I don’t have much to say today – nothing earth shattering, at any rate – except to say how awesome it is when people call you, out of the blue, just to see how you are doing. A few days ago, we had one such call. Our prayer letter had been sent out as usual and, not long after, my friend called me out of the blue to ask about more specifics and how we were doing (there was nothing in it concerning any problems or worries we might have). And it was just really nice.
These particular friends embody the concept of partnership. It isn’t necessarily flash or showy (much like us really), but it is consistent and caring. It involves looking specifically at the needs of our church and ministry and seeking to do things about those needs as they are able. They have supported us for a long time consistently, but periodically feel moved to support us further with something specific too.
But there is also just the underlying friendship. Most of our call was just shooting the breeze about this or that. Our whole conversation wasn’t just about the things going on in ministry, but involved talking about what was going on with us or what had been interesting us in the news. We potentially chatted as much about XR and the green agenda, with its implications, as we did about Afghanistan and politics in general. But we also chatted about ministry, and life, and other things too. All of it, ultimately, because we are friends (and my friend is among the most interesting people I know who always has interesting things to say about most things we care to talk about, if I’m being honest).
We feel blessed to have friends like these. Friends who care for us and actively support us – in myriad ways – from a distance. There are others, too, who periodically get in touch too, usually in response to the prayer letter, to ask about specific needs or to assure us of prayers. These sorts of partnerships are absolutely invaluable.
So, if you do want to partner with another church – whether with us or anyone else – this is how you make yourself and brilliant gospel partner. Let the church know that you are praying for them, and what you have been praying for them. When they send you prayer requests, ask if there are specific further needs you can help with. If there are, help with them. Remember that partnership is a two-way street; that there should be give and take by all partners. Tell your partner church how they can pray for and support you too (I am sure they would be glad to do it if they’re able).
We have said many times before, partnership tends to means three things: prayer, money and people. We need your prayers, we need financial support and we need more people to commit to the ministry here. But we also want friendship too. And in a proper friendship, we want to reciprocate. We want to help you in your ministry where that is possible because that is what friends do.
So, give thanks for good friends.