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Partnership Q&A

What does it mean to be a Partner?

In it’s simplest form, Partnership is our version of what other Baptist churches would refer to as Membership.  There are, however, some significant differences that reflect our specific values and situation. Fundamentally, Partnership is the avenue that we’ve chosen to help people feel a part of the core of our church life.  We’ve been very deliberate in making it as open as possible. We realise that people are at different stages of their journey of faith, but we’re also very keen to stress the significance of this decision.

Like any commitment, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.  We want Partnership to be a more dynamic way to belong to our church. It’s much more than sitting in a pew as a ‘paid up member’ and more like, as the bible suggests, an active part of a body. As the body works together with all the other Partners, it creates a church that is outward looking and alive.

It’s important to acknowledge that different people will express their commitment in different ways (For example, we have had some Partners who are house-bound for instance, but who still show their partnership through prayer and financial support).  The significant thing is that every Partner is in agreement with the values of the church and the vision of what the church could be. And are open to playing their part in helping to move the church towards that vision. Commitment to anything is shown when we give of our time, energy and finances. That being said, we’d like all Partners to consider to what degree they can give in all these areas.

Who can be a Partner?

If you’re committed to helping achieve the vision and believe in the values of the church, then you can be a Partner of One Church.  We are a Christian church, where an essential belief is that a relationship with God through Jesus is the most important thing in all of life. So it is important that all partners should also hold this belief.  The big change for many of us is that it’s not up to others as to who can or can’t be a Partner, but it’s each individual’s personal choice, and commitment to the cause, that allows them to be apart. Traditionally belonging to the wider body of the Church began with the act of baptism. This is a practice we believe in and want to actively encourage everybody to consider this step, but this is not a necessity for partnership with One Church Brighton.

When can I become a Partner?

Each year at the beginning of autumn we hold a Partnership Sunday where we ask everybody to consider their commitment to One Church, we hope annually it will encourage everyone to be challenged afresh about their involvement with the church.  This will also help us to ensure that our ‘partnership list’ is always up-to-date so we can have an accurate picture of who is actively involved with the church.

That said, you can become a new partner throughout the year, it’s not necessary to wait until Partnership Sunday.  If you would like to become a Partner speak to Dave, Jen or a member of Leadership Team who will chat further with you and provide the information you need.

I’m under 16 but would like to be a Partner, is that allowed?

Partnership is open to people of all ages! It’s very important to us that children and young people are listened to and encouraged to play a full part in the life of the church.  There are occasions when church Partners might be asked to vote on a particularly tricky or significant issue and on these occasions people under 16 are not permitted to vote.  With this is in mind we have created what we call Junior Partners. This means that those under 16 can partner with the church, attend any meetings about such issues, and even express their opinions through voting, but these votes won’t count within a final decision.

I’m not ready to commit to become a Partner?

That’s ok, there will be other opportunities over the next 12 months for when you are ready. Firstly, you could meet with Dave or a member of the Leadership Team to talk through the vision and values of the church and what Partnership means. You can ‘sign up’ there and then.  Secondly, we will be holding some New Partners Evenings throughout the year where people who aren’t Partners can come and hear what it means and make their commitment to One Church.  

What if I decide not to become a Partner?

There will always be people in any church who are happy in that church, but, for a multitude of reasons, chose not to make a commitment of this nature.  That is absolutely fine and you will be loved and encouraged to be fully involved in the life of the church whether you are a partner or not!