Here at Trinity Church Brighton it’s pretty common for us talk about gospel partnership. A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the joy of partnering together financially and the privilege that God gives us of contributing our money to the cause of the gospel in our local church. Read more here if you’re keen to get on board with that.
But partnership is a much bigger idea than just money. The Apostle Paul had a favourite word that he used for it that is so rich that we struggle to capture it in English. “Koinonia” (which is the Greek word) can mean things like fellowship, partnership, sharing, or participation. And it all stems from God’s amazing work giving us “koinonia” with his son, with whom we have fellowship (eg. 1 Cor 1:9) by the fellowship of the Spirit (eg. 2 Cor 13:14) who enables us even to participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus (eg. 1 Cor 10:16), all of which brings us into fellowship/partnership/sharing with each other. From the earliest days this meant that Christians showed an uncommon generosity toward one another (Acts 2:42), but it also meant they had a keen awareness that as they supported others in gospel ministry, they were effectively a part of it themselves. When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, he praised God for their partnership expressed in all kinds of ways (Phil 1:3-6). And all of that is why we talk about partnership: because it reminds us of the wonderful privilege of participating in what God is doing far beyond ourselves.
So, we recently had John Warner from Bush Church Aid (BCA) come and share with us about the work that God is doing in rural and remote Australia, and we can hear more about that in the upcoming Bible’n’Bush event. A couple of weeks ago we heard about God’s work at Flinders Uni when Mike Waskiel from Evangelical Students (ES) visited. After Easter we’ll have our vision lifted even more broadly to see the work that God is doing globally as Mark Peterson from the Church Missionary Socieity (CMS) joins us. And we look forward to hearing of the vital work of the Bible College of South Australia (BCSA) in equipping gospel workers for all kinds of ministry. But all of this is much more just show and tell. It’s partnership. We partner closely with these few organisations as an opportunity for us to learn about God’s diverse and wonderful work and the privilege of us playing our part in what he is doing in so many different contexts. It’s so important to see that partnership includes money, but it runs much deeper than dollars to reflect our whole attitude of participating in what God is doing: by praying, by encouraging those who are in places we are not, and by giving serious thought to going there ourselves.
With that in mind, I commend to you the privilege of standing with Lauren Hull in her work on campus at Flinders Uni and K in her work in South East Asia (I can’t share K’s full name and location for security reasons). It’s a tremendous encouragement to them, and a great joy for us to be in mission with them. You can find out more about Lauren’s work here and K here.
Your partner in the gospel,