When I was in school, I HATED group projects. I never felt like my best work was showcased in this realm. It was my attitude that if I wanted something done right, I would just have to do it myself. My ego led me to believe that I was never placed in groups with people I could learn from…but that it was my job to carry the weight of the group. (SORRY to any of my school friends reading this)
As an adult, I still struggle with working as a team and doing group projects. It is so easy for me to work in “island land” and just put my nose to the ground and get it done on my own.
Needless to say, for me to be writing about the importance of collaboration is so outside of my natural tendencies, but I am learning how important it is to work with other people to get things done successfully. I’ve seen the amazing things that can happen when people come together for a common purpose and it has really become a passion of mine to encourage youth pastors to work together in reaching their communities.
I recently read a great book called “Rural Youth Ministry” by Brent Lacy and it is jam packed of practical advice for those who work with students in small communities. One theme seemed to be woven throughout the book: “working together”. Whether its among your church staff, the other youth workers in town, parents, schools, or even youth workers you meet online, its amazing the lengths that we can go when we work as a team. In talking to youth pastors in smaller communities over the years, I have heard and seen the challenges are dealt with. I’ve also seen many victories as churches come together in reaching their communities. This book is a great resource from someone who has been working in the trenches of rural student ministry.
One sentence hit me over the head like a ton of bricks as I was reading. “Satan strives to isolate us so he can make us feel weak. God desires to partner us together in His strength that is beyond ours.” Scripture also tells us that a cord of three strands cannot be broken. I believe more and more that this applies not just to our spiritual health, but to our professional lives as well. I want to encourage you to look for those opportunities around you to work with others and see the amazing impact that will come from that.
I also want to encourage you to grab your own copy of “Rural Youth Ministry”. Its a short read that you wont be able to put down and will mark all up (if you are like me), You can purchase a physical copy or downloaded copy here.