Most of us learned a certain way of doing chores: we were told to get through with all the “compulsory things” and then we would be “rewarded “ with something fun or meaningful.
First the mundane, then the meaningful.
I think we’ve imported this approach into ministry. First, there are the emails, and the committee agendas, and the to-do list for next Sunday and the budget review. Once we get all that done, we can tackle larger ministry issues like collaborating with others to nurture a ministry larger than any of our individual efforts.
But let’s face it, we never get past the to do lists. They always repopulate faster than we can check items off. If we wait to “get to collaboration,” it will never happen. Collaboration is not like icing on the cake, it is the cake itself. Collaboration is both the content and the process of ministry in the 21st century. And most of us were not trained to recognize this, let alone act on it!
Macedonian Ministry was started a dozen years ago to support pastors and help strengthen congregations. As we begin the decade of the 20’s, we are rededicating ourselves to that support and that strengthening…and increasingly, we see that as helping all of us understand that collaboration goes on the top of the “to do list’ for ministry.
12 years into this ministry, we are involved with individual pastors and congregations, convening workshops and gathering leaders to explore ministry topics, as wide ranging as church buildings and finances to preaching in today’s cultural context. When it comes to our clergy cohorts – the core of our work as Macedonian Ministry – we are increasingly talking about that crucial project as The Ministry Collaborative. What is most important should go at the top of the list – all our lists. In 2020, for all of us in ministry, that is learning how to collaborate more deeply and broadly with one another to build up God’s work in the world. Collaboration is not the reward at the end of the work. It is the work we get to share together in service of Jesus Christ!