Hi there! I’m back! Ben has been the only one to share blog posts for the past few months while I was wrapping up a class on Law and Ethics. It was my last licensing requirement for Marriage and Family Therapy since my degree came from out of state. Whew! Glad that’s done. While I was working on the class, preparations have continued for Dublin!
Recently people have been asking us how they can help. Thank you so much for asking! Because we do need your involvement. But what we need is much more than “help.” What we need is partnership. The biggest difference in the two is that with partnership, the partner has a stake in the endeavor. Take parenting for example. Ben and I are “parenting partners.” We have a united goal of raising our children to be loving and kind individuals who can choose to follow God. As partners, we work in harmony with each other, though our particular roles look different. The point here is not who does what, the point is that we are united in purpose and are taking action toward a common goal. If Ben and I were instead “parenting helpers,” maybe one of us would do the work (and get the glory) of raising our kids while the other simply provided the funds. This is not a partnership. Partnership is so much more!
The same is true for partnering in ministry. A ministry partner has more at stake than simply providing funds. Partners take actionable steps toward a common goal. In Philippians 1, Paul thanks God for his partners who have been with him from the beginning. I love that we can see his heart for his partners when he says, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Paul genuinely cared for his partners. And Paul’s partners weren’t simply helping him, they shared both in God’s work and God’s grace with him! They had an active role in ministry partnership that included prayer (Phil 1:19), service (Phil 4:3), and sharing of resources (Phil 4:18). This is how they were much more than helpers. They were partners in action! And, like Paul, we also need people to share in God’s work and grace with us.
Curious about how you can partner? There are three primary ways!
- PRAY. Prayer has to be the crux of anything we do! Without prayer, we are moving on our own intuition, our own thinking, with our own plans, and no matter how good they may seem, that’s not what God wants. He wants us to be in line with His plans, however crazy they may look. Prayer helps to mold and shape our thinking so that we stay in step with God’s leading. And we need you to be praying with us!
- COME. I’m so excited about this! A big part of our role with Amoveo is to host groups from the US. This means that you could partner with us in person, serving together, acting as hands and feet to practical ministries. Your group can be with us for as little as seven to ten days. But we also hope to have individuals serving alongside us for a longer term. The idea of seeing the body of Christ in action is exciting!
- GIVE. Why partner financially? Philippians 4:17 in the Message says, “Not that I’m looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.” Yes we need your financial backing. Without it, we’d be like a car without wheels! But the need for financial partnership is for the benefit of the giver as well! Let’s share in the blessing that comes from generosity. As Christians, we know that every penny in our account is not actually ours. It belongs to God! He doesn’t look at the amount you give. He looks at your heart attitude. It’s His money, after all. God provides some of us with much financial resource while others have less. Again, God doesn’t look at the amount. He looks at your heart. Paul reminds the Philippians in 4:19 that even though they gave generously and sacrificially, they won’t be lacking anything! He says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Can I share something really awesome with you? God has provided us with many partners thus far. I smile when I think of them. They pray for us on a regular basis. They have made a commitment to work on the ground with us. They have helped to put wheels on everything by partnering with us financially. Would you partner with us too?
Recently my wife and I were in charge of organizing an outdoor activity for our fellowship. We posted some suggestions to the group’s email list, and there was mostly silence (initially at least). The few who responded were a great encouragement.
In my own experience, I am eager to participate/help/support when I’m already fired up. When I myself am just hanging in there, I let pass the opportunities — maybe feeling a bit guilty about it. I suspect that many are like me in this respect. So now when silence comes, I try to pray for those I’ve hoped to hear from. Maybe they are in need of encouragement themselves.