By Phill Butler
Every network and partnership is characterized by their own set of values and aspirations. Here are ten aspirations commonly held by effective networks. I hope these will inspire you in your own context of collaboration.
1. We want a vision that unifies and motivates us in collaboration that empowers significant spiritual breakthroughs only possible by working together effectively.
2. We want a process which is guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit – not just driven by man-made “strategic” ideas.
3. We want a high sense of ownership as all of our participants feel it is their vision, their network, and that the outcomes are as a result of their efforts combined with other participants.
4. We want the network to be inclusive not exclusive. That is, all are welcome who are committed to the network vision, prepared to honor network guidelines, and prepared to actively engage in the network’s priority opportunities for service.
5. We want our investors (prayer partners, participants, funders, etc.) to feel a high sense of engagement and return on their investment.
6. We want our participants to know they can shape the priorities, program, and influence the outcomes of the network.
7. We want all involved to be aware of progress made together, problems we face, to participate in celebration of God’s blessing, and to serve as advocates on behalf of the network.
8. We want thoughtful leadership dedicated to strategic vision, effective day to day operations, extraordinary outcomes, and a commitment to building a real sense of Kingdom community.
9. Within the primary vision, we want the network to be flexible, innovative, aware of and responsive to strategic opportunities that arise and that can leverage the geographical or functional strengths of our participants.
10. We want the network – its leaders and participants – to always acknowledge God’s work in and through us and that all we do is to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Phill Butler is an author and internationally acknowledged expert in partnerships and strategic alliances. For nearly three decades, Phill has led the way in developing missional partnerships among Christian organizations in more than 70 countries. Phill is the founder and current Senior Strategic Advisor of visionSynergy, and was the previous founder and director of Interdev and Intercristo. In his earlier years, Phill was an international radio and news correspondent with ABC News.