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When practiced correctly, interdependence is a beautiful sight that benefits all parties while glorifying Jesus. The theme for the Charis Alliance this year has been interdependence, and Encompass’s Exeuctive Director Dave Guiles defines the term as ‘meeting the needs of others while allowing them to meet yours.’
Crispin is a Charis Alliance leader in the Philippines, and during the Charis2023FORUM in Kenya in March 2023, he shared a real-life example of interdependence between Filipino churches.
There are three Charis Alliance churches in the Philippines and Crispin saw that one of them was struggling, so he approached them with an idea for raising up a new leader. He asked them to pray and seek God’s guidance in selecting one of their members to train. Crispin invited them to send the chosen candidate to live with him while Crispin’s church would raise the money needed to put the candidate through Bible school.
It was very generous of Crispin’s church to train a leader for a neighboring church that was struggling. But if that was the full extent of Crispin’s proposal, it would have been classified as philanthropy rather than interdependence.
In his offer, Crispin also said that his church would pay 100% of the costs for the first year of training, but that the other church would need to help the next two years. This arrangement allows for both churches to contribute to the effort according to their resources. The two churches would function as equal teammates rather than framing one as greater and one as lesser.
The other church gladly accepted Crispin’s proposal, and provided a man who is now being trained as a leader. The man lives with Crispin, but when he goes home for a weekend every month, he always comes back with an offering of fresh seafood from his home church.
Both churches are benefiting from the relationship by contributing to a common goal. Each church is independently autonomous yet they are more complete when they operate in a give-and-take relationship with each other.
Interdependence isn’t just for churches on the macro level—individuals can benefit from it too. Is there a way you could use your gifts to enter a mutually beneficial relationship with someone else who has a different set of gifts?