Monday, October 23, 2006

Partnering with Local Churches

One of InterVarsity's core commitments is to the local church, and I hold strongly to this commitment myself. If a student were forced, I would by all means tell the student to choose a local church over our ministry. Self-defeating? Maybe, but I'm ok with that.

The problem is that Christ founded the Church, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship isn't one. We are a support organization, designed to support local churches in their ministry to college campuses. As such, as I go searching for partnership for this ministry, I am aimed at the local church in Nashville.

It's a long process, building databases of contacts and trying to stay up with what other IVCF staff workers are doing in the area. I want to build real partnerships of ministry, and the first step is mutual advertising. I'm constructing a "church book" that will have information on local churches for our graduate students so they can get involved in local churches. I have also prepared Graduate Christian Fellowship ads to be put in local church bulletins and fliers. The free exchange of information will go a long way toward genuine partnerships.

I'm also meeting with a lot of local pastors to get to know them and their ministries. I want to be able to approach them with things down the line that suit their needs and interests. I also want to be able to take volunteers for the ministry on campus.

There is also the remote possibility of moving our small groups into local churches so that a grad student could benefit from GFM's expertise in graduate ministry while being able to plug into a local church during the week. It's an interesting thought I'll have to consider more later.

Please pray that as we move into this new phase of partnership-development, the Lord would work to move the people and places into our orbit that would benefit the people in our care and that, above all, God would be glorified in what we do.


W. Travis McMaken said...

"The problem is that Christ founded the Church, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship isn't one."


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