Now that we’ve thought through the philosophy of partnership, it is time to go out and discover some potential new partners.
There are a few ways to go looking for partners. The advantage here is that you can pick who and when you approach. The disadvantage is that you don’t know whether they are interested. Just like in MPD and evangelism, though, our goal must be to walk closely with the Lord, step faithfully into the opportunities He provides, cast the net wide and leave the results to God. With that heart in mind, here are some practical steps you may choose to take in your “name-storming” efforts.
- Start with who you know
- Ask students where they go to church
- Google “churches near [campus name]” and pick those closest
- Look up churches from different ethnic backgrounds and denominations
- Put together an Expedition Team to walk the campus and surrounding churches, meeting potential key volunteers
- Ask Fund Development which churches in the area support Cru in some way already (Maxine Blackwood – email@example.com)
Advantages here are that once you’ve made yourself “findable,” there’s no more work until they reach out to you. Also, if a church DOES reach out to you, there is a definite interest in doing something, even if it isn’t necessarily what you already have in mind (note – sometimes it’s better). Disadvantages would include being approached at times that aren’t the most convenient and the fact that their interest in Cru and students doesn’t by definition make them a good partner. Here are some tips to becoming “findable” then we’ll talk about good partnership candidates more below.
- Strong web presence
What Makes a Good Partner
Just as not every student is interested or fit to lead with Cru, not every church is going to be the best fit for optimal partnership. Not lining up in everything doesn’t mean you can NEVER connect AT ALL. In fact, we encourage you to try to find a way to say “yes” to some level of fellowship whenever possible and choose only the few most important “hills to die on.” You can’t expect them all to have a Win, Build Send DNA to start, for example, but by relating with them over time that heart may grow IN them, in which case you have made a lasting impact on a ministry that could go on well past your time there. There are a few key areas that can help determine whether a partner will make a good fit for maximum level of partnership. Listen here for the heart behind discovering their stance on the following:
- Heart: God’s kingdom or their own? (Is this true of your ministry?)
- 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?