Together: The Great Collaboration!

One of the cool things about working together at NewThing is that we are constantly trying to share what God has taught us! We’ve done that consistently for years, knowing that God is truly after our greatest good and that this happens when we are united together to bring the church to everyone in the world!

Dave Ferguson and Patrick O’Connell wrote an awesome resource book for why they believe collaboration is the hinge on which movements swing. The resource is called Together: The Great Collaboration and you can read an excerpt of this awesome book below!

From Chapter 5 “Together as a Team” 

“As I look over my shoulder, I can see three cascading commitments consistent in every great team I’ve been a part of.

1.    Great teams are more committed to God than they are to the cause. 

Truly great teams are composed of individuals who are living together with God. While the cause coalesces great teams, the cause cannot be the team’s first loyalty.  The first loyalty of every team member must be to Christ and to Him alone.  

When the primary commitment is to the cause rather than to God, it will result in fatigue,  burnout and priorities not aligned with God’s will. When the first commitment is to each other rather than to God, it will result in a lack of boundaries. But when each team member makes apprenticeship with Jesus their first commitment, they make wiser choices, live healthier lives and become leaders whose lives are worth reproducing throughout the church or organization. The best of teams are made of leaders who, like Paul, are able to say with integrity, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (I Corinthians 1:11) 

2.    Great teams are more committed to the cause than they are to each other.  

Another characteristic of great teams is that they are committed to the cause more than they are each other. It might sound disloyal to put the cause before the team, but the truth is that it’s the cause that brings a team together and keeps a team together. When we put other things before the cause, we compromise God’s dream for what His Church can be and do. I’m absolutely convinced that uncompromising loyalty to a clear cause is part of what creates a team great. Another way to put it: There is never a great team when the cause is not clear!

…The Acts 2 church was also brought together by a clear cause—the cause of Christ brought about koinonia or community. That first great leadership team of apostles had a clear cause. And it was a cause they were willing to risk for, even die for.

The best teams are always crystal clear about the cause. Turn that statement around. There is no great team that is not clear about the cause….

3.    Great teams are more committed to each other than they are to themselves.  

Great teams are committed to God first, the cause second and third, to each other—all before themselves. This means that every individual team member comes with a clear understanding of who they are because of their commitment to Christ; a clear cause because they are committed to the Jesus mission; and finally a willingness to sacrifice for each other rather than pursue their own self-interest.  

When a team has this commitment to each other, it fosters trust and a willingness to have hard conversations. In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, best-selling author Patrick Lencioni says, “Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal.”3  Great teams can look each other in the eye, tell the truth and make tough calls because they know beyond a shadow of a doubt the commitment of each team member is to God, the cause and to each other.


When a team has this commitment to each other, they become hero makers to one another. They put the interest and success of the team and the other first. Each does everything in their power to see their teammates become the hero in the unfolding story and not focused on making themselves the hero. Each team member looks at the other with the belief that “my fruit grows on other people’s trees”—one of the favorite things my friend and Halftime author Bob Buford always said.’“

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