Partnerships Matter

  Friday 1st May, 2020
  Categories: Connect Stories

Partnerships Matter

Tom with his fiancé Ellen


Ministry Partners are important. In an administrative role it can be easy to get caught up in all the tasks. Having a group of people who are praying and supporting what I do, as well as the whole Missional Communities team, helps to ground and focus my role, and helps keep my focus on God and equipping others to share the gospel.

I started volunteering with SU in 2013 on Portarlington SUFM. The director and I were childhood friends and I asked if they needed help. I’ve been on the team every summer since! I joined SU as a staff member after my first summer directing the team. I loved the work SU did with equipping their volunteers and supporting them in their missions so it was an easy decision to apply to be on staff. Once I became part of the SU staff I realised that SU is so much more than just that!

Most of my Ministry Partners have been journeying with me for a long time, even before I started my SU involvement. Some are past beach mission team members, some are people from my church in Portarlington who knew of the SUFM and Bellarine Schools Ministry already. As Ministry Partners we stay connected. I send them prayer letters and also catch up with some of them individually. All of my Ministry Partners are invited to my annual trivia night. This night is a fundraiser, but it’s also a night of fun and a time to tell stories and share about the ministry of SU.

My very first ministry partner signed up at my Trivia Night and has been praying and financially supporting me since then. Last year we needed a new cook for one of our teams. I asked my ministry partners to pray about this and one of them ended up volunteering her time to cook on Portarlington SUFM.

Steve & Kitty


We want to have an expression of our faith that’s encouraging and challenging and that’s what our Ministry Partnership with Tom does.

Tom’s family and ours go to church together at Church by the Bay in Portarlington. We were actually Tom’s youth leaders when he was young and then he grew up and took over youth and our children have attended that. We’ve gone from leading Tom in certain spaces to supporting him in his leadership, knowing we’ve actually contributed to his life. It’s such an honour to see Tom go all the way through as a leader. He’s an extraordinary young man that we’ve trusted and loved for a long time.

As a church we’ve just committed to financially supporting SU and Tom. It’s a way for us, both as a couple and as a church, to be a constant for him, and to support him in his role. We also provide prayer support and encouragement for Tom. Every time we sit down to purposefully have some prayer, he is in our mind. We intentionally pray for him and he knows he can come to us for whatever support he needs. We’ll also check in with Tom and ask how he’s going and what he’s doing in his role. We get involved practically as well. When he does things like trivia nights or other fundraisers, we love to advertise and promote and turn up to these events to support him in that.

I think the highlight for us with Tom is that you see him put in time and effort during the year and then you see the fruit of that over summer at SUFM when kids turn up and lives are changed.

This story is part of the May 2020 issue of CONNECT. Read the latest update from our State Director here. For other stories from this issue, click on a tile below.