Part 6 - Co-labor
Co-laboring is both a mind-set and a learned skill. It is so easy to focus only on our own local churches and ministries and not invest any time in “kingdom” work. Consider “tithing” your time each week to connect with other pastors and ministry leaders for the purpose of advancing the gospel in your metro area. At my own local church, we include in our pastoral prayer each week one of our “co-laboring” Band of Brothers local churches. In addition, I mention in messages what God is doing in our area through the Band of Brothers. These simple steps have always encouraged our flock and reminded them that we are not in this alone.
We have experienced great joy and fruit in learning to co-labor together.
- An organization called Bridge Builders was birthed from the connections pastors made with each other in the Band of Brothers. Bridge Builders focuses on South Arlington and ministers to international pastors, day-laborers and low-income residents.
- Our “Kids Camp” serves 170 children each week for eight weeks. Because of the connections formed in the Band of Brothers we were able to partner with two other pastors who launched their own Children’s camp.
- On Good Friday our churches gather for a joint worship service. What a joy to come together as the body of Christ in Arlington County! We take a collection each year at the service for a Christ-honoring ministry in our area.
- Once a year the pastors go away together for a “Prayer Summit”.
- When church members drift from one of our churches to another (I call this “shifting sheep” ministry!) we are committed to making sure that relationships in the previous church are solid and we confirm that their pastor has blessed the transfer.
- When people needing financial assistance go from church to church looking for help – we are able to connect with each other and ensure that support is given in a helpful way.
- Pastors who move away often launch their own “Band of Brothers” in their new location.
Partnering yields greater fruit. Seeing this, our people develop a greater sense of what God is doing and how big a God we serve. When collaborating shoulder-to-shoulder with people from other churches, we experience the unity Jesus called for (John 17) and a more fully functioning Body (1 Corinthians 12).
Check out the OneHeartDC Leadership Cluster Covenant.
We are praying for you - that God would bless you with knowledge of His will for how your Cluster should co-labor to demonstrate and proclaim the Gospel - together and with other Clusters around the DMV; and that He will open doors in the communities you serve; that there would be much fruit through your co-labors.
Pastor Steve King has been serving as the Senior Pastor at Cherrydale since October 2 of 1983. Entering his third decade of ministry, the challenges and opportunities are as inspiring to him today as they were more than 30 years ago. Pastor King has watched God accomplish marvelous things in the lives of His people, and under his leadership at Cherrydale, the church family reaches out to all areas of the Northern Virginia/Metropolitan DC region and throughout the world.