I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. - Philippians 1:3-5
partnering, not just attending
In the Bible, the word partnership means fellowship and participation. It expresses the idea of uniting together on mutual mission, sharing the joys, bur- dens, and struggles, and sacrificing towards the end of common goals.
Many Christians have been sold a small dream of what it means to be the church. In the American church, many people are content to simply attend, but we are made for more than just showing up. The word partnership means many things, but one thing it does not mean is to simply be present. Partnership carries the weight of action and involvement. In the New Testament, there is never a picture of people simply ‘going to church’. Instead, we see disciples partnering together on mission, ‘being the church.’
This is why Redemption City Church uses the word ‘partnership’ rather than ‘membership.’ Membership is also a biblical word that many good churches use, and it has the same unifying principle as partnership. However, it lacks the same call to action that the word partnership has. Partners in the Gospel do not simply unite together for the sake of being a social club or having fancy get-togethers; they unite together to do the work Jesus has called them to do.
The weekly podcast, of which this episode is a part of, is produced by an Acts 29 sister church, Coram Deo in Omaha. In this episode, they discuss the importance of taking membership seriously, and why it matters. This 30 minute episode is a good summary of why partnership matters, and why it exists.
Our 4 Step Process
1. Foundations Class
RCC's path to partnership starts with our Foundations class. Anyone interested in becoming a Covenant partner begins by walking with us through our theology, vision, mission and beliefs. Foundations is an introduction to our community and to what it means to be a member on mission with us. Foundations takes place over two days, beginning at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and running until 4 pm. The pastors and leaders of RCC will dive deeper into the Gospel and our theology, unpacking the RCC vision and mission statement.
*our next Foundations class is June 4th and 11th.
2. COMPLETE OUR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
After the foundation class, if you are interested in pursuing partnership you will fill out a partnership application. This will give us an opportunity to learn more about you and how we might better serve you before the partnership interview. If married, we ask that both husband and wife complete an individual application.
3. Partnership Interview
In a 45 minute meeting, the prospective partner (married couples will be interviewed together) meets with an elder to provide basic biographical information and recount God's saving work in his or her life. This discussion fosters community with those pursuing partnership by providing the pastors an opportunity to spend time with each potential partner. The conversational setting provides an outlet for any lingering questions you may have about the church. The prospective partner would then sign the Partnership Covenant.
4. ELDER RECOMMENDATION
Your application and testimony will be reviewed by our elder team. Upon receiving the collective approval, the applicant will be notified and will be commissioned as a Covenant Partner during a Sunday Worship Gathering.