This is the seventh post in my series reflecting on ONS. For more posts in this series, check out the series frontpage: InterVarsity's Orientation for New Staff
We spent some time this morning talking about church partnerships.
Partnerships should be two way.
Look for common priorities.
Go beyond finances.
These nuggets of wisdom will be really helpful for our new Staff.
But one idea really jumped out to me ...
Almost as an aside, Tony Gatewood commented:
"You will not survive in ministry without the church."
In a room full of young, apostolic leaders, it can be tempting to score points with the crowd at the expense of churches ... we exist because churches aren't doing what they're supposed to do ... that kind of thing.
But we don't do that. At least, not when we're at our best.
We love our churches. And we need our churches.
Our churches take care of us. They nourish us spiritually. They develop us along our journey with Jesus. They hone and sharpen our theology. They walk with us through emotional ups and downs.
But there's more.
Partnership with churches is necessary for our mission. Churches have resources we need: people and money and expertise. Churches are the source of many of our best leaders and the optimal destination for all of our alumni. Churches reach farther and deeper into the world than we ever can, for longer than we ever will.
I've never met someone who's ministered to students long-term without a deep relationship with a church. And I don't ever expect to.
If our Staff ignore their churches, they won't survive in ministry.