Collaborate and Conquer

by Jeri Howe

Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed? Forget “divide and conquer,” Christianity is a collaborative way of life. We all need others. Collaborate and conquer the difficulties you were never meant to face alone!

Description

To collaborate means to cooperate and work with others. Christianity is not an individual enterprise. We are all gifts to one another, even—no, especially—when we see things differently!

What I Appreciate About this Leadership Concept:

  1. Every leader fears hitting their limits; collaboration means our limits are catalysts to invite others into the project. 
  2. Collaboration increases connection with our collaborators – and we can use all the unity we can get! It also gives more people opportunities and experience. In this way, collaboration builds up the body of Christ.
  3. Collaboration increases our connection with our audience. Those with different perspectives can see where we are blind, have had experiences we haven’t had, and can identify with people in our audience.
  4. Collaboration also brings together a variety of strengths—no one is good at everything! Collaborating means we can leave the stuff we struggle with in more gifted hands, leaving us free to do what we excel at doing. 

Biblical Support

Paul wrote to the Romans about being “mutually encouraged” by one another (Romans 1:11-12), and he invited them to partner with him in an upcoming mission to Spain (Romans 15:24). Paul saw the Roman Christians he wrote to as collaborators and partners.

Christians are a body of many members. Each member is valuable and has contributions to make. All members need to be vitally connected to one another and cooperate with each other for the good of all (Romans 12:3-8).

Example/Illustration

The radio show, Survival Skills for Everyday Living, was collaborative from beginning to end. Lisa Troyer from Circle of Friends secured the meeting with the radio station and presented the idea of doing a show in Michigan like they were doing in her home state. I attended the meeting and, as the local person, I became the spearhead of the show in my home state. Once the pitch was accepted, the show required a rotating round table of women leaders. I immediately invited in a friend of mine, Tami Walker, who is great at making connections with women from a variety of life experiences, and together we built the team of women who would be the panel for our round table discussion. Each one of them brought insights neither Tami nor I would have had. The show was helpful to the audience because of the depth of collaboration. I would not have thought it up myself; I needed Lisa. I could never have made it happen myself; that required Tami. And I could never have made up those conversations myself; that took the team. And it was a blast! 

Practical Application Ideas

In improv comedy class, they teach a game called “yes… and.” Whatever your partner says, you have to responds with “yes… and…” This means you have to accept what they are saying and build on it. It’s a great exercise in learning to collaborate! Try it out at a gathering or family dinner. 

Take a moment to reflect. Where are you hitting roadblocks? Where could you use another perspective? Or maybe someone else’s expertise? Where could you offer to help someone else and be part of their project? What fears might keep people from collaborating with others? I look forward to reading your comments.

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Consider attending the Speak Up Conference. It’s a great place to meet other people who speak, write and lead, build relationships, and get new perspectives!  With the help of Speak Up, your next collaborative enterprise could launch in July!  You can sign up for a one-on-one ZOOM meeting with Jeri after registering for the July 14-16 conference

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This article is part of the 26-week Leadership A to Z blog series on counter-intuitive and counter-cultural leadership concepts inspired by the New Testament that Jeri is launching July 21 as a follow-up to her breakout session of the same name at the 2021 Speak Up Conference. Check out her session at the conference and then visit www.jerihowe.com to find out more about the series.

Keep reading our other posts:

4 Comments

  1. Jeri on 2021-06-30 at 8:01 PM

    Love the use of the “yes, and” – someone’s paying attention!

  2. Tricia Harmon on 2021-06-29 at 5:35 PM

    Jeri. Darlene Larson directed me to your blog today. I’m so grateful she did. I love it. The reasons are multiple.
    1. Leaders are inspired to become better leaders by the influence of and not the competition of our closest influential circles.
    2. Leaders are more impactful, accountable and protected when we tribe together.
    3. Leaders are vulnerable when chaos, crisis and challenges hit. In times like that, we need mature leaders to help us see and walk through it all with clearer lens.

    I believe God has called me to be a tribal leader whose vision and purpose far outlives my own life, and I surely can’t do that with a solo mentality. I am inspired to initiate or join a local network leaders in the media, marketplace and ministry. Thanks for challenging us to the next level of influence. Great article.

  3. Carol Kent on 2021-06-29 at 9:33 AM

    What an encouraging blog! Collaboration with our author/speaker peers is an incredible way to thrive in our ministries. Jeri, this is such a practical and helpful blog. Thank you.

  4. Shannon on 2021-06-29 at 8:10 AM

    Yes, and… I love the idea of the leadership series follow up! Nice work, Jeri!

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