One of my favorite things to be able to do is connect people who have similar passions with one another. When I am in a meeting with individuals or leaders at a non-profit the light bulb goes off, realizing they would be good to know this other person or organization and partner up. I rarely have the answers or best ideas but I am thankful to know people who do and when those who are in need of a resource or leadership connect with those who can meet the need the results can be unstoppable. This is a favorite of my job – hearing people’s stories and being able to link them with others who have similar passions. In a world where the pains run deep and resources run short it is the interweaving of people that can make a difference in the world. To partner with others allows for more creativity to be cultivated, more support to lessen burnout, and a louder voice to share vision.
For me, this is how I see the institutional church being able to make a transformative impact in their cities. When churches partner with one another, with other organizations, with other groups of people there is a greater ability to move beyond the walls of the institution and care for the city. Being willing to look to others who might do something better than you and partner with them – to support and learn from them – creates strength in a city. The strength comes from not being afraid of others having answers that you do not and realizing there is no threat in that knowledge but power. The power is in allowing others to function from their strengths and you to do the same. Invite others to join you in what you do well, growing the channels of networking and partnership. It also frees all involved to enter deeper relationships of reciprocity; learning that you both need one another and not just one person holding all the cards.
Think about those in your life or in your city who you might be able to partner with to strengthen a program already running, create something new, or share resources to learn from one another. Once you think of at least one person or institution that you could connect with go out there and make the initial move. This doesn’t have to be in an extravagant fashion but a simple gesture to begin a conversation. You may find out that you are not the one to partner with them but you have expanded your network and now have another resource to share with others in the future. Learn your city and those who are impacting it and allow others to know you. You may have the resource others need, be open to sharing it even more.
You may not enjoy the connecting piece like I do, and clearly that is normal and fine; I do hope all of us can get to a place in life where we are willing to make deeper connects with each other to care for the cities we live in. Learning we are better together than the one messiah trying to save the city. To all who have allowed me to learn from them and get to know this city I live in a bit more, thank you!