information for transformational people

Link Chain 262Engaging with your local authority and other partners

From a report by Commission church network

Commission (a network of churches that are part of the Newfrontiers global movement of churches) have published a very useful guide on lessons learned and recommendations for 'Engaging with your local authority and other partners'.

Here are some brief extracts:

The overriding principle is that we don’t lose our identity and our unique Christian distinctive.

The benefits of working with local authorities and partners are:

  • Working with others can help the church punch above its weight and implement ministries that would otherwise have been difficult to achieve.
  • Local authorities have skills & experience and policies and procedures that cover most occurrences.
  • We can become aware of the needs of the town from a different perspective
  • Gaining trust as the church works together with a local authority or partner
  • There is an opportunity to share the Gospel, pray for people, and gain recognition

And the challenges?

  • Local authorities may not have power invested in them
  • They may not want to get involved at all
  • They may also not have resources
  • There can be a compromise of values

Key learning points:

  • Building relationships take time
  • Be clear on your aims, priorities and limitations
  • Know the aims and priorities of potential partners
  • Listen and talk
  • Build a bridge
  • You may need to form particular structures such as charitable companies
  • Look at an organisation’s vision statement and core values to help you understand what is at the root of their culture.
  • Be aware of how some of the values that you take for granted may seem very strange
  • Be aware of your 'religious' language

The guide includes a couple of case studies and can be downloaded from the Commission website here.

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From a report by Commission church network, 17/10/2016

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