The sporting context was the first time I really appreciated partnerships. In as much as it is a team sport with 11 players on each side, there were certain areas where two players connected to be productive for the team because of the understanding they developed. Some at times referred to a sort of telepathy between the two as they linked up in a way that caused the opposition great fear. Good though they were individually, their partnership brought about something special. I remember clearly my brother and his best friend having such a connection on the football pitch. They were selfless but understood what they were there to do and delivered time and time again. It was a delight to behold.
Some of the cop programmes on television were based on partnerships of sorts. It’s obviously left a mark on me because it’s the quality of a decent partnership that will intrigue me when it comes to a cop programme. One of my favourites – Law and Order Criminal Intent featured a superb partnership in Detectives Goren and Eames. How they worked to each other’s strengths.
Speaking of which, when I read about the partnership in scripture between Barnabas and Saul that soon turned into Paul and Barnabas I was fascinated by it. How Barney sought Saul out and supported and affirmed him and although he was the guy people knew at first, he had no problem giving the platform to Paul to be about the mission. The way that partnership ended is also something I still get sad about, but that only highlights how good the partnership was in the first place.
It’s no accident that Jesus sent his apostles out in pairs. There’s something about partnerships that naturally elicits a great expression of how two are better than one. How companionship is a beautiful reflection of divine character. How the complimentary approach enriches the experience.
As a result it’s no wonder partnerships in church life aren’t as regularly highlighted. It’s either the one man solo leadership style or the team leadership style that gets promoted. The thought of a partnership that people acknowledge only comes into play with married couples. That, thankfully, does not deter me from appreciating and cultivating the beauty of partnerships when the occasion arises. I look forward to more of them being of benefit to the community at large as people further invest in those simple and wonderful relationships.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden