Why Partner with a local church?
Historically the church rarely answers the “Why” question. We've always been good at answering the “What” question, but we've been horrible at answering the “Why”. Typically we're too lazy to go through the hard work of answering the “why” so we say things like, “Because the bible says so.”
- Why is sex before marriage wrong?
- Why should I give my money to the church?
- Why is the bible important?
…...Because the bible says so.
Over and Over again you see in the scriptures God make a covenant with his people. And Jesus, who is not just our sacrafice and Lord, but also our example; was so committed to the church that he gave his life for her.
It is absolutely true that we don't need to sign a paper in order to be committed to something. However, if for some reason we are not willing to be formally committed to the local church, than we are forced to ask the question, "why"? What is it about a commitment that is scary or not necessary?
We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything...a job...a marriage. This attitude has even produced a generation of disconnected and minimally committed "church hoppers.” Partnership swims against the current of America's "consumer religion." It is an unselfish decision where we come together and agree to partner with each other; For better or for worse.
When I was playing Ball in college, when the season rolled around, I never walked into the gym and saw my coach walking through a game-plan with another guy who didnt play for us. I never say my coach investing in the guys on the other team at game-time. He may have said, “Good Luck” but he want telling them how to attack the lead foot, keep cross-over low, elevate when you shoot. It wasnt that he was against other players, it was just that they weren't on his team.
Every team has a roster. Every school had an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Church Partnership identifies our family. Netcast needs a way to discern who we should be spending our time with and investing in. The leaders at Netcast need to identify who is partnered with us and begin to spend the majority of our time and money investing in those people.
Without a process to identify who is partnered with us, it makes it hard to know who we send on missions trips. Who do we care for? Who do we visit with? Who do we support?
The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. Personal experience tells us that we cannot be accountable when we're not committed. This process of partnership will help us with that. Committing forces you into accountability, which in turn deepens knowledge, maturity, holiness and Christlikeness. In the end, partnership will be a means of God's grace that will protect the unity and maturity of Netcast. As a committed body, we will be stronger and healthier worshippers of Jesus.
Netcast attracts leaders. We have since day one. But often times people want to lead without being committed and under authority. We've had a ton of people who want to start new ministries, or tell us where we should give our money, or even people who have asket to preach or lead worship. I'm not agains that, I'm just against that when you want to lead but not be committed.
Starting today, we cannot allow people to lead who aren't committed to our body and submissive to our authority. Leadership is anyone visibly leading someone at Netcast; this can be a community group leader, staff, anyone on the worship team, any ministry head, etc. The temptation will always be to put people into leadership because of need rather than qualifications. Not everyone is biblically qualified to lead.
Partnership is the first step towards a process of raising up leaders, and it allows us to know who are candidates for leadership opportunities when they arise. For the protection of unity, it is absolutely necessary to have a system or process in place for people to work their way into leadership at Netcast Church.