Best of 2018

The Top 20 Resources Downloaded in 2018

2018 has been a full year! A big thank you to the Synergy Commons community for your resource contributions and recommendations! It truly takes a community to stay up on all the latest articles, best practices, blogs, podcasts, books, tools and videos that are posted and shared on the internet. Below is a list of the top resources that the community downloaded and read in 2018.

  1. Transformational Networks – A Global Strategy
    In this video from Resonate Global Mission, Christian Reformed Church missionaries share stories about the network facilitation approach they use in their work with churches, church and community leaders, and local ministries to see community transformation.
  2. Partnering in China
    Opportunities for ministry partnership with Christians in China are many, but these efforts at collaboration do not always end well. In this webinar we examine the cultural and political challenges inherent in partnering in the Chinese context.
  3. Giving Honor – A Key to Fruitful Cross-Cultural Partnerships
    In this webinar, Werner brings to the surface the problem of honor competition, rivalry, and honor status. This was common in the New Testament church and remains an issue for the church today. He examines the spirit-empowered solution of “giving honor” across cultures and across different levels of social status. He also explores different ways that “giving honor” can help make our own networks or partnerships more healthy relationally—and more fruitful for the gospel.
  4. Readiness for Partnership – Russ Simons
    In this Leadership Lesson, Russ Simons discusses the importance of being ready to partner and not rushing the exploration stage. He discusses how the exploration stage can often feel like a waste of time, but that this stage is a critical part of preparing to partner.
  5. Nehemiah: A Partnership Case Study
    The book and character of Nehemiah is one of the outstanding partnership stories in the Bible. In this case study of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, Phill Butler helps us unpack the many partnership principles contained in this remarkable bible story. This biblical case study is an invaluable partnership resource. Church, ministries and mission agency leaders will find it useful as a discussion guide, team devotion or study on biblical partnership. Large groups may want to assign different verses to individual groups to engage the group and use discussion time more productively.
  6. Developing Network Influence
    Most successful ministries today are done in collaboration with others and a network can facilitate strategic ministry connections. This webinar will look at practical ways that a network can become the place ministry leaders look to for both reliable information as well as for contacts with potential ministry partners. it also provides an excellent introduction to the world of networks and their expanding role in missions.
  7. Essential Guide to Effective Networks
    The Essential Guide to Effective Networks (EG2EN) is visionSynergy’s network-focused update to the Pocket Guide to Partnerships. Like the Pocket Guide, it is an overview of the three-stage network development process (EFO). In addition, it contains 12 Health Factors seen in healthy and effective networks. There is a U.S. legal size and an A4 version of the guide. This guide summarizes each network development stage: Exploration, Formation, and Operation. It describes each stage’s goals, step-by-step activities, signs of success and common pitfalls to avoid. These elements enable mission networks to accomplish together what can not be done alone.
  8. Tool: Priority Roll-up: The Roll-Up Process in Real Life
    In this webinar, Dave Hackett shares a Priority “Roll-up” process that has proven effective in helping networks collaboratively define their priorities.
  9. Partnership Is the Future of World Mission – Karin Butler
    Kärin Butler Primuth’s talk, “Partnership Is the Future of World Mission,” was delivered at the Missio Nexus 2018 Mission Leaders Conference on Partnership in Orlando, FL. In this plenary, Kärin speaks to the future of global missions, the impact of collaboration on the gospel, and the changing role of the North American church.
  10. The Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration
    It’s easy to think of creativity as a solitary endeavor. But some of the best creative work is collaborative. This 5 minute video explores seven keys to successful creative collaboration. While focused on “design teams”, it easily applies to a network’s facilitation and working groups.
  11. Network Profile: Vision 5:9
    This short video profiles Vision 5:9, a global mission network focused on ministry among unreached Muslim peoples. In this video, members of the Vision 5:9 steering team share about their goal of seeing churches among all unreached Muslim peoples by the year 2025. Members of this diverse leadership team reflect the diversity of the network as a whole, which includes more than 170 ministry organizations around the world. Their comments emphasize the importance of honor and equality in the mission movement as “the old sending countries learn to be one among many, and the new sending countries gain courage and self-confidence.”
