From 2008-2011 I served on the staff of a small church in Arizona as the Associate Pastor. For those not familiar with small churches, that means the Exec. Pastor, Missions Pastor, Local Outreach and Youth Pastor combined with grounds and janitorial sometimes thrown in just to keep me humble. In a small church that is just the way it is. No complaints – a fantastically fulfilling time of my life.
As part of those duties I was often the first line in receiving phone calls from para-church organizations. As a former para-church guy, I always had a soft spot for taking those phone calls. Many para-church organizations simply want to have a voice in the strategy for reaching their communities. And as a pastor I was looking for ways to partner with a para-church that shared our values and “fit” with our culture. That tenure in the church though taught me a lesson I wasn’t expecting. It taught me how the struggle of the para-church was many times self-inflicted by the preoccupation with support raising, rather than partnership building. And to my shame, by the end of my tenure on staff, I too began to let those calls go to voicemail. But here is the worse part, at one point I was the self-inflicted warrior on the front lines. I can only imagine how my phone calls were received. Not a good reflection of valuing the church as an organization or the staff charged with stewarding those resources.
A BETTER WAY
The para-church needs support. There is no doubt about that. But more than just a monthly check, they too need partnership support. They fill a void in specialized outreach that few churches are able to accomplish. That is the beauty of partnership. The Gospel is proclaimed through our actions, whether via a local body or a nonprofit with a specific focus.
[Tweet “It isn’t about who gets the credit as long as Jesus gets the credit – @DougLeslie.”]
What if there was a better way? What if senior leaders from both the church – who feel used for money, and the para-church – who don’t feel valued as an equal partner, could sit down and begin to build partnerships without discussing financial support? What if the common goal of practical and strategic Gospel outreach was the topic of conversation? What if ministry goals were met by finding a long-term strategic outreach partner in your area? What if…..?
We are very excited to announce a series of one day working summits for senior church and para-church leaders specifically designed with this goal in mind.
- Six regionally focused events specific to your area
- Six amazing speakers with decades of practical experience in leading teams and building partnership bridges
- Designed to be focused, intimate and relational
- Reserved to a maximum of 64 participants per location with equal representation from the church and para-church
- Meaningful discussions and networking with your peers
- Three differently themed roundtable discussions
- ALL within 24 hours
If you are planning your 2016 conference schedule and you are a senior leader, be sure to add this to your calendar. The spaces will fill fast. For most of you it will only be a short drive in travel time.
You can help change the ministry landscape. Get away – for ONEDAY.
Registrations for ALL SIX locations begin October 1, 2015
Mark your calendars. With a limited number of participants allowed, it will fill up quickly!
For more information and to sign up for ongoing ONEDAY updates go to www.onedaysummit.org.
Your ministry can thrive. We can help. And for some it may only take ONEDAY.
1 thought on “The Church and ParaChurch can THRIVE Together”
I recently left a large mega church in Gilbert AZ and started my ministry as a nonprofit 501c3. If possible, I’d like to pick your brain on para church organizations. We are in our infancy stages and recently found a building to gather in. If interested, please reach out to me. [email protected]