Steve-Chick“How do you move a heavy mattress?” It sounds like the first line of a terrible joke! It isn’t, but the answer, “not on your own,” brings a rueful smile to my face.

Annie and I have been redecorating our bedroom and I decided we needed to move the double mattress to the other side of the house. It turned out to be a lengthy process and I came close to doing myself serious injury. I wasn’t looking forward to the return leg.

At no point did I consider asking for help despite Annie suggesting it – many times! Fortunately for me a friend insisted on helping and we moved it back in under two minutes! The moment underlines for me the benefit of working together. Sadly we live in a world where needing help is seen as a sign of weakness.

Any reticence we have of acknowledging we need help stands in stark contrast to the apostle Paul. Paul’s passion to share the good news about Jesus at every opportunity meant he was always looking for people and churches to partner with him.

God wants us to utilise the power available as we partner with others who share the same faith and a common goal. Hence in January we will be focusing on the benefits ‘togetherness’ brings, both amongst us and with other churches, especially the Commission family of churches. The truth is we can do more together than we can apart.

There are many ways partnership can be expressed but perhaps the most powerful is prayer. So as we start 2017 let’s commit to praying for each other and those we are working alongside:

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6).

Much grace,