Together in Ministry
Women and men are designed to work together in fulfilling God's mission on earth. Yet God's original intent for equal partnership has been so distorted that churches and organizations continually struggle to foster healthy mixed-gender ministry collaboration. Is it even possible to return to the Genesis ideal of co-laborers in today's contexts?
Longtime ministry leader Rob Dixon knows it's possible—though it takes intentionality, courage, and wisdom. Based on qualitative field research among ministry practitioners, Together in Ministry offers a prophetic roadmap for individuals and communities as they seek to develop flourishing ministry partnerships for women and men.
Organized around the key domains of inner life, community culture, and intentional practices, this model identifies ten key attributes of partnerships that are both personally satisfying and missionally effective. For each attribute Dixon presents research findings and biblical examples, along with benefits, barriers, and practical next steps. With plenty of real-life stories from ministry leaders and reflection questions in each chapter, Together in Ministry casts a compelling—and encouraging—vision for flourishing partnerships and equips teams and individuals with next steps for making that vision a reality.
"Beautifully written, biblically incisive, and culturally astute, Together in Ministry traces human flourishing in mutual male and female partnerships. Weaving wisdom from colleagues, researchers, and thought leaders, Rob Dixon exposes systemic barriers and offers a road map unleashing the power of mixed-gender leadership. Together in Ministry is balm to the church's soul."
"In this research-based and immensely practical book, Rob Dixon presents a model describing how men and women can develop flourishing partnerships in ministry. The book is winsome and transparent, laying out both benefits and barriers to mixed-gender ministry collaboration. Full of practical suggestions for successful partnerships, this book is a must-read for all Christians living out our calling as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ."
"I'm convinced that the strategic vision Rob shares in this book will change the game for men and women, impacting every area of our lives. There is not a topic more important nor any better time than right now to read this book. The future is bright if we dare to change it together!"
"Deeply biblical and rigorously practical, Together in Ministry gives ministries the tools needed tools to benefit from God's design for healthy partnerships between women and men. The book challenged me to embrace the intentional practices Rob Dixon lays out and to foster the kind of culture that helps partnerships thrive."
"The Christian ministry context is long overdue for healthy, practical models of women and men in ministry partnership. In Together in Ministry, Rob Dixon presents a timely and invaluable training model for forming mixed-gender partnerships that are both personally satisfying and missionally effective. Let this straightforward, honest, and pragmatic book be your guide for building flourishing relationships in your ministry!"
"Rob Dixon offers us a feast formed from the fruit of years of generative ministry and thoughtful research. Rob mentors us through a process of considering our ministry practices, creating a pastoral space for transformative reflection. This is a must-read for Christian leaders seeking to develop ministries in which women and men flourish together as we collaborate in the work to which God has called us."
"Together in Ministry is a transformational primer for faith communities seeking to do the life-giving, reconciling work to reclaim God's original intentions for humankind. From the minute our team learned about Dr. Rob Dixon's flourishing model, we knew it was the tool we were looking for! From start to finish, Together in Ministry offers real praxis learning—that beautiful blend of theory and practice—to help equip congregations to create healthy ministry environments where everyone's gifts can be welcomed and nurtured. Rob's accessible, engaging process invites communities to usher in a vision of God's reign here on earth as brothers and sisters serve freely and fully together."
Foreword by Ruth Haley Barton
Introduction: God's Intent for Flourishing Partnerships
1. The Together in Ministry Model
Part 1—Inner Life
2. Authentic Learner's Posture
3. Shared Theological Conviction of Gender Equality
4. Awareness of Gender Brokenness
Part 2—Community Culture
5. Vision for Freely Shared Power
6. Differences for the Sake of Mission
7. Value for Holistic Friendships
8. Corporate Sensitivity to Adverse Gender Dynamics
Part 3—Intentional Practices
9. Abundant Communication
10. Contextualized Boundaries
11. Public Affirmation and Modeling
Conclusion: Together in Ministry