The Power of Partnership



By Andrea Sawtelle

Several years ago, my husband announced at youth group that he had decided to train for a half-marathon as his New Year’s resolution. Normally, I would have applauded that endeavor. However, he also announced that I would be training and running with him. At first, I told him there was no way I was signing up to run with him. It was way too big of a task and the amount of energy and work that would need to go into training…I just wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, after a little persuasion, I said yes, we dragged a friend into our plan, and the three of us trained and completed that half marathon 5 months later. There is power in partnering together.

When it comes to completing a task that seems too much to pull off ourselves, our tendency can be to just not do it. The 30 Hour Famine can be one of those tasks. We look at the amount of time it takes to run the event, the planning, the preparation, the long hours, and we think, “there’s no way I can do that.” What I’ve learned over the past 10 years of participating in the Famine is that there is power in partnership. We are better together.

For the past several years, we have partnered with another local church in the area to run our 30 Hour Famine event. Here are just a few of the benefits.

Partnering Provides New Ideas: It’s easy for us to do things the same way we have always done them. When we partner with another youth pastor or leader, our pool of ideas increases. We are able to generate new concepts and create life changing elements within our event that we may not have thought about on our own.

Partnering Creates Excitement: Our teenagers are crazy busy all the time. Sometimes we plan events and only have a handful of people show up. When we bring two youth ministries together, a sense of excitement takes over. Whether there are 10 or 100 present, there is a sense of excitement as new friendships are established, experiences are shared together, and memories are created.

Partnering Relieves Stress: Let’s be honest, running major events alone can be exhausting. When you enter into a partnership, responsibilities are shared and the stress load is lessened. As you divide the tasks out, there is a greater chance of leaders being able to focus on areas where they feel more gifted to lead.

Partnership Allows For Participation: Smaller churches often lack the resources to do an event like the Famine well. Whether it’s money, adult volunteers, or building space, sharing resources allow for smaller churches to participate and reminds larger churches of the call to share what they have been given. In the end, each feels like they have contributed in a significant way.

Partnering Has a Greater Impact: Whether you are raising funds for the Famine, inviting teenagers who don’t know Christ to be a part of your event, or aiming to help people understand God’s mission for the church, we are more impactful when we come together. Sharing our resources, our stories, and our time has the potential to impact God’s Kingdom in ways we could have never imagined on our own.

The task of running an event like the Famine can be overwhelming if you go at it alone. You may even be tempted to not do it at all. Don’t fall into that mindset. Develop a partnership and choose to be better together. You never know the kind of kingdom impact you may have.