Collaboration and God’s Grace
Mission. Goals. Capacity. As faith-based health organizations working alongside the local church, it is important to identify alignment in these three areas based on a clear definition of the situation and or problem. This alignment promotes a healthy collaboration between organizations with different missions, goals, and capacities that move toward a common purpose. The fact that these are different yet united is what makes collaboration so powerful. Ensuring you have alignment in the mission, goals, and capacities is one of the strengths of CHE and its usefulness in the community. The capacities and problems are informed and defined by those living in the community and aligned with the organization or church supporting the community. As relationships are built, clear expectations can be established that help make sense of the ever-changing environment.
Five questions to evaluate a collaborative effort between communities, local churches, and organizations in a changing environment are:
- Are you leveraging at least 5 different types of data or information to understand the economic, political, social, spiritual, and physical environments?
- Are you interacting with others outside of your existing network and discipline?
- Do you know where your responsibility begins and ends?
- Do you and your collaborators feel the same level of control in your partnership?
- What are you expecting to learn through the collaboration?
These strategies can help strengthen collaboration but one thing drives all of the relationships
we have, the grace of Jesus. Taking time to articulate what grace looks like in your life
is extremely powerful to understand the spiritual journey you are on and how you might be modeling
Jesus’ grace to those you are working with. Many of us believe in Jesus’ unconditional
grace in our lives but we are less clear on what that looks like in our lives as we help others
engage with Jesus and his grace in their lives and experiences. True collaboration is about
a process of friendship engaging people with Jesus’ grace to share a joy that transcends all of our struggles.
Facilitator of CHE’s Public Health as Mission initiative