What Collaboration Looks Like

Nate Vander Stelt

I’ve spoken with leaders from many GACX members over the last several months — phone, video calls, and face-to-face. These conversations have left me ever more amazed at all the God is doing around the world. The Lord has entrusted each member with a exciting vision and dynamic mission. But more incredibly, He’s placed men and women in key leadership positions with a “let’s go!” attitude. Amongst our members there is a palpable, unswerving, passionate commitment to carrying out the Great Commission through church multiplication. I see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of leaders sharing the stories of how God is using their ministries and organizations to be change-agents with the Gospel. I found myself wishing others could have been a “fly on the wall” to these conversations. So many of our members are effectively modeling intentional collaboration, working together to start something new or accelerate an existing work.

  • Safe houses have been built in one part of Africa for former Muslims who are now Christians.

  • In Latin America, discipleship materials needed by one ministry are now being supplied by another — free of charge.

  • Thousands of new churches in India have been started by indigenous leaders because GACX members are working together with a common vision and commitment to share resources.

  • Collaborative efforts are providing resources for local churches in the US to go door-to-door with the gospel.

  • Multitudes of new East Asian believers are coming to the Lord daily through innovative ways to share the Gospel and carry out discipleship-making training.

While each story is unique, I’ve discovered some common themes running through them.

  1. Pray and Connect. Members are intentionally praying together with other organizations, starting their journey together before God’s throne. Relationships are key, and GACX is helping start and strengthen them. Leaders are seeking the Lord’s wisdom on whom He is leading them to work with, followed by where and how to accelerate church multiplication.

  2. “We” vs. “Me”. Those who are seeing great traction in effective collaboration are those who sacrifice some of their own time, energy, and resources and invest in the “we” (together) efforts. This is magnified even more when their Boards and senior leadership purposefully incorporate collaboration as part of their missional DNA.

  3. Assess. Before jumping into a project or area of the world, partners evaluate who’s doing what works where. They include both national churches and ministries, along with global ministries, in their assessment.

  4. Form a Common Vision. With good awareness, ministries can prayerfully form a fresh vision and define a scope of work. Together, they boldly ask the “what if we…” questions and explore answers. As new or expanded visions emerge, they also seek out additional strategic partners with whom to collaborate.

  5. Plan & Implement. Collaboration turns to action when vision translates into forward-moving plans which are implemented through sharing time, resources and energy.

  6. Evaluate. Collaborators ensure adequate time is given for a project to grow and set mile markers for evaluation. The candid assessment of what has and hasn’t worked well leads to adjustments which ensure progress moving forward.

Certainly, this list is not exhaustive.–  just a quick overview of common values I am hearing from GACX members working together. At GACX, we encourage everyone to further pursue the Kingdom value of collaboration, as we know it works. May we keep praying, listening, learning, and working together to see the bride of Christ, His church, grow and multiply.

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