"Power of Connecting" = Power to impact the world for Christ
"The Kingdom Collaboration Resource Site"
The single most exciting development in the mission world, at least in my view, is the emergence of the networking and partnership movement. It's filled with the waters of hope, and if readers aren't aware of it yet, it's time to jump in. The water's great!
We all know that mission isn't done alone. But now we're discovering how to do it together.
Tired: Churches building one strong individual relationship with each mission agency whose type of mission they admire.We're discovering the power of connecting.
Wired: Churches building dynamic multi-lateral relationships with other churches and agencies to engage in mission as a networked team.
I've seen scores of churches come alive in their missional purpose as they move into these new ways for God's people to work together. What churches need now are tools, information, relationships and coaching to develop durable networks and partnerships to reach out with love and Christian witness to their neighborhoods and on around the world.
Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship has long been lifting up this effective mission development to our churches. PFF has a "networking for mission" intro page and offers coaching and seminars on how to launch and nurture global partnerships to reach unreached peoples.
And the General Assembly Council's Worldwide Ministries Division doesn't want to be left out of the picture, either. It has geared up to assist new mission networks and is making significant headway. The 2004 GAC Annual Report notes that
The WMD increased from four to nine the number of its mission networks — organizations linking U.S. congregations, presbyteries, and synods that share an interest in mission in a particular country or among a particular group. The existing networks focus on Congo, Cuba, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, global education, and the Kurdish people. Eight network start-ups are planned in 2004, for supporters of mission in Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nicaragua, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam. Learn more by calling (888) 728-7228, ext. 8185.With all of this momentum in evidence, I'm pleased to introduce a new resource for churches and individuals interested in taking a swim in this partnership pool: a new partnership resourcing Web site. It goes by the memorable name of www.powerofconnecting.com.
On it church leaders can find helpful tools, background papers, biblical underpinings, links and coaching. The site already has abundant papers, articles, and success stories detailing partnerships and networks. And more items are being added all the time.
The articles are compelling:
- 15 Key Principles For Success
- 15 Most Common Reasons NOT to Collaborate
- Initial listings of vital networks, and more.
Among other opportunities, visitors can sign on to join the new "Company of the Committed." The Company of the Committed is an informal international network of like-minded men and women actively working to help God's people collaborate more effectively in partnerships, networks, and strategic alliances. We believe the Biblical principles of trusting relationships and functional unity (John 17:21-23/Psalm 133) release God's power, bring credibility to our witness, strengthen our effectiveness, and bring hope and encouragement to His people.
We know that the world is a big, complex place. Though the number of those committed to helping God's people work together is growing, still it often feels like help, information, or encouragement is a long way away. This site is meant to help reduce the distance between you and those who share your vision. Check out the site's many useful and interesting features.
Power of Connecting is powered by visionSynergy.net which is led by Phill Butler, a Presbyterian layman with extensive experience in partnerships. I serve on visionSynergy's board.
Take the plunge. The water's great. If you do, you and your church will be showered with the blessings of discovering companions on the journey of touching the world for Jesus Christ.
-- Dave Hackett