Yep … another day … another airport … doing what I do … waiting on a flight out of Dallas-Fort Worth at the moment. I’ve just spent the better part of two days with friends and ministry partners, sorting how we can do greater ministry through partnerships.
As usual, I do a personal debriefing, using the waiting time to reflect on various aspects of all we discussed. However important that may be—and it has great value, to be sure—my thoughts have turned primarily to the aspect of relationships, specifically the value of authentic, long-term relationships.
Sitting in the planning/strategy meeting from 10am until 3:00pm, my thoughts went beyond the presentation of material, questions, and answers. I was reminded of what should be a life-long process of developing new friendships and partnerships in both life and ministry.
The wise man Solomon stated that a man who has friends must be a friend (Proverbs 18:24). To my right at the conference table was my older friend of 35 years—Harold Brown, longtime pastor of Oakhill Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. In recent years we only see each other once in a great while, but we invariably engage like we’d never been apart for more than a few minutes.
To my left at the table was Harold’s son Dan Brown, with whom I have partnered in youth ministry and other events, both in America and in the United Kingdom, through LIFT Student Ministries. As with his father, weeks and months can pass without contact, but Dan and I always have an unbroken continuum of friendship and ministry.
Also at the table were several other businessmen/women and ministers—people with whom I enjoy newer but growing relationships, in part because of a developing partnership with Manna Worldwide. Bruce O’Neil, founder and president of Manna Worldwide and several of his staff like Jerry Abbott, Ryan Jones, and Andrew Even, are amongst those new relationships that exemplify the great opportunity and privilege of a healthy ministry lifestyle.
What I mean by that is this—throughout our lives, each of us should be meeting new people and building new relationships. It’s the embodiment of iron sharpening iron, which leads each participant to greater personal and ministry heights, translating into the furtherance of the Gospel in our world!
BTW, do you pray? If so, would you pray for these new partnerships for ministry? The issues and opportunities we are discussing, as well the plans we are formulating, have the potential to become one of the greatest movements in modern Christianity—indeed, worldwide!
Stay tuned! Although things are developing, you will be hearing and seeing more!