When Partners Partner

By Leah Swank Partnership Coordinator

In the weeks leading up to the summer officially kicking off in OKC, we had the unique opportunity for all of our community partnerships to gather together. As we prepare for projects, it is common to meet with each of our partnerships individually, but rarely do we all get to come together in one space. This gathering was FULL of rich conversations centered around each of the communities we serve in Downtown, sweet memories from summers past, and creative ideas of how each of our partners could collaborate in the future.

Sitting around the table were directors Paul from Cross and Crown, Joe from Project 58, and Josh from Restore OKC. While Paul and Joe have been with Next Step from year one, it was so cool to see how Josh fit right into the conversation with both of them. Little did everyone know, but Next Step was not the only thing that connected us all. As the conversations took off, it was realized that each partnership is connected with someone in the community that partners with all of them- be it a donor, a church group, or neighbor.

During our time together, it was so cool to see the gears start to turn in all of us. The unspoken question going around the room was how can we collaborate on a grander scale? How can we impact the city as a whole for Christ collectively, rather than on our own? By the time we had touched on all of our talking points for the meeting, the conversation took an awesome turn. Each of our directors started to plan how they could check out each of the ministries present at the table and learn more about how they do what they do in the neighborhoods they live in. As these conversations unfolded, it was hard to not be in awe of what God was orchestrating.

Each of these partnerships left not just knowing what would be taking place with Next Step this summer, but also with a reignited excitement about the Kingdom work taking place in their city. While our meeting had been over for a while, Devin and I looked out our window and couldn’t believe what we saw. THEY WERE STILL THERE! Standing in our driveway, our partners were swapping contacts, making plans, and encouraging one another in the work at hand for the summer.

Seeing our partners come together was such an incredible experience, but to know that this gathering sparked some incredible community development to come, made our time together that much sweeter!

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