The Advantage of Collaboration

By Devin Swank, Partnership Coordinator

The more people you meet, the more people you know. As simple as it may sound these words served as a great reminder for me this month. Knowing people is key to landing your first job or simply just knowing more information. As of recently, whenever I meet someone new it is either because of something I am doing for work or somebody who I just met at church (it is pretty awesome to see how often the two coincide). Whether it is just a short introduction or a long meeting of two people’s stories I am pleased to gain so much new knowledge about that person I didn’t know before.

Recently I met a guy who works on the east side of Oklahoma City where poverty and depression is heavily present. This guy, who grew up there and is native to the area, is the youth pastor of a local church and overseer of a new youth community center that has potential for growth in the upcoming months. As he shared his many stories and dreams about the community center I repeatedly thought, how cool is it that this guy wants to love and serve his own community that he grew up in, despite the negative environment affecting it. Then I began to realize the significance of it all.

Often times when I meet people I selfishly want to see how they can help me or how they can contribute to my plan. Even if my plan is good and unselfish, I forget there are other plans out there that are just as good, if not better, than mine. Hearing the different stories of people doing similar work all across the city make me realize that my task God has set out in front of me is not the only one going on. Others have great visions and plans for renewal in this city and through collaboration couldn’t we get more done? As Next Step is a great avenue for me to meet more people, I want to continually be open to the ideas of others and the work they have already started here in this community. I don’t believe that God would want everyone to work individually on specific tasks when greater good could be achieved with a little collaboration and partnership. It’s what makes us the capital “C” church, and overall it is what grows our community. Thats why I think it is vital we know people and are continually open to meeting new ones.

The humility I learned gets me off of team Devin and back on to team Jesus where hopefully, I can be a better tool used to bring Jesus to a community that needs Him more and more everyday.

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