A Spicy Partnership
Sammy Jordan, Director of Hope for Every Home reveals a spicy new duo…
I love a good partnership! Life is full of them… where would Woody be without Buzz? Harry without Hermione? Ant without Dec?
It’s not just people - I’m a northerner, so a cup of tea needs a biscuit to dunk! And chips…well they need mushy peas. (I know not everyone will agree!)
I have one more partnership to share with you, one I am very excited about… Hope Together are joining forces with the Cinnamon Network, a charity which equips churches for social action in their communities. Together, we can serve and bless local communities across the nation! Partnerships are good because, at the core, they are about relationships. We each bring something to the table that complements the other and makes the whole better. There’s a mutuality, which I believe God blesses. After all, He created us as inter-dependent beings. When we work together, putting individual ‘empires’ to one side, and instead collaborate for the Kingdom of God, that’s when we see the Holy Spirit do something ‘immeasurably more than we could ask for or imagine.’ (Ephesians 3:20)
This is why I’m excited about the partnership that Hope Together and The Cinnamon Network are forging, to bring words and actions together for mission with helpful tools and apps. At a time when life is challenging for many, this partnership seeks to help the Church respond effectively for God’s Kingdom, bringing new people into special ‘partnerships’ with Him.
As Director of Hope for Every Home, the partnership between Hope Together and the Cinnamon Network excites me personally, because our vision is to pray for every street, road and lane in the UK by the end of 2038. We want every household to have the chance talk about faith. That’s 26,000 streets and 27,000,200 homes! This means mobilising Christians to be and share good news across the country.
And to practise what I preach, I get to live this out with integrity on the new estate where I live. In short, I’m a church planter, community evangelist, and chair of the local community group running the community fridge, litter picks, newsletters, Christmas events, etc. For me, ‘words and actions’ are part of my everyday life. I love my neighbours and I am their neighbour, who happens to love Jesus too. I hope that my actions build the relationship and trust that brings about opportunities to use words of hope, love and good news.
The other day, I went to see a neighbour. (Full disclosure - she waxes my legs and it’s a great opportunity for a chat!) I followed God’s prompting to take a ‘Seeds of Hope’ packet with me (a ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer resource). My neighbour’s brother had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and she has been posting prayers in the community prayer box in my garden. Our conversation continued something like this…
Friend: Thank you for praying. Posting a prayer really helped when life felt out of control and like there was nothing I could do. I’ve never prayed before.
Me: I bet you have! 60% of people reckon they have and they’re not all Christians. Have you ever just looked up and gone, ‘Help!’?
Friend: Yes, of course.
Me: Well, that’s kind of like prayer! It could just be to the universe or the man on the moon as much as to God.
Friend: Is it?
Me: Can I show you how to pray, so that when you wake up in the morning, and life feels out of control… there’s something you can do?
Me: Plant these sunflower seed sticks and write your brother’s name on the top. Put them in the kitchen by the kettle. When the waves of helplessness rise each morning, put the kettle on, look at the seed sticks and say, ‘please help’. You can look up if it helps but God is everywhere, so you don’t have to.
Friend: Is that it? Don’t I have to say anything else?
Me: No. God already knows.
Friend: But what if…?
Me: What if you’re not sure you even believe? That’s ok. The Bible says we only need a seed of faith and God will do the rest. Planting your seeds and saying ‘please help’ is your seed of faith.
Friend: Can I have some for my Mum and the rest of my family please?
Intentionally getting to know my friend, combined with the slightly mad action of putting a community prayer box in my garden, led to words shared between the two of us, and God. This partnership of ‘words and actions’ between Hope Together and The Cinnamon Network, aims to train and equip local churches to practically embrace their communities through prayer, acts of service and evangelism. To do this, we are piloting a project which brings together Hope for Every Home’s OIKOS prayer app and the Cinnamon Connect web portal.
OIKOS is a simple, free app which helps people track the people and homes they have prayed for and/or shared faith with in some way. Local prayer initiatives can set up their own OIKOS subgroup on the app, and there are lots of linked resources from our partners. So, whether you want to pray for a school with ‘Pray for Schools’, post an answer to prayer on ‘The Eternal Wall’, or try a ‘Discovery Bible Study’ with someone, it’s all on the app. The Cinnamon Connect portal brings the added functionality to keep a record of prayers and conversations, along with some amazing training resources. To find out more, join us at our 'Prayer in Action' webinar on Thursday 29th June 10-11am, and discover how to pray missionally for your community. We even have up to 25 free packages to give away!
Hope and Cinnamon share a focus on equipping the local church. The Cinnamon Network is passionate about releasing the potential in churches for community transformation. Hope Together and Hope for Every Home resource the local church, so that everyone everywhere can hear the good news about Jesus. We recognise the need to work strategically together at this time, and it’s our hope and prayer that many lives will be impacted as a result.
So, as Woody and Buzz have adventures to infinity and beyond, as Ant and Dec bring us laughter (and trials) from the jungle, and as Harry and Hermione save the wizarding world, may God use Hope and Cinnamon to equip the Church for words and actions that reach everyone, everywhere… everyday!
Sammy Jordan, 01/06/2023