Sammy Jordan the Director of Hope for Every Home at Hope Together is excited about partnerships…
I love a good partnership and life is full of them. Where would Woody be without Buzz? Ant without Dec? Harry without Hermione?
It’s not just people either. I’m a northerner, so a cup of tea needs a biscuit to dunk and chips…well they need mushy peas! I know not everyone will agree!
Partnerships are good because they are about relationships. In a partnership we each bring something to the table that compliments the other and makes the whole better.
There’s mutuality, and I think God blesses partnerships. When we work together, putting individual empires, the ‘me’ to one side for the benefit of the ‘we’ and collaborate for the Kingdom, I think that’s when we see something of the ‘more of God than we could ask for or imagine.’ (Ephesians 3:20)
This is why I’m excited about the partnership that Hope Together and The Cinnamon Network are exploring, to bring words and actions together for mission to help the church serve its local community.
Word and Action are Powerful
At a time when life is challenging for many people, this partnership seeks to help the Church respond holistically, in both words and actions.
The reason I’m excited is because for me, this is personal. I’m the Director of Hope for Every Home where the vision is that by the end of 2038 every street/road/lane in the UK will be prayed for and every home that wants it will have an opportunity to have a conversation about faith.
That’s 26,000 streets and 27,000,200 homes!
This means mobilising Christians to be good news where we live and working in partnership with others. To do this with integrity means I have to live this out and I try to do this on the new estate where I live.
In shorthand, I’m a church planter, community evangelist, oh and chair of the local community group who run things like the community fridge, litter picks, newsletters, and Christmas events.
For me, words and action are part of my everyday where I love my neighbours and happen to love Jesus too.
I hope that my actions build the relationship and trust that leads to opportunities to use words.
The other day I went to see a neighbour (full disclosure – she waxes my legs and it’s a great opportunity for a chat).
Her brother had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and, along with some others in her family, she has been posting prayers in the community prayer box I have in my garden.
Now God had prompted me to take a packet of Seeds of Hope with me, so our conversation went something like this:
Friend: Thank you for praying. Posting a prayer when life felt out of control and like there was nothing I could do really helped. I’ve never prayed before.
Me: I bet you have! 60% of people reckon they have and they’re not all Christians. Have you ever just gone, ‘Help!’ (Looking up).
Friend: Yes of course.
Me: Well, that’s kind of like prayer, it could just be to the universe or the man in the moon as much as to God.
Friend: Is it?
Me: Can I show you how to pray so that when you wake up in the morning, remember and life feels out of control there’s something you can do? (She agreed)
Plant these sunflower seed sticks and write your brother’s name on the top. Put them in the kitchen where you can see them when you turn the kettle on. In the morning when you wake up, come down to put the kettle on and I the waves of helplessness rise look at the seed sticks and say, ‘Please help’. You can look up if it helps but God is everywhere, so you don’t have to.
Friend: Is that it? Don’t I have to say anything else?
Me: No. God already knows.
Friend: But what if…?
Me: What if you’re not sure you even believe? That’s ok. The Bible says we only need a seed amount of faith and God will do the rest. Planting your seeds and saying, ‘Please help’ is your seed amount of faith.
Friend: Can I have some for my mum and the rest of my family please?
Intentionally getting to know my friend and being mad enough to have a community prayer box in my garden (actions), led to words, a conversation.
This words and actions partnership between Hope and Cinnamon aims to train and equip local churches to practically embrace their communities through prayer, acts of service and evangelism.
To do this, we are piloting a project which brings together the OIKOS prayer app from Hope for Every Home and the Cinnamon Connect web portal.
The OIKOS prayer app Hope for Every Home: The Prayer App is a simple, free app which helps people track on a phone, the people and homes they have prayed for and / or shared faith with in some way. Local prayer initiatives can set up their own OIKOS subgroup on the app, and there are lots of linked resources from our partners.
So whether you want to pray for a school with Pray for Schools, post an answer to prayer on The Eternal Wall or try a Discovery Bible Study with someone it’s all on the app.
The Cinnamon Connect portal brings the added functionality of being able to keep a record of our prayers, conversations, and access to some amazing training resources.
Hope and Cinnamon share a focus on equipping the local church. Cinnamon Network is passionate about releasing the potential in churches for community transformation and Hope Together and Hope for Every Home resources the local church so that everyone everywhere can hear the good news about Jesus.
We recognise the need to work strategically together at this time, and it’s our hope and prayer that many lives will be impacted as a result. Woody and Buzz to infinity and beyond, Ant and Dec in a jungle or on a Saturday night, Hope and Cinnamon mission in words and actions to reach everyone, everywhere…everyday!