Some Thoughts on Collaboration

When I hear the word “collaboration” I tend to break out in a rash. Collaboration conjures up horrible group project assignments from high school and college where I ended up doing all the work and getting half the grade I could have received working solo.

I hear pretentious educators dropping buzz words into conversations in the lunch room as a way to rip on each other.

I see bloggers who talk about the joys of collaboration in almost every post but don’t give you the time of days when you offer your services.

I get shivers thinking about conferences I’ve been to with big white boards and breakout sessions where people from different ministries get to share “ideas”.

My ideal work situation (for writing, planning, etc) would be to have an office, in a cabin, in a wooded area, with large windows overlooking a body of water, with many, many books, and no other people around. Introvert dream!

Despite that fundamental aversion, it turns out that I spend a good amount of time collaborating. Everything from planning semester activities with Sojourn to writing sermons with REUNION is done in a team context.

And it’s good.

I was reflecting on this other day when I considered how funny it is, given my natural tendencies, that I spend so much time working with people on projects.

This is probably why I blog. It’s like an outlet for solo endeavors.

What I want to say is this: when you trust people and love the people you work with, collaborating is great, and it’s fun, and it’s productive.

But without those two ingredients it’s a sort of Steve-kryptonite .

So, find people you love to work with and get some stuff done!


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