How We Grow Partnerships

Street Youth Ministry depends on our partnerships. We we entered our forth year this summer! It’s been an amazing journey from the beginning. And we owe a lot of Pastor James Lee, who first challenged us to make use of volunteers! (Thank you, James!) That has grown to an amazing and virtual army of people who support the ministry by doing, collecting and buying!

However, we are still expanding and need even more relationships. We will depend on church and group partnerships. So how do we start?

We’ve been tracking our partnerships carefully since the beginning of the year. As of May, we have 32 groups or partners at one stage or another! That’s up from 24 at the end of 2011 and 13 at the end of 2010. We have the goal of adding three volunteer partners and three ministry partners this year. So how do you help?

We believe that long-lasting partnership are built from the grass roots up. We are interested in partnerships of three years or longer, since we know that our mission is a long-term endeavor.

We have defined three stages of partnership. The first is getting started. The second is growing relationship. And the third is formalizing the partnership. We can supply you with a checklist of opportunities for each stage of partnership.

During the getting started phase, you identify three self-starter volunteers who can jump right in to our ongoing events, identify a service project to organize at your church, and invite us to speak at a Sunday school class or two. In the second stage, we expand these things and identify some lay leaders who can help grow the relationship with us.

In the third phase, we look at what your church might want to own with SYM. In the case of ONE Chapel, it was owning our Monday night outreach. They trained to use SYM procedures, keep the same records we keep, and are completely integrated in our volunteer sign-up and in-kind donation flows. In the case of University United Methodist Church, it was discovering that they had a clothing closet already serving the homeless but not serving many of our clients. We worked together to identify boundaries and overcome them. Today, they serve between 15 and 25 of our clients every week! Another partnership example is with Austin Stone. One of their missional communities now owns a Wash Day service project on the first Monday of every month.

If you want to help get a partnership started at your church, just reply and ask fo rour partnership checklist! We’re happy to share, encourage you, and discuss how to move forward from stage to stage.

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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