Healthy Cooperation with Pastor Dwayne Milioni
Every other month the NACPF holds an online coaching and mentoring session for all NACPF churches. This month our coaching session was led and facilitated by Pastor Dwayne Milioni, chairman of the NACPF board. The discussion was about what healthy cooperation looks like between church plants and their sending churches and other supporting churches. He explained that cooperation in missions and ministry is the foundation of our denomination. Pastor Dwayne emphasized several key points: 1. Healthy Cooperation Demands Ongoing Communication Communication is a two-way street and a dialogue. We need to make the effort to keep the line of communication going between partnering churches.
2. Healthy Cooperation Involves a Commitment to Pray When we pray specifically for one another we learn more about each other and more about our respective ministries. Pastor Dwayne challenged Pastors involved in the NACPF to increase their belief in prayer and to allow cooperation to work itself out through prayer.
3. Healthy Cooperation Leads to Keeping Partnering Churches in Front of Our Congregation It is healthy to inform your congregation about partnering churches. Pastor Dwayne challenged those in the NACPF to keep their congregations aware of what's going on in other churches with regular updates and prayer and to consider inviting other NACPF Pastors to preach at your church. Keeping your congregation informed allows them to see that they're a part of something bigger than just your church.
4. Healthy Cooperation is a Commitment to Fellowship Healthy cooperation will work itself out in regular fellowship. Make every effort to visit partnering churches and to take church members on mission trips to NACPF church plants. In addition, take advantage of environments like regional coaching sessions and the NACPF Unite Conference to fellowship with other NACPF pastors.
5. Healthy Cooperation Requires Us to Serve Each Other Pastor Dwayne explained that it's very difficult to commit your time to serve someone else or another church plant. However, our posture should be to ask our fellow pastors and churches, "How can I serve you?"
Zach Nelson, Executive Director of the NACPF, closed the coaching session by exhorting NACPF pastors to build relationships with other churches. He explained that most churches are not going to partner with you if they don’t know you. Sometimes we think we’ve made an effort to get to know someone or a church but the effort is minimal and there’s not trust. In any relationship, if they don't trust you then why would they invest financially or relationally? Zach emphasized that you must set up a relationship where there’s value. Value is found in kingdom-mindedness and in fulfilling the great commission together. If we evaluated our relationships well we’d most likely say that we have not worked towards that end in every relationship. The excuses could be many but the reality is that we can’t expect to get anything without putting hard work and time into partnerships. Zach exhorted NACPF pastors to put in the hard work to build relationships and partnerships of substance and value.