On Sunday, I was resting in a chair in the back alley, standing guard over a load or two of the church’s belongings while several peeps were unloading cars and trucks at our new storage unit. While I was waiting, a text came in with a picture of our folding chairs stacked neatly in the back of the unit. Yvonne Rosebaugh sent these words with the photo. “See how smart ur hubby is.”

The words struck me.

In all of our previous house moves, I was the organizer, mostly out of necessity because of Eugene’s work schedule. I was also the primary planner of the church move, but because I couldn’t lift as much and I was already well worn from painting, days before, I stayed behind to stand guard. In my absence, Eugene’s skills stood out. I had no idea he had that talent, probably because I (unknowingly) squelched it. That’s what happens when we give people an opportunity to thrive. It’s also what happens when we work with a collaborative mindset.

A bit later, I was able to join the team when we took over the last loads. At 10- by 10-feet, the space only allowed two people to work effectively at one time. That left four of us standing in the corridor, coaching as we tried to pack goodies from a 3,300-square foot space into just 100. I was impressed by what I witnessed. Everyone in the group ponied-up ideas, each one offering creative suggestions on how to juggle everything just so. “What about putting it there?” “How about we turn it 90 degrees?” “Do you think we can stack it?”

When it was all done, we even ended up with a bit of open space to allow us to rescue goodies as the future dictates.

Those of us who went through the Apostolos course learned a lot about collaboration. It’s one thing to read about it in a book. It’s another to see it in action. The Bible talks quite a bit about collaboration. We saw it in Acts when the early church ministered to one another and fellowshipped during their gatherings (Act 2). We saw it when the leaders commissioned deacons to serve the needy (Acts 6). We saw a similar commissioning when Moses called able men to help him judge disputes among the people (Exodus 18). We saw it as new believers spread out in missionary journeys (Acts 13)
We also saw it when Jesus was preparing His followers for his death. In John 16:4-11, He tells the disciples He must leave. But he’s not abandoning them. Instead, He’s tapping into the spirit of collaboration by sending the Holy Spirit. They will never be alone as long as they depend on the Spirit. Verse 7 includes a most spectacular statement:

I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.

Do you hear that? It’s BETTER that Jesus leaves. Mull that. Collaboration, when done under the authority of the Holy Spirit, is better. As we move forward, I’m excited to see how the power of the Trinity collaborative will move in our midst-if we allow it. The snippet I saw on Sunday is a good reminder of what can happen when a Church in a Box thinks outside the box.

Moving with you,

Pastor Lori