The Greater Detroit Partnership (GDP) is a network of Christian pastors working together to promote racial, denominational and geographical unity among churches and other Christian organizations in metropolitan Detroit. The GDP was founded by Matthew Parker as a follow up to the 2006 major outreach to the poor held at the Michigan State fairgrounds and supported by the Convoy of Hope.
The mission of the GDP is to build the capacity among Detroit and suburban churches and other Christian organizations to collaborate on projects and activities to serve metro Detroit communities.
The mission is pursued by means of action on four main dimensions:
- Building relationships
- Joint projects
- Training and education
- Mentoring the next generation
The centerpiece of the GDP strategy is to build close, on-going relationships between Christian leaders and their organization members in Detroit and their counterparts in the surrounding suburban communities. This is being accomplished by:
- Interracial (and/or Det.-suburban) pairings of pastors to create partner dyads
- Quarterly meetings of the full GDP for prayer and discussion
- Periodic GDP fellowship events
- Joint (inter-congregational) gatherings
- One-one contact by the partnership dyads
Love Fest: annual city-wide outreach to bring food and other resources to the poor
Joint Worship: Annual GDP meeting for worship and the Word of God
Westside Christian Academy: A church-school partnership to strengthen this non-denominational Christian school serving children from mostly poor families in Detroit.
Built-it Detroit: A major multi-year neighborhood transformation project underway in Northwest Detroit led by Harvest Christian Church.
Dfree (debt- free): A multi-year effort to reduce debt and strengthen net worth among Christians in Metro-Detroit led by King David Baptist church.
Alms Program: Provide small grants to members of the GDP for situations of financial exigency.
Training and Education
- The training and education aspect of the strategy will be carried out by:
- Guest speakers at the quarterly pastors’ forum meetings
- Support/sponsorship of special workshops (e.g. Deforest Soaries financial management training)
- Drawing on the gifts and expertise among GDP members to design and deliver training and education sessions on topics of value to the metro Detroit region.
Mentoring the Next Generation
The GDP members have a strong commitment to the fathering of younger leaders in our individual churches and other Christian organizations. This is a core value of the network. In addition, the members of the partnership bring younger leaders to our quarterly pastors’ forum meetings to meet and get to know other senior leaders in the region and to hear firsthand what we are collectively receiving from the Lord concerning His plans and desires for our region. Additional steps will be identified to promote this strategy element as we go forward.
The primary target for members in the GDP is to network senior pastors of churches. All members are asked to agree to honor three main expectations:
- To be consistent in attending the pastors forum meetings
- To actively support (with personal and congregational participation) the joint projects of the GDP
- To provide financial support (requesting a minimum of fifty dollars a month per church).
In addition to the above, new members are asked to participate in one or more orientation sessions in which insights about the formation and prospering of cross-race relationships and about how to conduct culturally sensitive Christian service in urban environments will be addressed.