The Complications of Collaborations

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

Here’s a statement you don’t hear every day, especially from kids: “I love going to school.” And it was completely true in my case. I remember leaving the last day of elementary school, crying because I thought I’d never get to go back. When my mom explained that I’d come back after the summer, all was right in the world again.

Now, after a doctorate degree, I enjoy going to school to get paid, rather than paying to go to school. Still, I truly enjoy learning from other people, hearing a perspective different than mine, and being challenged in static thinking.

I recently finished teaching a master’s level class about nonprofit leadership at a university. What struck me this time around is how one student’s primary lesson during the semester was about nonprofit collaboration. This student said, “While in the for-profit world, it is very much ‘dog eat dog’ and ‘every man for himself,’ a good nonprofit organization can’t survive without collaborating. And, you have to think about collaborating with those who serve the same clients.” We talked about how this leads to a careful balance of maintaining a distinct service to not fight over clients, while at the same time being Holy Spirit-led in those clients who may abuse the services. All this happens while collaborating with others, and other organizations.

Hebrews 13:5-6 has so many lessons for a nonprofit leader, and one of those is the importance of collaboration. If we are living our lives with a spirit of contentment, of knowing God will provide the people who can benefit from what we must give, then collaboration isn’t an elbowing of hoarding clients or elbowing out clients that take advantage of the organization’s offerings. Collaboration with like-minded organizations means we get to prove the abundance of God. After all, “‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6b)

If we trust God with our nonprofits, operating as stewards rather than owners, we have a better shot at being confident in collaborating well and not fearing losing clients or “giving” clients we don’t like to some other organization. Collaborating becomes a God-honoring form of contentment.

Share your thoughts on collaboration on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

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Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

2 comments

  1. Team building is what comes to mind. After all we should be on the same “team” and work together. Something in there about this being One Body…

    Liked by 2 people

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