The Bible is filled with images, models and practices of partnership within God, with God and with others, and encourages partnership in the gospel and in mission. ‘Why we should serve in partnership with others’ was one topic for reflection at the recent annual workshop for staff from schools in partnership with Lutheran schools in […]
The Bible is filled with images, models and practices of partnership within God, with God and with others, and encourages partnership in the gospel and in mission.
‘Why we should serve in partnership with others’ was one topic for reflection at the recent annual workshop for staff from schools in partnership with Lutheran schools in Indonesia. Held at Endeavour College Mawson Lakes in South Australia, it also involved staff from Faith Lutheran College (Tanunda, SA), Grace Lutheran College (Rothwell and Caboolture, Qld), Navigator College (Port Lincoln, SA), St Martins Lutheran College (Mount Gambier, SA), Unity College (Murray Bridge, SA), Victory Lutheran College (Wodonga, Vic) and Holy Trinity Lutheran College (Horsham, Vic). (Immanuel College Buderim, Qld also is in a school partnership but unfortunately, staff were unable to attend.)
During the workshop, staff explored Biblical partnerships. Koinonia is a Greek word commonly translated as ‘intimate fellowship’. It may also mean ‘participation’, or ‘partnership’. As God reaches out to us by the Son, through the Holy Spirit, we are drawn into his life, then reach out to others so they can also be involved in the life of God. When we partner, we live out koinonia, a two-way connection that includes giving, sharing property and breaking bread. The group explored how Biblical partnership includes individuals and organisations bringing their gifts and abilities to love and serve one another and to share the gospel through the power of the Spirit.
Participants discussed what it takes to partner effectively, then unpacked why and how to intentionally engage with God as you partner, and why and how to build trusting relationships central to partnership.
Jamie Fewster, who has had experience with Navigator College’s 10 years of partnership with SMA GKPS 1 Pemtangraya, spoke about incorporating the partnership into the school’s Year 11 Christian Studies curriculum and shared the tension of the joys and challenges in sending staff and students overseas.
The day included the opportunity to share resources and advice, as the schools plan to travel with students to Indonesia and receive their partner schools here. There was also discussion about the ways schools have engaged staff and students who will not have an opportunity to go to Indonesia.
Partnerships will only have a lasting, eternal significance as they are informed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, and to be aware of the Spirit, there must be continual prayer. Prayer puts the Spirit of God at the centre of the partnership, where his grace, power, insights, reconciliation and hope can radiate and transform diversity into unity. Please keep each of these schools in your prayers, as God’s grace and goodness are revealed to the staff and students through their partnerships.
This story was also published in the December 2023 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
If your school would like to know more about how they can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission service-learning and ministry partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email email@example.com. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/service-learning/
Read more stories about school partnerships and school service-learning at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/schools/