Most of us have places we would like to reach but we just don’t have the ability at present. Other churches, volunteers and alumni may be in a better position to make a difference for Christ there. Developing a partnership with others who share our vision for turning lost students into Christ-centered laborers takes some work, but that effort is worth it on many levels.
The Red River Region has developed some resources for identifying possible partners, casting vision for how we may better work together and providing some structure for a fruitful partnership. http://www.crupartners.com/ offers some helpful guidelines, along with videos and resources. When you click on “Churches,” for example, you see a helpful explanation of the partnership process, steps to partnership, levels of church partnership and levels of volunteer involvement.
Back a few months ago, I participated in a conference call with Brian Hudkins, Forerunner and a Distance Coach for a ministry in central Virginia, and Warren Stewart, a CCC staff alum who is now leading a ministry in a local church. We talked about the ministry that Brian was coaching and what could happen on the campus with Warren and his church’s participation. Both of them left that phone call with a sense of hope for what God might do through their joint efforts.
After that call, Brian went to the Resources page, and clicked on “PIM Downloads”. There he found some helpful tools in developing and maintaining a partnership. Among the choices offered, there was one piece, Church Partnership Menu, that listed a number of different areas to consider. I think the piece has great things to offer, but it is a bit confusing. You may not want to forward that pdf to a prospective partner. But, instead print it out and give to the partner the pages you want them to have. Page three is designed to help us as staff guide the conversation.
If you or any of your team are on location this summer, why not take a look at these pages and consider which churches have connections to campuses you are working on? This could be a great way to build the critical mass of available manpower. You could use the time this summer to develop the partnerships and begin to equip volunteers to see God use them in the lives of students. Starting now, gives them the time to develop plans in order to hit the ground running when the Fall begins.