One of the forgotten truths outlined throughout Scripture is the value God and people placed on community. God has always had a heart for community, so much so that he is the Triune God. He dwells in perfect fellowship, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They exist in perfect harmony. This gives us a picture of His plan for humanity. God is glorified when His people are able to work together to accomplish His purpose and plan. Jesus had some strong things to say about this in John 13:35, “your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Our ability to look pass our differences and magnify our strengths can demonstrate to those outside the Kingdom that we are followers of Christ. We must pursue community and collaboration.
In 2010 UYWI witnessed first hand the power of God’s word as recorded in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” There were many highlights last year, but collaborative partnerships and how they lead to Kingdom impact had to be one of the greatest. It is amazing how God strategically aligns you with people and organizations that share your vision, purpose and passion for His Kingdom. Perhaps the greatest lesson we learned in 2010 is the power of collaboration. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish, if you do not care who gets the credit.” (Pres. Truman)
Collaborative partners like Flavor Fest (Crossover Church), Group Publishing, Humble Beast and many more were invaluable to our equipping urban leaders in 2011. We could not do what we do without Kingdom players such as these. Collaborations allows you to go harder, run longer and dig deeper. As a result of these partnerships, we were able to reach new demographics, cultures, cities, and increase our pool of resources.
The partnership with Flavor Fest afforded us the opportunity to service leaders like Danny and Michelle (Oak Grove Church of God, Tampa, FL) who are bridging the gap between church and community. Danny and Michelle had limited experience and preparation in ministering to the students that showed up in their ministry. Yet, as a result of Flavor Fest staying true to their vision of equipping those influenced by urban/hip-hop culture, they enlisted the expertise of UYWI and provided a platform for us to live out our vision of equipping urban youth leaders, which positioned us to connect with Danny and Michelle. Effective collaboration connects to people and places that you may not have the bandwidth to reach. The end result is that now leaders are stronger and better equipped to handle distress that arises in the lives of urban youth.