Eric ~ I worked for Boston Scientific Corporation in a corporate position of knowledge management and innovation strategy. Our company had 40 different groups doing very similar work, and we recognized that there were advantages to encouraging relationships and developing systems for collaborative work. We developed a system of relational networks, online forums, and summit meetings to encourage these interactions. Each year there were a growing number of stories where collaboration worked. This work prepared me for many of the practical, cultural, and relational aspects of helping to facilitate collaboration.
Phil ~ Marketplace ministries are exploding. Worklife ministry is getting more and more attention. Why is this happening and what are the implications to citywide movements, especially those led by pastors?
A number of citywide movements already involve key marketplace leaders in their leadership, however I believe more citywide movements should consider adopting this practice. It may also be helpful to encourage involvement from leaders in multiple domains of society -- Business, Healthcare, Social Service, Education, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Family, Government, Media, and Religion. The key implication is more influence in the local community - more points of light coming together for a larger impact for the Glory of God.
There are some very strong relationships between pastors and marketplace leaders, however there are also many uncomfortable relationships between pastors and marketplace leaders. I recommend Kent Humphrey's book "Shepherding Horses" on this subject. It makes for a great shared reading between pastor and marketplace leaders in their congregation. This book helps each feel comfortable with many of their respective feelings, as well as help get past some of the roadblocks.
In Charlotte [an LC2City], a group of local and national marketplace ministries have come together (in cooperation with the Charlotte Awake cityreaching network) to pilot a Marketplace Ministry Network. The objective of this network is to provide an environment for local leaders to work together toward personal and community transformation by:
2. Increasing awareness of and participation in worklife ministries in Charlotte
3. Increasing awareness of and participation in the Charlotte Awake cityreaching network for collaboration in Christ
Eric ~ These ministry networks can really be leveraged by a cityreaching movement. A list of these networks is given on the Mission America Coalition website. These networks help facilitate connection and collaboration in specific affinity or strategic areas. These are great networks to encourage local leaders to connect to for building local affinity groups or finding resources. Examples of these networks include the National Network of Youth Ministries, National Prayer Committee, Association of Marriage & Family Ministries, Ethnic America Network, Christian Legal Society, Prison Ministry Network, National Coalition of Men's Ministries, etc. Many of these national networks are already connected to people in their geographical areas and would be very interested in helping to encourage local connections. These networks are great places for individuals to connect with others in areas of passion that the Lord has laid on their heart. Benefits include more resources, more relationships, and more mobilization! (Please feel free to contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.) ===>Click headline above for more detailed information . . .
Phil ~ I remember one of our phone conversations as you were just beginning to bring pastors together for prayer ...
Eric ~ I began by asking a simple question: Are pastors, ministry leaders, and marketplace leaders getting together in our community to pray and explore collaboration opportunities? There was one group getting together in the NW area of our city (about 45 minutes away from my home in the Fort Lauderdale metro area). I began meeting with this group, and after a while, I was moved to encourage a small group of leaders to get together for this purpose locally in the SW area of our county. We later discovered another group of leaders praying in the SE area of our county (about 30 minutes away from us). These regional groups are great for prayer, building trust, and exploring collaboration opportunities, as led by the Holy Spirit. Our group is still a small group, seeking the Lord together, acknowledging our individually distinct missions, and united in the love of Jesus for our community. As I talk to leaders in other cities, many of them recognize prayer among pastors and other leaders as one of the primary origins of citywide movements.
Phil ~ Our LC2C Team has had many discussions on how to measure city transformation. One of our action steps was to establish a task force that resulted in the City Faith Survey.
- The purpose: Why does a city movement need a survey like this?
- The process: How is information gathered?
- The price: What is the commitment from the LC2C city and the cost?
Phil ~ As you see more and more city movements and networks in action, what are the strengths and the weaknesses of collaborative evangelism?
Phil ~ Eric, please write a prayer we can pray with you toward the advancing of God's kingdom in our cities . . .
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