In this short article — based on research from 500 non-profit leaders involved in building networks — Lisa Watson highlights three truths about the nature of networks that gives them their capacity to influence systems and empower change….
… In the early days of the Tour, cyclists were not allowed to ride close to each other, but as cycling speeds have become faster and faster over the years, the modern peloton has become a central feature of the race. That is the Peloton Principle – racing together saves energy and increases performance. Think about that for a moment in your own ministry context. Could you imagine a 40% improvement in your work?…
There is a new spirit of collaboration emerging in the 21st century as opportunities for the advancement of the gospel multiply. Recognizing the enormous need for our Lord’s ministries of forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, and peace, some Christian leaders are overcoming historical rivalries and conceptual differences by working together to see God’s purposes accomplished in their generation.
I had a college friend who played basketball in prep school with Pistol Pete Maravich. My friend could also score with the best of them. Their prep school program had several other athletes who had been selected by major college programs. When I heard him list all the “stars” on his prep team, I asked if they ever lost a game. He smiled and indicated that they didn’t even have a winning season. How could that be possible? The answer was surprisingly simple. There weren’t enough basketballs to go around. They were all shooters gunning for their own stats, and no one truly valued teamwork.
Our culture in the United States and in the Western hemisphere, in general, tends toward individualism, and inter-church connection is frequently no different. Often we are preoccupied with our church, our impact, and our role in God’s work. We operate as silos and are unaware of, or are not in relationship with, the churches located immediately around us. If there is one or two churches close by we may make an effort to build relationships with them, but it usually stops there.
In this video, Ernie Addicott tells a story from Central Asia about one of the most practical benefits of partnership: the sharing of resources. One of the best practices of partnerships is that of volunteering our resources. Even in functioning partnerships, there is often untapped potential because partners lack an in depth awareness of each other’s strengths and capacities.