Partnering Together to Advance the Gospel

Two churches worshipping together

We had the joy and privilege of worshipping with our friends at The Way Church in Ballyclare this weekend.

It was a special weekend because The Way were installing a new elder to the leadership team. Our very own David Varney got to lead the installation ceremony and preach the sermon during the gathering.

Not only that but The Way launched their brand new prayer ministry team.

Partnering together for the gospel

This was more than a social meet up. We gathered our churches together for worship and encouragement because we realise that we are stronger together. The Way Church Ballyclare and Foundation Church Belfast are two churches partnering together to advance the gospel of Jesus in our towns and cities.

We are united by our love for Jesus and for one another.

The New Testament shows these kinds of partnerships taking place in the earliest days of the Church. Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to strengthen the church in Antioch (Acts 11:22). Paul came up from Tarsus to join the strengthening team of this brand new church (Acts 11:25-26).

The Antioch church sent financial resources to Christians across Judea to help them cope with the immanent food famine (Acts 11:29). Later Antioch became a mission base, sending out their A-Team to bring the gospel of Jesus to uncharted territory (Acts 13:3).

This is partnership at it’s best. And the result? ‘A great many people were added to the Lord’ (Acts 11:24). Have a listen to this sermon from our series Advancing the Gospel to hear our heart for gospel partnership.

Sharing resources for gospel Advance

This is what the partnership looks like between Foundation Church Belfast and the Way Church Ballyclare. We are sharing what we have to strengthen one another.

This is what we dream of for each other: A great many people are added to the Lord. We want many thousands hear of Jesus, meet him, and experience his transforming power. We want our churches to be built on the Word of God and be empowered by the Spirit of God.

Foundation Church Belfast has been blessed by teachers and musicians from The Way, coming to serve and encourage us. Likewise we have run events, offered wisdom, and cheered on The Way as they launched just over two years ago.

Both of us have benefitted from partnering together, sharing our resources, and strengthening one another with what we have at our disposal.

The Advance Movement

Local partnership of churches across cities and towns in Northern Ireland is absolutely vital to the advance of the gospel and its transforming impact. But the New Testament gives us a fuller vision of a movement of the gospel that goes beyond regions and even countries (see Matt 28:19, then read Acts, and finish off at Revelation – it’s quite a finale).

Foundation Church Belfast and The Way Church Ballyclare are part of the Advance Movement of churches – a global movement of local churches pooling resources and partnering together to declare and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus. The Advance global team is led by PJ Smyth, pastor of Monument Church in the USA.

Any partnership is based on shared beliefs, shared values, and shared mission. The Advance Movement is refocharismissional (as PJ puts it) – reformed soteriology, charismatic spirituality and missional philosophy. Further details can be found on the Advance Movement website here.

There are over 115 Advance churches found across five continents.

If you are interested in learning more about local partnership, drop us a line here.

When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose… And a great many people were added to the Lord (Acts 11:23-24)

Partnership in action.