The Partnership Experience – A response to Alex Araujo

To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.

A response to Alex Araujo’s article: The Collaboration Continuum

Alex gives us a very good view of the partnership continuum.  And he shows us how as members of the Body of Christ we are in a sense automatically in collaboration with each other and with the Lord Creator of the Universe.

Yet, we all have experiences where is really doesn’t seem that way.  It doesn’t seem like my brother is really my brother or my sister wants to work with me to build God’s Kingdom.   Alex correctly showed a difference between voluntary association and a more structured collaborative effort where there is a common vision and then a set of goals or objectives which are agreed upon by the various parties. 

I have two observations.  First, Alex’s post talks about the what – what is partnership, how should it be defined.  Often, we leave it there.  I am not saying Alex did.  He was only offering us definitions.  Yet, most of the time, we fail to understand there is a method, a “how-to” if you will about collaboration.  Ask yourself, how would I form a partnership or a joint venture?  Are there steps that should be followed or is it just let the chips fall where they may.  Where would I go to get the expertise to do this?

Secondly,  my experience is that  we often bring a worldly mind-set into these partnerships.  Rather than approaching the initiative with an attitude of “what is it my ministry can bring to the table – how can I serve?”, we come with an attitude of “what is it my ministry can take away from the partnership, gain from the partnership, or how will it help my ministry.”  This is the fundamental flaw that hobbles most collaborative initiatives. 

Connect with others who share your desire for collaboration

See over 70 short videos from global practitioners about actual partnerships.