Collaborate: to work, one with another; cooperate. (dictionary.com)
1. God collaborates with leaders:
God has decided to reveal His plans to people. He usually selects a leader and fills his head with lots of ideas. But rarely do his plans involve only one person. God designed us to collaborate with others while we fulfill His plans.
About His plans, God says to us “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV)
We are supposed to communicate God’s plans with others. Then, other leaders can take up the vision and run with it (share it, help make it happen, pour it into the lives of followers).
2. Leaders collaborate with other leaders:
When Moses was about to burn out from doing all the work himself, his father-in-law Jethro gives some great advice:
“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself....
But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions.” (Exodus 18:17-24)
I would suggest that we share the workload with others who can lead.
3. Other leaders collaborate with followers:
My favorite Bible story about collaboration is found in Nehemiah. Nehemiah got the bright idea to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Apparently, collaboration was the way to go:
“They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:18)
The insurmountable job was completed in 54 days!
4. Collaborative leadership results in a fulfilled vision!:
The only way you will accomplish all that God has put in your heart is to work in cooperation with other people. The vision you carry is too big and too important for you to try to do it alone. The only other option is failure, which means the death of your vision.
Don’t let that happen – collaborate!
Rick Whitter serves as the State Administrative Bishop for the Church of God in Minnesota. He is also the Director of International Orphan Support (iorphan.cc).