders realize they are not all alone.
A second result is that churches are being equipped. At Prairie Springs Church in Sun Prairie a group from Central Park Baptist in Alabama came this past summer to conduct a Vacation Bible School. During the week the leadership from PSC said, “We can do this next year.” Since that time the leaders from PSC are excitedly planning to do their own VBS next summer.
Thirdly, I believe there is supernatural synergy that takes place as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4. Churches have a new energy and have a new vision about what can happen for the future. Outside partners have been a breath of fresh air that has been nothing short of invigorating.
Partnership will continue to play a key role in the CBA as we strive to plant and develop prevailing churches. We thank God for raising up new laborers for the harvest here in southern Wisconsin. May the Lord continue to give increase to His harvest!!!