There is always potential, particularly when partnering cross-culturally, for one to think themselves superior to the other….
The relationship between Khanyisa Church (Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa) and Jubilee Church (Farnham, Aldershot & Bordon, UK) began in 2007, initially with a six-week training visit to Jubilee Church from Angela and Greg Kemm, followed by a team of 10 Jubilee members visiting Cape Town in October 2007. Angela and Greg’s input from their experience through the apartheid regime in South Africa, their passion for cross-cultural mission and the incredible way that God had led them working in the township communities in Cape Town, were a real catalyst to lay the foundations of an exciting relationship between the two church communities.
God has used Greg and Angela’s relationship with both churches (they were founding members of Khanyisa) to help shape mission both locally and internationally over the following years and they continue to visit Jubilee church annually to impart Gods wisdom and guidance.
Several teams and individuals from Jubilee have visited Khanyisa over the last 12 years and there have also been teams and individuals who have come to the UK and spent time with the church in Farnham and also attended conferences (eg Newday, Brighton Leaders Conference). Over the years, relationships between individuals in both churches have grown and strengthened and there is a real sense of a meeting of hearts and minds through God’s Spirit and a desire to partner together in order to see God’s Kingdom grow. God has particularly placed Khanyisa on the hearts of one couple from Jubilee Church and they have grasped and run with the vision for the interchurch relationship. This has led to them traveling regularly to Cape Town (both as part of the teams mentioned above and individually) to develop and invest in individual relationships, supporting practically and in prayer whilst championing the partnership within the Jubilee community.
A key part of the relationship and partnership is remembering that in God’s eyes we are equals and both have equal importance in the development of the relationship. There is always potential, particularly when partnering cross-culturally, for one to think themselves superior to the other – this was a real focus of training for the first Jubilee team from Angela and Greg and has been part of the DNA of the relationship since then. We are proud to work together, pray together and mutually support each other through many means.
The developing relationship has been an iterative process with fundamental changes to church structures on both sides – Jubilee has developed to a multisite church and Khanyisa has transitioned from having a full time lead elder to having their lead elder working full time in a secular role. These changes have given an opportunity for both parties to share their experiences and God has used them to deepen and further develop the relationship and partnership. As with any relationship, this is a journey and the leaders of both churches are praying and discussing how to further develop the partnership in order to grow and advance the kingdom whilst loving and supporting each other.
There are so many advantages of partnering in this way and to find out more and meet individuals from both Jubilee and Khanyisa Church, join us at Westpoint on the Friday afternoon for the Tent Talk when we will be sharing so much more from our journey together!