Judy Garland and Fred Astaire played a couple of swells in a number from Irving Berlin, but did you know that the most powerful gains in our communities are found in married couples who are in ministry together? I should say these are not perfect couples and are far from perfect marriages. Our marriages may be like the characters in the song. The couple is resourceful, they are obviously economically challenged and may be a little delusional. Garland sings “The Vanderbilt s have asked us up for tea,” to which Garland replies “We don’t know how to get there no siree…” Obviously couples are more persistent together and are prone to brainstorming their problems. They are also transportation challenged as well, “We would ride down the avenue but we haven’t got a bike, we would skate down the avenue but there isn’t any ice…” So they come to the conclusion that they must “walk down the avenue,” and that’s fine because that’s what they like.
In evangelism and in church we often are faced with forming leadership teams. From a biblical perspective, the leader must be married to one woman and have his household in order. From a systematic standpoint women can lead based on their gifts and talents as well. The body of Christ needs leadership and in the post World War II era, men have largely dropped the ball in leadership and women have by and large picked it up. At Friendship Fellowship we have been tasked to develop leadership and in my understanding while the men need to be elder qualified our team is much stronger when the family is involved together. To have couples who are studying the Bible together with other couples and are praying together and are in relationship with one another, and then when you have 7 couples practicing outreach to the community, you have something that is resourceful, loving and far reaching into the community.Our leadership team is made up of married couples first and the rest of the family often follows.
Men and women
At the same time the trust that we have as husbands and the trust that the women have as wives allows for men”s groups and women’s groups to take on other roles at Friendship Fellowship. Our tasks go from raising leaders, planting churches, choosing and teaching curriculum and reaching people with intellectual disabilities but we stand united even though the body is doing separate jobs. Just like you wouldn’t ask your arm to kick open the door, each member of the body knows their role and when the body comes together it is indeed unified.
Friends and Family
I want to write that we as a group will be centrally located at Mountain Springs church in Colorado Springs and that campus will be the training and consultant grounds for Friendship Fellowship on the East, West and Denver church plants. From MSC I will Pastor Friendship Fellowship, develop and train leaders to plant Friendship Fellowship in other cities. We want to do this as couples. Whether that looks like a “couple of swells” or a “couple of Vanderbilt s” we need both to minister to a world that needs Christ.
Richard Beattie is the Minister of Leadership and communications to a network of churches for people with Intellectual disabilities, their caregivers and their families. Friendship Fellowship currently meets Wednesday mornings at 10:30 at Washington Park Chapel. For more information on how you can participate and get involved e-mail Friendshipfellowship@juno.com.