Desired Future 5: Churches Working in Partnership
Our churches and ministries will work hand in hand with each other, and with partners in our own communities and around the world, to faithfully fulfill Jesus’ command to make disciples of all people.
- Our congregations and ministries will understand that we are uniquely gifted parts of one body, each doing what we do best but all working together for God’s kingdom.
- connect with each other to discover the services, resources, and opportunities each one needs for the tasks, at home and around the world, to which God is calling them.
“We’re in a rapidly changing world where leaders need to build relationships among all the parts and generously share the learning. It’s collaborative leadership.”
“In 2009 I went to the Korean Coffee Break Conference and saw leaders from all over the world. Coffee Break had gone global on us when we weren’t looking! We in Home Missions realized that God was doing something in Coffee Break through a lot of people learning from each other.
“Our posture is no longer ‘We’re the experts, and we have what you need.’ Now we’re asking ourselves, ‘How do we build a learning community, a network, where people are connected, sharing their ideas, and learning from each other?’ We want to be brokers of best practices.
“For example, Diane Averill on the East Coast has two clusters of Coffee Break leaders, from New England to Florida. They meet on the phone every month for an hour. First they pray for each other; then they take a topic and brainstorm. The clusters have shared missional ideas with one another and have put them into practice, which has produced tremendous fruit. About their connections with each other, some leaders are saying, ‘This is our lifeline.’
“We’re developing coaching clusters for adult discipleship ministry leaders on the same model. The coach comes with questions. The discipleship ministry leaders—who know their local contexts—listen to each other and discover the answers they already have, how they’ve seen God at work.
“Yes, we still need experts for some pieces of our ministries. We’re figuring out what pieces are still more efficient and practical for the denomination to do—but always in service of the larger network of leaders and local churches.
“Home Missions is becoming more adaptive, like a gardener. A gardener has to be both proactive and adaptive. He has a plan, but he also has to be in tune with the soil, the conditions, the weather. He’s always watching and ready to change. We’re stepping back and watching to see what springs up. Then we respond to that.”
Sam Huizenga works for the unified Christian Reformed World and Home Missions, where she coaches and trains leaders of small groups as well as Coffee Break leaders. She’s a member of River Rock CRC in Rockford, Michigan.