Sometimes we'll use different words to describe it: relationships; networking; public relations; sponsorship; unity; even LOVE...but it's all based on a set of agreed outcomes or values that hold us together.
Partnership is the idea that was behind the recommendation that the Elders made at the AGM about changing the words "Member's pledge" to "Member's agreement" in our constitution. Such a change acknowledges that it's not just the individual making a commitment to a set of statements, but all members collectively agreeing to those statements. It takes membership away from being an individual commitment to the Church, to being something that we agree to do together. It is possible for one person to make a pledge, but you need everyone to make an agreement.
Actually, I'm not so concerned about the words, but I am committed to the concept of partnership. Whether we call it "Membership" or "Partnership"; whether we make a "pledge" or an "agreement" - it can all get a bit semantic at the end of the day. However, it is important that we understand that we are a "community of faith" and that together we are building the Kingdom of God. The exciting part is that we not only partner with each another, we also partner with other Christians all over the world; and ultimately with God.
Now that's what I call partnership!
Pastor David Auty