Last month, my friend Andrew posted an article I had wanted to write about for some time. You can check it out here.
I thought he said it so well that I neglected writing anymore about it. Then some other angles poked their head out at me and I thought it’d be important to discuss. My questions center around why we don’t collaborate well in the ministry/NGO world. I have found that I am pretty good at certain aspects of ministry and pretty horrible at others. Luckily I know people who rock in areas of my weakness though and we’ve become friends. I think some of them are heretics and I know some of them think the same of me :). Which leads to my working theories…
- We forgot which kingdom we are part of. Everybody’s thing is the way to go. I see it so much in full time ministry circles. Everyone has a gap year program, an internship, etc… Much of the time, those things are exact replicates from other ministries down the street. I wonder what could happen if forces were joined together. How much more powerful could some of that be?
- Power dynamics. This is a natural issue that sits behind the above point. “Who’s the boss?” We should really evaluate why we’re so hungry for control in the collaboration room.
- Insecure views of success. We define ourselves by what we achieve (well, many of us do). The trouble is, we measure ourselves against the measuring sticks that don’t matter: each other.
- Theology. Sometimes we can’t get past elements of our theologies to work together. I see that so much and it breaks my heart.
There may be many more. Feel free to comment and keep a dialog going. These are the main areas I’ve seen for why collaboration in ministry/NGO world tends to fail. Sometimes, collaboration could hinder a process. But I would venture to say our efforts to be “jack of all trades” might be holding the larger kingdom movement back considerably. Be the best ___ that God enabled you and your community to become. Then find some friends who do other things you can contribute your radness too… and let’s bring on the revolution!