Tennessee church encourages Send Network partnerships

Photo caption: Brady Plunk (fourth from right) and other staff members from The Journey Church hang out with Bryson Isom (right), pastor of Relentless Church, and Monty Patton (center), Send City coordinator for Phoenix.

Brady Plunk says for his church, partnering with a Send Network church plant in Phoenix made perfect sense.

Several years ago, when he came to The Journey Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, as mobilization pastor, “we were looking to identify new strategic partnerships,” he said. “We want to be strategic with everything we’re doing. We know that the days are timed; they’re not endless. They count.”

So, as he and his church began to think about where they could invest their finite time and resources, they looked toward North America’s largely unreached urban areas, places with little gospel presence. They were especially drawn to the West, and friends recommended they reach out to Send Network leaders in Phoenix.

“We connected with Monty Patton (Send City coordinator for Phoenix) out there — he does such a fantastic job,” Plunk said. “He helped us connect with Bryson Isom at Relentless Church, and we loved Bryson’s vision and where he was going with the church. We felt like that partnership meshed really well with us from a chemistry and vision standpoint.”

Plunk said they were excited about coming alongside Isom to help them reach young adults and internationals and send people out to the field too.

“They’re doing incredible things for such a young church plant,” he said.

After some initial conversations with Isom, Plunk and others at The Journey Church sketched out what they thought some elements of a successful partnership might look like for them. That included:

1. Mission trips that were beneficial to the planting church.

“We want to be careful with our trips. We didn’t want to make it selfishly about us,” Plunk said. “At the end of the day, we should be primarily focused on serving — to come alongside them and help them hold back the curtain to show Jesus as incomparably glorious.”

On their first trip out, the team from The Journey Church did some painting, helped in the community and helped serve at a dinner they were hosting. They served not as The Journey Church but as “friends of Relentless Church.”

2. Prayer and financial support.

Plunk said they have supported Relentless Church with prayer and finances all throughout their partnership, but during COVID-19 they were able to send some extra money to help out.

3. Good communication.

The two churches have been intentional to communicate well so that members of The Journey Church know the needs and the leaders of Relentless Church know they’re supported.

“Lots of communication is what makes partnerships healthy,” Plunk said.

It’s been such a great partnership that The Journey Church has been encouraging other churches via social media to partner with Isom’s church or another Send Network church in the work of reaching unchurched pockets of North America.

Plunk said partnerships like these are so important because “the days are numbered and resources are not unlimited.”

“We need to make sure we’re using our resources in ways that count toward the Great Commission,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re seeing people come to know Christ, discipling them and sending them back out to the field.”

Mobilize My Church: Church planters need multiple churches working together to help them succeed. The North American Mission Board is here to help churches like yours partner together to plant healthy, multiplying churches. Pray. Participate. Plant.


Published June 16, 2021

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