Having thought through the Philosophy of Partnership and taken the steps to Find Potential Partners, let’s take a look at that first meeting.
First Meeting (listen to a recorded first call)
“Hi, this is [your name]! I’m a missionary to college students with Cru and I’m calling to find out if someone from your church would like to work together with us to reach the local students at [insert nearby school]. Who would be the best person for me to reach?”
“Would you tell me where you guys are right now as far as reaching local college students and where the Lord is leading you to go next?” Let them share their heart and share from YOUR heart about what Cru ministries can be like and our distinctives. Listen here for more.
Alignment and Expectations
Identify whether the church’s desire is to partner for:
- Resource Level: If they simply want to know what resources we have, direct them to our websites and offer to go deeper if/when they are ready. This is great because a local part of the body is taking forays into the mission of reaching young people for Christ! Praise God!
- Advice Level: If they’d like advice on how to grow their own ministry answer any questions, help them think through strategy and heart, offer to pray with them and assure them that they can contact us anytime for more help. This is great because God has many witnesses operating where you aren’t and it is a step toward the unity that Jesus prayed for us in John 17!
- Action Level: Yay! In case they didn’t reveal these already, listen here for the heart behind discovering their stance on the following:
- Heart: God’s kingdom or their own?
- Vision: In-house ministry or on-campus? Church-led or student-led?
- Doctrine: Evangelical and biblical? Flexible on persuasion-level beliefs?
- Partnership: Willing to share with other churches?
- Capacity: What are they able & interested in: helping us launch, lead, pray, etc?
Point out the other branches of Cru at PartnerWithCru.org then take them through the “Partner With Cru” video and Church Partners Guide on PartnerWithCru.org/Campus.
Ask if you can pray for them and for the partnership before you go.
Ask if there’s anything in their personal lives you can pray for. Remember that partnership is built primarily on your common leading from God and a personal trust relationship. As you share prayer requests, this is a great opportunity to get past seeing each other less as business partners (or a means to an end) and more as the brothers and sisters we truly are.
Ask the Lord with them to make His will clear to you and profess a genuine posture of setting aside ego, experience and plans to hear what God wants to do. This is a good reminder for both you and your partner, and I believe the Lord will work through humble spirits such as this.
Set up a time to talk again in a week (though future calls may be less frequent). Then email them a “thank you” with a list of next steps.
- Contact the nearest Cru team in that area and gauge their desired involvement
- Look into what history Cru has had with that campus
- Pray for the campus (perhaps even set up a prayer walk)
- Review our DNA and Statement of Faith
- Review, sign and return the Church Partner Agreement
- Review the Church Partners Guide in light of their passions/capacity