Book Review: Churches Partnering Together
The North American Church Planting Foundation - and our network of churches - exists to promote the partnership of churches. We aim to see like-minded churches partnering for the gospel, community, and fulfilling the Great Commission. Our ears perk up when we comes across a book like Churches Partnering Together: Biblical Strategies for Fellowship, Evangelism, and Compassion. Authors Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks have provided a helpful addition to the small market of church partnership books. "In Churches Partnering Together they show how churches--big and small--can do more together than they can do apart." We have certainly found this to be true. Just as the Christian life is designed for community, gospel ministry is designed for partnership among like-minded churches. One way this truth has come home to us is in the ministry of church planting. By sharing resources, encouragement, and Christians, churches are able to see stronger and faster advances toward planting churches in areas of need.
Following an encouraging Forward by D.A. Carson, Bruno and Dirks clear a path for thinking carefully about church partnerships. They begin with the foundational aspects of understanding the biblical vision and laying a foundation for your church to partner rightly with others. From there they discuss a number of other critical points regarding the importance of identifying leaders, maintaining perseverance, and moving forward from a single partnership to a movement of churches working together for the good of the gospel.
There is one area this resource could be stronger. The final chapter aims to apply the previous chapters to a step by step plan for partnership. There are many benefits to this step strategy. However, specific help for churches to know the logistics of interacting with potential partners is lacking. For instance, many churches want to partner and believe in all the points of this book, but they simply don't know where to look for potential partners. Even so, this critique is minor. All in all, Churches Partnering Together is a helpful resource from which every ministry-minded and church planting-focused leader could benefit.
If you or your church is interested in learning more about partnering with others for the good of the gospel, perhaps the NACPF can be of help to you. Let's connect!