As a new believer, it seemed really odd to me that different churches would compete for membership and battle over programming (oh wait - that was just a few years ago!! LOL).
Lately, it's been SUCH a different story!
I'm preparing to meet this morning with a long-time acquaintance who represents 2 ministries based in my area...about an hour away. She's going to share what they do, and how we may be able to use some of their services to compliment our churches missions' program.
...for the advancing His Name to every "tribe, tongue and nation"...
I was just emailed by another missions sending organization, sending me links and passwords to some of their information on how they do things on the "business" side of their ministry.
I frequently see writers sharing tips and encouraging other writers! What?! Aren't we all trying to write to the same people??
And why is all of this happening?? Cooperation.
In the name of Jesus, and for the advancing His Name to every "tribe, tongue and nation" we are all cooperating together. WHEW!! Such a relief!!
So today, I'm thankful for COOPERATIVE MINISTRY!!
I've been affiliated with Team Expansion, another missions sending organization, for about 10 years now - as a volunteer (I say as a "Parent Volunteer"!). I loved the fact, as I went through training in mobilization, that they don't believe they are the "master senders" in missions. In fact, they don't ever want us to pressure folks into signing up with us - we are to pray with them that God leads them to the BEST agency for THEIR field of service!! LOVE it!!
I loved going to church at Crossroads Christian Church, in Newburgh, IN, because they did not feel the need to "do all the area ministry" - several other churches and non-profits had good things going. Instead of "us" creating competing ministries, we added to theirs. It didn't seem to matter that they were a different denomination, or even just a non-profit without a religious affiliation - we could join in and bless the community in the name of Jesus. LOVE their cooperative heart!!
Even when we went to a little church in Springfield, MO called Christian Community, they were indeed just about that - loving each other and doing life as community - so we were often helping others through someone else's connection to another church, or area ministry. We felt like we could do so much together.
That's so much better than arguing, fighting over ministry opportunities, and which church will have what event when.
I avoid conflict, like the plague - so to see such a spirit of community and growing the body of Christ within our city and outside our walls, really blesses my heart. I LOVE the cooperative spirits of these churches, and our current church New Heights (in Fayetteville, AR). Gone is the stinginess of the old time church, and YAY for churches that share in the attitude of advancing the gospel in our area, and around the world! I love that "here, near, and far away" mindset of evangelizing, church planting, reconciling others to Jesus. We are a team, the body of Christ, and WE have a job to do!!
So, YAY for COOPERATIVE MINISTRY!!
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