Collaboration and Partnerships
April 15, 2016
The call to collaboration and unity within the Body of Christ is clear. It is good and God desires it to happen. That said, we live in a fallen world, and just like everything else, this is harder than it should be. Let’s look at a few passages that give us insight into collaboration and unity.
- Gen 11:1-9 (The Tower of Babel): Collaboration must be in the Lord’s timing and it must be for His glory, not ours.
- John 17:20-23 (Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity): Jesus prayed that Christians might be “one”, as the Father and Son are one, so that the world may know that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, and that God the Father loves them even as He loves the Son.
- 1 Cor 12 and Eph 4 (One Body of Christ, unified with many members; unity amidst diversity): We are the Body of Christ with many diversified parts, designed to work together. It all fits and it all counts. We must understand our individual and organizational callings and gifts and work together.
- Phil 2:1-4 (Christ’s example of humility in interactions): We are to look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. We are to follow Christ’s example of being servants. We are to have same mind, same love, counting others more significant than ourselves.
It is also important to recognize the various contributions of members of the Body of Christ. Over centuries, leaders have emphasized various missions as more important than other missions within the Body of Christ. Over the past decade, there has been increasing agreement about the interdependence of evangelism, discipleship, service, and vocation. Followers of Jesus are to be on mission with God all the time, in every task we do. We are to win, build, and send “whole” disciples of Jesus.
- Great Commission: Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I commanded (Matt 28:18-20).
- Great Commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and likewise love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:36-39).
- Cultural Mandate: To be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Gen 1:28) and to work with and for God in areas that he has entrusted to us (Gen 2:15)
The specific “city leadership networks” (also referred to as “city-reaching networks, gospel city movements” and other names) in each city are unique. Every city has its own history, its own leaders, and its own dynamics. Some of the characteristics are that they:
- Are passionate about prayer, collaboration and unity in Christ.
- Are passionate about the Great Commission, Great Commandment, and Cultural Mandate – seeking to take the whole Gospel to the whole city with the whole church; there is collaboration between Christ-centered churches, organizations, and institutions.
- Have a group of servant leaders. Most have 20-50+ servant leaders in the spirit of Phil 2.
- Mobilize volunteers to serve the city. Many are also mobilizing leaders in their workplace.
- Appreciate the roles of Christian leaders and their influence in all domains/sectors.
The list of our partnerships and collaborative friends is far too long. Here is a short list of other websites we’d encourage you to visit:
City Leadership Networks