  12. Local Church Global Engagement Through Partnership
    On January 22nd, 2018, Phill Butler presented at the ECO Presbyterian Conference in Houston, Texas. His talk focused on the local church and global engagement through partnership. In his presentation, Phill spoke to the importance of the church’s participation in ministry partnerships and how partnerships can provide an effective way for churches to engage — both locally and globally — in some of the most pressing and urgent issues of our time.
  13. Tool – Network Communication EcoSystem
    One of the most critical support structures for networks is a well-thought-out communications ecosystem – a set of tools and platforms that enable everyone in the network to connect and collaborate directly with anyone else in the network. This kind of communication system is quite different from the broadcast strategy of many organizations, where the organization sends out information via a newsletter and/or website but has no avenues for people to respond or build connections to each other.
  14. Partnership Handbook – Well Connected
    Drawing on nearly 30 years of experience developing mission partnerships and networks around the world, Phill Butler’s Well Connected builds a case for the vital importance of collaboration in the church and provides an instruction guide for building effective Kingdom networks and partnerships.
  15. Growing the Gospel – Planting Mission Networks In Every Community
    In this webinar, Joel Huyser, the Global Area Director of Latin America and Asia for Resonate Global Missions, talks about Resonate’s view of holistic mission networks as a critical component of their mission strategy, alongside the more traditional goals of multiplying mission-shaped churches and developing missional leaders. Joel also discusses the qualities that Resonate looks for in a Mission Network Developer, the role they play in developing a Gospel “ecosystem” within a community, and shares what can happen when local churches and ministries join hands, engage others of good will, and together embody, proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of Jesus.
  16. Ministry Network Engagement Strategies
    How should a ministry or organization go about finding and engaging in a ministry network? Eldon Porter, a Consultant for Global Engagement with Mission Nexus and author of the website, discusses network engagement strategies that ministries and networks can use to engage with other organizations and networks. His suggestions — drawn from his years of experiences working both both networks and organizations — provide practical steps organizations can take become involved in Kingdom collaboration.
  17. Tool: Collaboration Spectrum
    Where is your network or partnership on the collaboration spectrum? There is a continuum of different collaborative approaches. These approaches will vary based on the culture, size, and goals of the network. As groups move towards greater collaboration they must pay attention to activities that build trust among the partners. It is also important to note that the amount of communication, time, energy, focus, the sharing of resources, and degree of commitment also increase as you move towards greater collaboration. This tool is an excellent resource for facilitating a conversation about the network’s current and desired level of partnership.
  18. Called to Collaborate – I am a Network Leader
    Dr. David Bennett is the Global Associate Director for Collaboration and Content with Lausanne. He also serves as Managing Editor of the Lausanne Global Analysis team. Dr. Bennett gave this 20 minute talk to network leaders at the Synergy Summit 2017 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In this presentation, he encourages network leaders to see their collaborative role as a call from God and a strategic means of advancing the gospel.
  19. Taking a Network Approach to Equipping Healthy Churches
    Amanda Jackson works as the Secretary General for Church in Community for the WEA. In this role, she encourages collaboration and partnerships between large networks and the local church. Amanda’s presentation will explore the role of global networks in equipping the local church. She will look at how networks can help foster healthy local churches and share some of the challenges large networks face when engaging at the local or regional level. This webinar, drawing on her 20+ years of experience, will be invaluable for leaders of large networks, denominations, mission agency leaders, and church leaders as we seek to engage the local church around the world.
  20. The Need for Cross-Sector Collaboration
    Addressing today’s most pressing challenges requires developing the capacity to lead collaboratively and to effectively work across sectors. This Stanford Social innovation Review article dives into the critical need for cross-sector collaboration and leadership skills.

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