Churches Partnering Together [eBook]
Biblical Strategies for Fellowship, Evangelism, and Compassion
How to Work Together for the Sake of the Gospel
Most churches in the U. S. have less than 75 members. Many of these congregations barely have enough money to pay their pastor’s salary, much less launch a movement or host a conference. How can they hope to make an impact beyond their own walls?
In Churches Partnering Together, Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks show how all churches—big andsmall—can do more together than they can do apart. Looking to the New Testament for guidance, this practical book will help pastors, church leaders, and laypeople alike think creatively about gospel-driven church partnerships in their own communities and around the world.
Chris Bruno (PhD, Wheaton College Graduate School) is the executive director of the Antioch School Hawai‘i and pastor for discipleship and training at Harbor Church. He spends most of his time leading a church partnership for theological education and church planting. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews for several journals and websites.
Matt Dirks (MDiv, Talbot School of Theology) is pastor for teaching and leadership at Harbor Church in Honolulu, which he helped to plant in 2006. In addition to training church planters around the world, he has also helped to launch partnerships for church-based theological education and ministry training, and worked to rescue sex trafficking victims in Hawaii. He is the author of a curriculum for youth as well as a number of articles.
“One of the most important lessons from the New Testament is that gospel churches naturally cooperate in gospel ministries. That’s why I welcome this new book by Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks. The rising generation of young evangelicals needs to embrace once again a fully biblical understanding of cooperation so churches united in faith can cooperate together to share the gospel with the world.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“God’s mission is too big for any one church to accomplish. We know that. Yet we often act as if our church must do it all—alone. How freeing to discover what can happen when churches join forces. Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks are scholars with pastors’ hearts, and they tackle the topic with theological depth and practical wisdom. Their strategies for kingdom partnerships will leave readers inspired to seek out partner congregations and well equipped to make the partnerships flourish. For church leaders more excited about building God’s kingdom than their own, this is the book to read.”
—Drew Dyck, Managing Editor, Leadership Journal; author, Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying
“The world has become too complex and challenging, and gospel opportunities too numerous, for Christ’s followers to work in isolation from one another, much less compete with each other. The twenty-first century must be a century of partnerships; as long as the Lord tarries, we need to work together to advance the gospel. That’s why I’m delighted to commend this thoroughly biblical and eminently practical book.”
—Todd A. Wilson, Senior Pastor, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
“God can and does work miracles through local churches linked together by the gospel for the sake of loving their communities by introducing them to Jesus. I love the vision Chris and Matt live out and lay out in this book. May their tribe increase!”
—Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; coauthor, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir
“Unfortunately, smaller churches are too often deemed to be less faithful or significant. Bruno and Dirks cast a biblical vision for how such churches can partner together, providing a biblical foundation and practical strategies for such endeavors. The book makes a fresh and important contribution, and should be read widely.”
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“When gospel renewal grips our communities, it will be the fruit of churches collaborating in kingdom partnerships. Churches Partnering Together provides the requisite instruction and inspiration to make this vision a reality.”
—Chris CastaldoChris Castaldo, Director, Ministry of Gospel Renewal, Wheaton College; author, Talking with Catholics about the Gospel
“Gospel partnership, rightly understood, always extends beyond individuals to churches. This book is an outstanding resource. It lays out, compellingly, the biblical rationale for churches partnering together with the aim of gospel advance. It is full of useful examples and practical advice about partnership in action. I recommend it wholeheartedly.”
—William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen Bishopsgate, London; author, Understanding the Times and Partnership
“Having recently begun to benefit from this very kind of relationship with four other local churches, I find myself very excited about Churches Partnering Together. I trust God will use this book to expose many more to the beauty and strength of these partnerships of mutual encouragement, shared resources, and shared labor. The work that Jesus has called his church to do will be greatly empowered as more of us follow the course that Chris and Matt lay out here. They give us not just a compelling vision but also the practicalities of pursuing these partnerships, with due attention to important things such as a solid relational foundation and prayer.”
—Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, Crossway Community Church, Bristol, Wisconsin
“Can even a small congregation play a large part in the Great Commission? This book answers the question with a resounding yes—as they develop kingdom partnerships where they don’t own anything, control anything, or count anything as their own. If you want to make a difference in the expansion of the gospel, read this book! It provides simple advice that can yield profound results.”
—William J. Hamel, President, Evangelical Free Church of America
“Partnerships make the most important things in life happen. What none of us can do alone can often be done in collaboration with others. Many pastors and church planters will benefit enormously from the wisdom, biblical insight, and practical experience that Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks provide for us here. May God be pleased to spread the vision, and share the work, for the growth of kingdom churches that advance the gospel of Christ.”
—Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Chris and Matt illustrate the power and multiplication factor of partnerships to see the kingdom of God expand. Out of their own experiences, they provide a road map for congregations of any size to partner together with others for powerful results. They write with kingdom hearts and gospel-centered focus. I highly recommend this book to any who are involved in the Great Commission.”
—T. J. Addington, Senior Vice President, Evangelical Free Church of America; Leader, ReachGlobal; author, High-Impact Church Boards and Leading from the Sandbox
“Ever since the apostle Paul thanked the church at Philippi for their partnership in the gospel, churches with a vision bigger than themselves have joined together to establish kingdom partnerships. Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks help us to see how local fellowships willing to walk humbly and depend together on the power of God can become catalysts for gospel-centered outreach to their communities and to the nations. How might we multiply the seed God has entrusted to us and extend the reign of Christ with one another to the glory of God? You will be both challenged and encouraged as you read this strong exhortation to kingdom building through church partnerships.”
—Bill Mills, Founder, Leadership Resources International