Partnership at The River

We’re so glad you’re interested in learning more about Partnership! At The River, "Partnership" is our version of what is traditionally church membership; we intentionally use the term “partnership” because it implies a more active and mutual relationship. 

Why become a Partner?

The best things at church happen in the places where we become family to one another, and that’s how we see Partnership. It’s where we shape values and where we embrace a future together.

In the first chapter of the book of Philippians in the Bible, Paul thanks the Philippians for their partnership in the gospel. In the ancient culture, partnership meant “I’m all in” -- all of my best energies, all of my resources -- to accomplish a high goal. And it spoke of deep affection with one another. At The River, we have a high goal of people forming lasting bonds of love and kindness with one another; this is difficult in our individualistic and consumeristic culture, but can happen in the bonds of partnership.

How do I become a Partner?

If you are interested in becoming a River Partner for the first time, the process is to:
  1. Attend River 101, a two-week class offered twice a year (usually in Spring and Fall) where you can learn about The River’s vision, core values, and ways you can find a place of belonging and service at The River.
  2. Meet one-on-one with a River leader who can help you get integrated into our community at the The River.
  3. Find a relational circle where you can belong. (e.g. a small group or a ministry team)
  4. Find a place of regular serving in our church.
  5. Complete a Partnership application and submit by January 1st of the year in which you are seeking Partnership. Here is a sample for reference.
  6. Meet with a River pastor or board member.
  7. Attend a New River Partner Gathering (February).
  8. Attend the Winter Partnership Meeting in March and sign the Partnership Covenant (annual renewal).
  9. Attend the Annual Partnership Voting Meeting in September.

If you are interested in becoming a River Partner and would like to be notified when the next River 101 class begins, please email

If you are currently a River Partner, the process for annually renewing your Partnership is to:
  1. Attend the two Partnership gatherings in March and September
  2. Sign the Partnership Covenant annually (we do this together at our March gathering)