BECOME A PARTNER
The Seasonal Practice:
PARTNER WITH AN ORGANIZATION OF RECONCILIATION
In our culture, we are much more comfortable with the idea of occasional service rather than sustained partnership. We want to do things... sometimes. We want to save the world and make it a better place... so long as convenient. Often what we do is less about seeing lasting evidence of the Kingdom in our communities, but being able to say “I helped make that happen.”
We should be active in the outworking of our faith. And we should desire to be a part of Kingdom work. But sometimes we can get so consumed with creating our own projects that we neglect to see the ways that God is already at work. But the Kingdom is coming in its fullness with us, or without us, and even despite us. This Advent, we invite you to anticipate Jesus’ return by choosing to practice active expectation through partnership.
Partnership does at least three things:
1) acknowledges that God is already at work;
2) recognizes the gifts of others and our need for the body of christ as we anticipate the fullness of God’s kingdom; and
3) creates the opportunity for more sustainable investment in God’s kingdom work.
On a practical level, we encourage you to partner with a reconciliation-oriented organization. If you need help finding one, we recommend one of these three: Arrabon, Telos, and World Relief.
After choosing an organization, we invite you into a three step process:
LEARN - Seek out ways that you can learn from that ministry. Options include learning from their resources or volunteering in their projects. (“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.” - Proverbs 18:15 (MSG))
ENCOURAGE - Write an encouraging letter or send an encouraging video message to the organization of your choice. Affirm the way that you see God at work within their ministry. (“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.” - 1 Corinthians 1:4-6)
GIVE - Invest in the ministry financially as a family, on your own, or with a friend. (“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:21)
Learning more about some organizations below:
World Relief: https://worldrelief.org/world-relief-global
Elena’s Personal Story
Each year for Christmas, my family invested in the work of different ministries across the country. When my brother and I were very young, we would help my parents pick out ministries to give to. Once we were old enough to have a little savings in our bank accounts, we started to give out of our own savings to these ministries. Our charitable giving doubled as a gift for our grandparents as we would give in their name!
This could have been a chore, but we really enjoyed getting to choose where our money went! One of our favorites was Heifer International, an organization working to end hunger around the world. You can give animals to families in need who will be trained on how to use this animal to build a sustainable livelihood. My brother and I loved picking the animal and we gave beyond our parents recommendations because we were excited!
In high school, I saw an advertisement for a Artist For Social Change Camp through Heifer International. My involvement in the organization from an early age increased my interest and, ultimately, I was accepted into the program! The participants immersed themselves in the mission of the organization while being trained to use the arts as a meaningful tool towards social change. The experience culminated in a collaborative show created by me and my fellow participants - using the arts to communicate their message about ending hunger and poverty!
It’s interesting to consider that I now serve as a program director for a songwriting internship - this is the kind of program that uses the arts as a meaningful tool for social change (but in this case within the context of worship). My financial investment in Heifer led me to practical learning and experience with their ministry which then equipped me for my own future ministry!