John Donne wrote, “No man is an island,” and his point was that our lives are intertwined with the lives of all the other people on this planet. We could also say, “No church is an island.” While each church in our association is autonomous, we are interdependent, cooperating with one another and caring for one another and helping one another.
Sometimes a church (mistakenly, I believe) pulls apart and tries to “go it alone” without the support and encouragement of the other churches nearby. I think it is far healthier for churches to see themselves as part of a network of Kingdom outposts, all working together to share the gospel with all the people who need to know Jesus.
Churches should not see themselves as competing with each other. We are on the same team. And the team is much more than any one church.
Our Men Alive Outdoor Expo, annual Evangelism Rally, Secret Church Simulcast, Mission Lone Star at the motorcycle rally in Galveston, and other associational events provide opportunities for our churches to work together.
But churches are also encouraged to form their own partnerships with other churches and work together.
In our association, we have some good models of churches working together.
* Heights and First Dayton partnered to bring a focus on prayer to their congregations.
* First Dayton and Calvary Dayton work together to have a joint DiscipleNow, as do North Main and Hardin.
* For three years Trinity Dayton has sent a team to Smith Point to help that church conduct VBS and also do some clean-up and fix-up projects.
* This summer Hardin sent a team to First High Island to help them have a VBS. The Hardin team also provided a men’s night service and women’s night service for the church.
In each of these partnerships, both churches benefitted.
What about your church? Could you find a nearby church with which to partner for a major event? Or is there a smaller church that could use your help to have a VBS or some other event?
In the New Testament, churches found ways to work together. Members traveled from one church to another with messages. Churches took up offerings to help other churches that were struggling. Churches circulated letters they received from Paul or other apostles. Churches planted other churches and sent members back to check on them to see how they were doing. Churches knew each other, cared for each other, prayed for each other.
No church is an island. We are all connected and we flourish when we take advantage of those connections. Some of the best connections you can have are with the other churches of our own association.
Glad to be connected,