In the early days of The Belief Experiment, the decision was made to refer to those who support the church through their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness as partners rather than members, with the belief that membership denotes benefits whereas partnership denotes investment. Read on to learn more about what partnership means and how you can become a partner of The Belief Experiment as we serve the Tuscaloosa community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is partnership?
Partnership at The Belief Experiment is an intentional commitment to support the church through one’s prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. We often say that you can receive the benefits of and participate in the life of The Belief Experiment for as long as you like without any questions asked, but once you become a partner you give up that right. Partners are expected to faithfully serve and support the church, but in doing so they are making a tangible impact on the church’s ability to serve the Tuscaloosa community.
What is expected of partners?
Partnership at The Belief Experiment comes with responsibilities that are based on the vows of membership taken by all United Methodists. Those responsibilities are to support the church through one’s prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness:
Prayers: Partners are expected to support the church through steadfast prayer for the church, the congregation, and the community, as well as the church’s staff and leadership team.
Presence: Partners are expected to be present at church activities including Sunday morning worship and events throughout the week such as small groups, Bible studies, and special events. While we understand that schedules may not allow partners to attend all events, they are expected to make every effort to be present, understanding that in doing so they create an atmosphere of excitement and engagement that is critical to fostering support of the church.
Gifts: The Belief Experiment, as with all churches, is supported entirely by the generosity of those who financially support the mission and ministry of the church. While we believe that the exact amount of one’s support is between the individual and God, partners are expected to consistently support the church financially.
Service: One of the cornerstones of the Christian faith is service to God and others. Whether as part of a leadership team, a Sunday morning service team, a small group leader, or some other forum, partners are expected to find their personal place of service to the church. Partners are also expected, as they are able, to find places of service in the community. For more information on how one can serve, click here.
Witness: Finally, partners are expected to support the church through their personal witness to those not part of the church. Partners are expected to constantly be looking for ways to share the Gospel with those around them through the development of relationships and intentional service to the community.
How do I become a partner?
If you are interested in becoming a partner, we are excited to have you and are thankful for your support of the church!
There are three ways that one can become a partner at The Belief Experiment:
- Annual Partnership Series: Every fall, we have an opportunity for anyone interested to become a partner at The Belief Experiment as well as pledge their financial support for the church in the upcoming year. If you are becoming a partner during one of these series, you will receive additional information during worship on Sunday mornings.
- Confirmation: Every year, sixth graders (as well as any other youth who have not been confirmed) have the opportunity to participate in Confirmation, which is a series of classes to teach youth about the church, United Methodism, Christianity, and what it means to be a partner at The Belief Experiment. At the end of these classes, youth are confirmed as full partners at The Belief Experiment.
- Mid-Year Partnership: If you are wanting to become a partner outside of our fall series, please click here to complete a short form that will give us more information about you and your desire to become a partner. You will then be contacted by one of our staff to advise you on the rest of the process.
If you have questions about partnership, please email email@example.com.