During the last few years of being involved with the Fatherhood CoMission, I’ve met many ministry leaders with a heart for partnering. Most leaders I know want to figure out how to build the kingdom. Sometimes the gap isn’t the intention; we want to partner, but the gap is going from intention to mechanics. Both leaders sit down for coffee or by zoom and say, “we should partner…one day.” We have the best intentions, but in the busyness of ministry, we get lost in either 5,000 options or seemingly zero ways to partner.
So I started making a list. I needed a reference so when I connected with someone, I didn’t have to think from scratch in the moment. The list then became a chart because I found myself referencing these ideas a lot. For instance, Mark Hancock over at Trail Life, Nick Liberto at Proven Ministries, David Murrow, Jeff Kemp…we’ve explored these ways of partnering with dozen of leaders in the Fatherhood CoMission. What follows are 9 ways we can partner as ministry leaders.
9 Ways We Can Partner as Ministry Leaders
Full disclosure: I haven’t discovered a magic secret sauce to partnering. There may be 100 ways to partner; or maybe 3 ways. But what’s helped me is figuring out some practical ways we can put meat on the bones of ideas and bring to life partnering—so something actually happens. I hope these ideas spark additional ideas and maybe specific ministry leaders as you read. I put them into three big categories.
- ASSISTING each other
- BOOSTING each other
- COMBINING our efforts
Note a couple of things about this chart:
#1 You don’t have to go from one to nine in order. You can start wherever you want.
#2 Some partnerships may only have one piece of this puzzle—some may have all 9.
Now that the rules are covered, let’s review each of the 9 ways to partner as ministry leaders and explore your next partnership.
#1 Prayer Cover
We can start partnering with prayer cover. We can trade prayer requests on a regular basis or simply ad hoc. Recently, I received a text from a fellow ministry leader who said, “Hey man, our team gets together and prays for people. How can we pray for you?” I immediately sent him a couple of texts, and boom, I was covered in prayer. Decide how you’ll approach your prayer partnerships. Weekly meetups? Monthly emails? Hint: this is one way you can always partner with ministry leaders. You can start here. And, if you never dive into any of the other 8 ideas, well, prayer is the most important anyway—so both ministry leaders win.
#2 Trading Notes
I’ve sat down with Nick Liberto of Proven Men on a zoom call where he showed me his Facebook ads—what works, what doesn’t—we’ve traded notes a bunch of times. I’ve helped some folks with SEO (search engine optimization), marketing, and pitch decks. We can share lessons learned and new ideas. If we learn from others’ mistakes, we can save time and become more efficient. Once you start doing this, you’ll become inspired to reciprocate with others.
#3 Making Connections
Man, I don’t know how many times over the last few years—either Mitch Temple or Jeff Kemp—have connected relational dots to someone I should meet. I been connected to everyone from potential vendors, and speaking opportunities, to endorsers for my books. You can make this happen through meetings or simply asking a trusted leader to connect you as questions arise that you need advice on.
#4 Guest Content
Now we’re starting to boost each other’s ministries. We might gain awareness or increase exposure for our ministry. Guest content is a common way to partner at this stage. I’ve been interviewed on podcasts. I’ve had guys on my podcast. Just recently, Clarence Schuler and Gary Chapman were on the Manhood Journey Father on Purpose Podcast. We produce the content and interview folks. They can promote their book and ministry. Guest content can be anything from a blog post or podcast to speaking slots.
#5 Cross Promotion
When guys come out with new books, I’ve mentioned Jay Payleitner’s books. He writes a book a week, so I mention Jay all the time! I’ve mentioned David Murrow’s books, other people’s cohorts, and websites. Remember, cross-promotion happens both for you and from you. Fatherhood CoMission is all about cross-promotion. It’s as simple as tagging a post on social media. It can involve building an entire e-mail campaign to promote a new product or book launch.
#6 Affiliate Sales
As we start to transition from 6 to 7, 8, and 9 we are transitioning into things that could have an economic impact by combining our ministries. At Manhood Journey, we’ve offered affiliate sales on some of our digital courses. We’ve had people promote our digital courses and share the revenue. I think this is good low-risk revenue and is a great way to get positive associations for your ministry. With affiliate sales, you can promote someone’s product, membership, or online course for a small share of the revenue associated and vice versa.
#7 Retail Sales
I may buy an asset from a partner, and that partner gives me a discount. Then, I can sell it in my ministry and make the overage. This can happen on things like trade books and digital assets. It can be a strong way to create revenue for your ministry.
#8 Joint Events
Whether your event is virtual or physical, you can do an event together with another ministry. I’ve spoken at several events with Trail Life. I’ve provided fatherhood content, encouragement, and tips—and Trail Life provided an audience and a platform. Mark Hancock at Trail Life has spoken at Manhood Journey events. I think joint events are awesome. You’ll have to ask Mark Hancock what he thinks. I know I’ve had a blast, so it’s a win in my mind!
#9 Co-Authored Asset
Nick Liberto and I collaborated on an asset to help dads handle The Sex Talk. Nick contributed content. I contributed content. Nick had one of his guys handle the graphic design. We both promoted it through our websites and various channels. It was a fruitful asset we put together as a team. Through this way of partnering, you can share expenses to create and save the time of creating content. Then, when the course or project is complete, you can both share in the marketing and promotion. Win. Win.
This clearly isn’t an exhaustive list. As I mentioned, there may be 7 ways or 107 ways to partner as ministry leaders. The point of this list is to get you thinking about a real way you can start partnering. Let this list encourage you to connect with more ministry leaders—so you can create more partnerships for the gospel and serve more fathers. I can’t wait to hear about your next partnership.