We live in a connected world. More so than ever before and it is growing rapidly. But churches, denominations, mission agencies and other ministries are still disconnected, siloed and living in their own small universe. Why?
Talk to any business leader and they will tell you about alliances with other businesses across international borders. Talk to non-profits and they will describe the interconnected nature of what they do. Why? Because they realize that they can do more through strategic alliances and connections than they can alone. It is a very connected world.
Then talk to most denominational officials, local church pastors and mission agencies and they look at you with puzzled eyes when you ask them about their strategic alliances with others - or cooperative efforts. And they (we) work for the Lord of the universe whose Kingdom needs no competition but huge cooperation. Once again, the church and missions are decades behind the rest of society and poorer because of it.
The day of ministry brand loyalty to the exclusion of other brands should be over. The day of ministry brand cooperation needs to start. It is a connected world and those connections can make all of us healthier and more fruitful.
As in business alliances, this does not mean one loses their identity and certainly one chooses with whom they want to be connected but they do so for a higher kingdom purpose and are willing to set aside the lesser things that divide us for the greater purpose that unites us - the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the expansion of His Church and Kingdom.
In the old world, connection was hard and often impossible. That was in the pre-globalized black and white world. In the new world the whole world is connected - with the exception of most ministries. Yet today it is not only easy but necessary. No church or denomination can reach a whole city. We need connection. No mission can reach a city, region or country. We need connection.
How connected is your ministry - beyond itself: With other ministries in common ministry pursuits? How connected is your mission with other missions in common mission pursuits?
The advances of connection in today's world are a great gift to the church if the church will take advantage of it. The petty differences that divide many of us should be set aside for the sake of the Gospel and the advance of His Kingdom. Our own egos and ambitions need to be set aside for the sake of Jesus's name and reputation and Gospel.
I have 2600 friends on Facebook from all over the world (the introverts strategy of being an extrovert). When will ministries connect that way in a connected world? It is worth thinking about and praying about.