Focus 2012: PartnershipsTop Highlights, Where's the Faith? Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
Remember the song, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall?” Something powerful takes place when we unite and come together in transformational partnerships.
When you hear the word “partnership,” what comes to mind? (Friends, business, common goals, teamwork, neighborhoods) The dictionary’s definition says, “A partner is a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor.”
There is an intimacy, a power in God’s view of partnership. It has the power, I believe, to change the way we view all of our relationships.
Paul wrote to the church of Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that God who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Paul writes this letter from a Roman jail, and he has heard reports that the Philippian Church is working hard. They’re suffering. They’re being persecuted just like he is. He remembers back – this partnership in the gospel that they have together. And it’s a deep, long-term relationship and partnership. It’s real commitment. So I want us to focus on one little phrase … your partnership in the gospel. And then in particular, the word “partnership.”
Different translations have different words. Some say, “Your fellowship in the gospel.” And others say, “Your participation in the gospel.” So which one is it? Well, it’s all three actually. Partnership, fellowship, participation – because often what happens in the Greek is one Greek word requires multiple English words to be able to give it the nuance and flavor of what that word means, and this is one of those.
This Greek word is “koinonia.” It’s a great word. It has all these definitions; fellowship, communion, close relationships, joint participation, possessing things in common, and it even means financial contribution.
Taking communion together, that’s koinonia. When we get together with one another, that’s koinonia. Having a partnership is being present with – not distant from. It’s being intimate. It’s being in harmony with one another. Koinonia is an action word. It’s a word that compels us to consider others and move out and be present among those who need God’s love and God’s transforming presence.
God is calling all of us to move outside of our comfortable walls to work in the environments where we are and build partnerships.
How do we partner? We partner with God. How? Prayer is a good way to begin. And if it’s hard to pray alone – grab a partner. There’s nothing like a prayer partner – to encourage you, to hold you accountable, to be there for you.
Lives are impacted by the power of God and a partnership that takes place as we raise the level of spirituality in our lives, in our community.
Maybe God is calling you to see yourself a little differently and that you too can partner with God and others to raise the spiritual temperature in your neighborhood, your workplace and your school. Wherever it is, you don’t have to be a pastor. God calls all of us to do this.
Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org.
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