• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Collaborate, cooperate, work together, and act as a team

Collaboration is a ‘misunderstood’ word in our culture. I have heard many people give different definitions to it.  At times, it serves as a buzz word that many of us enjoy using, but the actual working out of it can elude us.collaborate

The World Team Ministry Framework gives the following descriptor for this element:

To accomplish our vision, we partner with like-minded ministries. These partnerships can involve sharing resources, strengths, expertise, and responsibility for overseeing ministry projects and programs. 

Ministries’ could easily be interpreted as only agencies or entities outside of World Team.  However, we are talking about ‘organizational culture’ here and what should define our relationships with one another.  Organizational culture tells us what kind of atmosphere we will work in.  So, ‘ministries’ refers to other teams, other branches of World Team as well as partners outside of World Team.

Projects, programs and ministries in our World Team global community benefit in greater ways when teams and branches of World Team share “their resources, strengths, expertise and responsibility” with others; when we ‘work together with one another’ and act as a World Team team.

Once again, this is where the difficulty lies. Most of us are quick to offer help, but slow to ask for and accept help.  The result?  Many projects, programs and ministries roll out or launch as a ‘one man’ or ‘one woman’ effort.  Some of those projects, programs and ministries will gain traction by the simple perseverant attitude of the creator behind the project, program or ministry. Imagine though the synergy that would be released if that one person solicited help from others within World Team.

One of my first experiences in collaboration occurred in our early days here in Europe. We wanted to do some home repairs, and being the non-handyman that I am, the only option I could see was to ‘grit my teeth’ and try to figure out how to do those repairs on my own.  However, I quickly realized that if I asked others for help, my neighbors were more than eager to come to my aid.  I didn’t enjoy the asking part because, in part, it was an admission that I didn’t really know how to do the work. I needed the help, the expertise, the time of others in order to do the job.  Sure, I could have watched YouTube videos and figured out  how to do most things, but asking for help provided a resource base that I would not have had otherwise.

Collaboration begins by asking two questions. First, what are the critical action steps in this project, program or ministry?  Second, who has expertise, insight, wisdom and ability to help with any of those critical action steps?

Once we answer these two questions, the next step is to go and ask someone to collaborate with us.

4 Responses

  1. “Most of us are quick to offer help, but slow to ask for and accept help.” So true! I think our western self-sufficient and independent spirit keeps us from acknowledging our need. It is really pride that interferes with collaboration and community. Thanks for helping us think through our attitude and response when it comes to collaboration.

    • A friend used to say that most of our struggles (sin) come down to pride and unbelief at their roots. Collaboration forces us to face how often we work from an independent spirit or a lack of faith because others aren’t speaking into our lives.

      • Your comment, “because others aren’t speaking into our lives,” is causing me to reflect about whether or not I am listening to others speaking into my life and whether or not I am being faithful and courageous to speak into others’ lives.

  2. Your honesty in asking the question a great example to all of us!

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