Show Notes – Episode 06
The Story of the New Hope and Emmanuel Relationship
Early on in the revitalization of Emmanuel, a small church in the northwest corner of CT reached out to Cary for advice and help in finding a new pastor. Over the course of a few conversations, the idea of a collaborative relationship between the two churches began to appeal to both sides.
Cary suggested to bring on a pastor that could be developed and encouraged by a mentoring relationship with Emmanuel. Andrew and Sarah Browning moved to CT in December of 2013 to begin replanting New Hope with the support and mentorship of Cary and Emmanuel. God has since blessed both congregations with significant growth both in gospel health and gospel fruit.
Possible Challenges of Collaboration
1. Loss of Autonomy
The smaller church in need of help must have the humility to ask. At times, churches can be so consumed with their autonomy that they refuse to ask for help from other churches. NH and EBC are two autonomous, self-supporting bodies that work together in the same region with the same gospel mission.
2. Overlap of People
When two churches partner together locally, there will naturally be an overlap of attenders. Both leaders must be secure in gospel identity and gospel calling to partner with another local body without having a spirit of competition between them.
3. Envy / Comparison
A close relationship between two churches can produce comparison and jealousy between the two leaders and the churches. Reject the “if only” comparisons and steward the ministry God has entrusted to you.
4. Confusion of Churches
This can be a confusing thing for the churches to understand. Proper communication can solve the feelings of inferiority or superiority and make the relationship a real benefit to both congregations.
Conclusion: We want to encourage other pastors to consider having these types of relationships. Not necessarily the same in function as ours, but the same in mission. Collaborate together to see God impact your region in a greater way.
In the next episode we will look into detail at the practical benefits of how God has blessed the relationship.
- Do I have a spirit of competition towards other churches near me?
- Do I find myself comparing my ministry situation to others? Why?
- Who is speaking into my life/leadership?
- Whose life/leadership am I speaking into?
- Who is in my proximity that I could partner with or encourage?
- How is our ministry seeking to encourage other churches near us?
- Is comparison between our ministry and other ministries a constant theme for us?
- What can we do today as a ministry in regards to collaboration with other churches and believers?