I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my
prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in
the gospel ...
(Philippians 1:3-5, NIV)
Observe a flock of geese to learn the principle of powerful partnering!
As each goose flaps its wings, the movement creates an "uplift" for the
birds that follow. The "V" formation adds 71 percent greater flying range than
if each bird flew alone.
When one lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose
flies to the point position so that no one bird is taking all the wind
While the geese fly in formation, they honk to encourage the flock.
Paul's letter to the Philippians demonstrates a priority principle of the
gospel and the work of the Kingdom--partnership. The most effective ministries
are always ministries carried out in cooperation with others.
In our day, God is breaking down walls and facilitating partnerships like
never before. Nothing could be more biblical for the advance of the gospel. As
Paul described his ministry of taking the gospel to those who needed it most,
he almost always spoke in the plural, indicating that he was constantly working
in partnership to accomplish the spread of the church and the transformation of
One of the greatest joys of my ministry was serving as pastor of First
Baptist of Norfolk, Virginia. Toward the end of my tenure, we organized a
special Easter morning worship celebration in a new 20,000 seat amphitheater.
Knowing that it would be far more powerful in partnership than solo, we
enlisted four churches to share the opportunity with us.
The results were greater than anything we had imagined. On Easter the crowds
were so large that police officers directed traffic. Cars were backed up more
than an hour just to get in, and, when the service began, the amphitheater was
overflowing with thousands of people. The event was successful because of a
cooperative effort between Christian brothers and sisters.
The North American Mission Board has partnered with the Florida Baptist
Convention and the Tampa Baptist Association in an incredibly exciting project.
In October, Dr. Billy Graham conducted a crusade in Tampa. Through our
partnership, we built on the results of the Graham Crusade by planting new
congregations from the converts of the Crusade. There are 52 new churches in
Florida today as a result of this team effort, and all of them have pastors. It
is the first time we know of in history that such a strategy has been
attempted--and what a wonderfully exciting success!--but it took a team to
Southern Baptists have long understood the importance of partnership. The
Cooperative Program effectively demonstrates our belief that we can do more
together than we can ever accomplish separately. The 1997-98 year was a record
breaker for the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for
international missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North
Consider ways to partner in ministry and evangelism:
You can go on evangelistic visitation through your church with another
Christian for the sake of sharing your faith with others.
You can begin a neighborhood Bible study with another couple in order to
reach a neighborhood.
You can host a neighborhood block party to gently introduce your neighbors
to the importance of faith in Christ (NAMB has materials to guide you).
You can go on a home or international mission trip with others to make a
difference in your world.
You can begin a regular prayer time with a partner, asking God to use you to
change your world.
Isn't it great to be partners for Kingdom business!
Bob Reccord is president and CEO, North American Mission Board,
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC