The Lost Practice of Cooperation

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What’s Emerging in the Future of the Church?

I’m currently looking for a framework to help me think about how we can unify the work of the Church in a landscape filled with inescapable diversity - be it cultural, traditional, denominational, generational, or theological.

The Lost Practice of Cooperation

As Jim Richards said, “Cooperation is almost a lost practice… [But] there are no Lone Ranger Christians or churches. Whether you call it networking or teamwork, we are stronger together.”

Trees Linking

The future of the church must be an ecosystem rooted in working partnerships and amicable fellowships.

Yet it’s far too common and convenient for you and I to sit under the shade of our own church tree, sipping spiritual koolaid, unwilling to cross the heated divide separating our congregation from the congregation down the street from us.

The Lack of Cooperation Between Flesh and Spirit

In spirit we are so united, yet in the flesh we are so divided.

We allow the power of the Gospel to miraculously heal us, restore us, strengthen us, and fill us with joy, passion, mission, purpose, and eternal hope. Yet we do not allow the Gospel to bind us together as One Church under God. Why is this?

I think it may just be a lack of awareness. We have to first understand that there are naturally different levels of integration and cooperation, as well as structural and behavioral norms to navigate.

Yet though I believe it is imperative for the Church to cooperate, that doesn’t mean it can be, will be, or should be easy.

On the flip-side, just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it couldn’t, wouldn’t, or shouldn’t happen.

Just because it isn’t here now doesn’t mean it hasn’t been here before. Cooperation is simply a lost practice.

Use it or lose it, the old adage goes.

Working Together

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