How can this partnership enhance a gospel witness and stewardship of resources?
Multiple sports ministries on the same campus can uniquely lead to a compromised witness through confusion or territorialism and more, if not working in partnership or at least collaboration. Additionally, we’re able to leverage the unique strengths across organizations so that more lives are impacted in Jesus! This includes efficiency and synergies with shared office space, trainings, and more while we maintain distinct financials.
What did the timeline and process for this strategic partnership look like?
We love sharing the story! It’s all about the Holy Spirit at work as well as trust
and relationship. As we reflect, the formal and brief timeline involves distinct phases:
1. Focused Relationship-Building (Nov 2017 – March 2018)
2. Partnership Exploration (March – May 2018)
3. Clarifying and Deciding (June 2018)
4. Gradual Implementation and Engagement (July – December 2018)
5. Consolidation and Launching (January – July 2019)
6. Integration and ‘Public Partnership’ (August 2019 – Present)
a. Shared logo (October 2020)
Does this partnership and shared logo change financial giving?
No. Financial giving is still directed directly to Athletes in Action and/or Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Are AIA and FCA merging?
No. Our organizations and us are calling it a ‘strategic partnership’. We are not and will not break off from our organizations to form a distinct 501c(3). We remain connected to our appreciated and historic organizations while becoming one unified team at a local level.
What area does this influence?
This partnership is specifically the Twin Cities area collegiate level, such as St Thomas, Macalester, St. Kate’s, Concordia U – St Paul, Hamline, Augsburg, University of Minnesota, and St. Cloud State. The overflow opportunities include influencing other areas of the community (ex. FCA groups at the middle and high school level, inspiring distinct collegiate partnerships beyond the Twin Cities area).
How is this partnership similar to and different from other AIA and FCA partnerships throughout the U.S.?
The Twin Cities team is humbly recognizing and learning from other partnerships, especially across AIA and FCA collegiate. There seem to be commonalities along with these distinctions in what we’ve recognized so far: partnering across a metro- multi campus area, initial motivation as common vision rather than resolving or avoiding conflict, and the initial step to slowly build trust and relationship before partnering on initiatives.
Were organizational leaders a part of this local partnership process?
Yes. AIA and FCA local, regional, national, and global leadership teams were included relationally and strategically. These various leaders have been helpful in lending encouragement, wisdom, and support.
In fact, AIA and FCA Presidents with national and local leadership visited us for observation, encouragement, and leadership
feedback in April 2019 (see photo below). We saw relational rhythms and strategic conversations were simultaneously happening with both organizations Presidents and have enhanced at additional levels by this local AIA and FCA partnership. As of September 2020, both organizations have executive leaders beginning to develop partnership pathway options for other cities and campuses. You are a part of something so much bigger than us!