Ministry leadership has it challenges and rewards. I’ve learned many lessons during more than twenty years of ministry leadership. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned as a ministry leader is the power of one accord. The word accord means to be of the same mind. When it comes to ministry, being on one accord is fundamental.
God strategically places every ministry within a church for His divine purposes. Each ministry is assigned a specific area of service. The diversity of ministries within a church calls for the Ministry of Collaboration. To collaborate means to work jointly with others. It’s collaboration among church ministries that helps us function in one accord. There’s power in collaboration.
The power of collaboration is illustrated with snowflakes. By itself, a snowflake is fragile and melts instantly when it comes into contact with a surface. It has no influence on its environment. However, when it unites with other snowflakes it can cripple a region. Unity among church ministries creates an atmosphere for the free flow of the Holy Spirit. Being on one accord allows each ministry to accomplish more than they could alone because they’re united in Christ.
In the Book of Nehemiah, the Jewish people united to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The wall was a type of church. Each individual group working on the wall was a type of ministry working within the church. Although some ministries were larger than others, all played a vital role in rebuilding the wall. No ministry was less or more important than the others. All were needed to fulfill the vision of the house.
Nehemiah 4:12 exemplifies the need for collaboration. As they were rebuilding the wall, the Jews who lived near the enemy expressed concern about being attacked. The other groups partnered with them and thus presented a unified front against the enemy (Nehemiah 4:20). Despite the enemy’s threats, unity enabled the people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in a miraculous fifty-two days (Nehemiah 6:15).
I’d like to share a few points on what I’ve learned about the Ministry of Collaboration. At times, collaboration calls for compromise. Mature leaders know they don’t have to be in charge all the time. Ministry leadership requires flexibility as some initiatives require other leaders to be at the helm of operations. An insecure leader views collaboration as a threat. It can be especially challenging to submit to another leader when you’re used to being in charge. However, I’ve learned that humility will take you a long way in ministry.
The Bible says the good you make happen for others; God will make happen for you (Ephesians 6:8). You must be willing to sow into and assist other ministries. When you do, rest assured God will send people to sow into and assist your ministry. Remember you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).
As a leader, be sure to weave collaboration into the fabric of your ministry. Collaboration makes your ministry more effective, pools resources and expands your outreach to audiences you might not otherwise be able to connect with.
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to note there will be times when a ministry leader comes along who isn’t interested in collaboration. Don’t force the issue. Wait on God. If it’s God’s will, the collaboration will happen in His time.
When God plants a seed of vision within a leader, the vision cannot be accomplished solely by the leader’s ministry. It’s important to prayerfully cultivate partnerships with other ministries in your church. It amazes me how God partners ministries to complement each ministry’s needs. There are ministries with areas of expertise that your ministry lacks. Your ministry has knowledge other ministries need; hence the necessity for ministry collaboration. Tremendous power is released when we’re on one accord. It fortifies ministries to transform lives, gains ground for God’s Kingdom, fulfills the church’s vision, and achieves individual ministry mandates.
May we be ever mindful of the power of one accord and that together we can accomplish more!
Until Next Time…Be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson