Even at the time, I realized the value of my first experience partnering with another college student. We were co-leaders in that Freshman Bible study I’ve written so much about; a guy and a girl leading a “flock” of about 25 students for an entire year.
As I look back now, I realize how important that was for me. And how valuable partnership opportunities might be for our students. How often do your students – particularly those who are leading within your ministry – have the chance to practice partnership?
I see (at least) three key varieties:
- Partnership with one member of the opposite sex.
- Partnership with another person of the same sex.
- Partnership within a team setting, of three or more people.
These sorts of opportunities may come through semester-long or yearlong activities (like Bible studies or ministry teams). But even individual events – social events, a student-led worship service, planning a large group meeting, taking a mission trip – can make use of partnership in the planning and execution.
Just about anything one student leader can do, two student leaders can do!
For the rest of their lives, our students will take on projects that require partnering. The BIG “project,” of course, is marriage, and I honestly do believe my various partnership opportunities have prepped me to be a better spouse someday (if that’s the plan). Collegians’ future work lives and ministry lives will be filled with moments of partnership, from team projects at their job to simply getting along with an entire staff.
Are we producing people who will partner well? Are we producing people who, someday, will be an enormous blessing to the individual who God chooses as their short-term or long-term partner?
It seems it’s only practical to prepare them via actual partnership opportunities. Not every time, not in every venue. But this can be a major part of how we disciple our student leaders, whether they like the idea of cooperation or not…
Tomorrow, why partnership helps tasks impact better!