Collaboration is not a new concept at all. Corporations do it, musicians do it, individuals do it, and churches do it. Or do they?
I have been in full time ministry for approximately 12 years. In those 12 years, I have been involved in a whopping 2 collaborative efforts. The first was a 3 church collaboration for a 4th of July celebration and the other was a 2 church collaboration to present a special evening of hymns and stories.
I do not know why that number is so low in that number of years. Maybe it was the region I was in. Maybe it was the personality of the area worship pastors. Maybe it was me. Whatever the reason, churches by and large in that region seemed very content to stay on their own little island and do their own things. Effective ministry happened, but I can’t help but wonder what might have been if churches had come together for some ministry efforts.
This also left me feeling like I was on a deserted island sometimes, especially after the couple of guys that I had befriended got out of ministry. There are things that you simply can’t understand if you haven’t found yourself in the fires of ministry.
With our recent move to Virginia Beach I find myself with renewed optimism about the possibility of collaborating with other churches. My second week here, there was a night of worship event that brought teams from 5 different churches together to lead worship. Shortly after that I learned of the existence of the Hampton Roads Worship Leader Collective. This is a group of worship leaders/pastors from across denominational lines who get together to share ideas, talk about ministry, and simply hang out with others that understand the challenges of worship ministry.
I am excited about the opportunity to develop friendships with the folks in this group. I am excited to get involved in collaborative efforts to advance God’s kingdom through worship and creative arts. I am excited to be a part of a group of worshippers who care more about helping others to engage in worship than they do about poaching musicians from other local churches.
Special thanks to Josh Branch for letting me know about this group and another thanks to Cliff Lambert for his leadership of this group.