One of my favorite things about leading at VOUS is the way we love our community. Something special happens when people from different organizations and backgrounds come together to accomplish the same mission. I love the imagery Paul gives us in 1 Corinthians 12 about unity in the body of Christ. It says,
“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
It’s a beautiful picture of how being the body of Christ requires a working partnership between all of the different parts. Each part knows its purpose and collaborates with another part to accomplish it. The eyes see the need, and the feet take the hands to meet the need. No part serves its purpose alone.
This is why we have outreach partners! We love to come alongside organizations working in our community and partner together to share the message of Jesus. God is at work all around us and He invites us to join Him — what a gift to collaborate with the Creator. Partnering with God is partnering with His people.
At VOUS, we love the organizations we partner with. We are intentional in building relationships with our outreach partners and are always looking to team up with more. We never want to be selfish with the Gospel. As our outreach ministry has grown over the last six years, we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. When partnering with new organizations, here are three questions we ask that help lead us to successful, positive partnerships.
1. WHAT DO THEY VALUE?
The number one thing we look at when choosing organizations to partner with is their values. What do they believe in? What do they stand for? How are they already making an impact in the community? Because what we value determines what we do, we want to make sure their values are leading them in the same direction we’re going. Like trying to mix oil and water, it would be hard for a partnership to be successful if we are moving in two different directions. We are not looking for an identical match, but we are looking to be aligned in mission and message.
2. WHAT IS THEIR NEED?
Our partnerships are dual-focused. Yes, we want to serve our local community alongside this organization, and we also want the opportunity to serve our partners directly. We always learn an organization’s needs when considering a partnership, looking for ways we can serve them. We also look at the logistics of how we can help. One Saturday of each month is dedicated to an I Love My City outreach event. Before partnering with an organization, we make sure we can serve them on a Saturday.
3. WHERE IN THE COMMUNITY DO THEY SERVE?
Our church has different initiatives that we spotlight each month. These initiatives help us categorize the needs in our community, ensuring that we are sharing the light of Jesus in as many areas of South Florida as possible. When considering a partnership, we look for organizations that are already serving these areas of our community. We never want to be the hero — we always aim to be part of a team. Some of our initiatives include:
1. Foster Care
2. Homeless Outreach
3. Social Justice
4. Health Awareness
5. Prison Ministry
6. Women Empowerment
7. Human Trafficking Awareness
8. Special Needs Community
To serve is to love, which is the ultimate commandment God gave to us. Our city is too big to serve on our own. Whether you work in ministry, manage a company, or lead your family in your home, there are organizations serving your local community that you can partner with. I want to encourage you to step alongside them. Proverbs 11:25 tells us that, “…he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed,” and as we have partnered with those in our community, I’ve found this to be true. As we partner with others in serving our cities, God will change our cities.