It’s not your fault: Move forward through collaboration

Things aren’t what they used to be.   The church knows that, quite well.  Where I live (and odds are, where you live, too), the role of church in society has changed over the last generation.   In large, its’ influence in society has decreased, at least if judged by declining church membership and attendance.

First Met Church

That’s obviously a  challenge for the church; and the people served by the church.

When your organization’s world has changed

A recent,  January 2014, United Church of Canada’s ‘Observer magazine article titled “It’s not your fault” got my attention.  Written by Rev. David Ewart, a United Church Minister in Vancouver, the article gives a church ‘reality check’. This passage, in particular, held my attention:

“Volunteer membership organizations of all types are declining.

Attendance decline is not a problem that can be fixed, it is simply a reality to which we must respond, congregations must plan to be fewer, smaller and without buildings or payrolls.  The challenge is too big for individual congregations to meet on their own; we will need to close, merge and work together in new ways,

The good news is that the United Church was founded by this who left the beloved familiar behind and embraced the desire unknown.  Where that heart still beats, our hope for the future can be found.”

The way forward is through collaboration

I feel Rev. Ewart’s message is astute and positive…   Let go of the past.  Accept where you are now.  Say hello to whatever is in front of you.  And, collaborate, work with others, to move forward, and create something new.

For sure, this is not just advice that applies to the church.   Especially in the non-profit sector, diminishing resources are causing many a non-profit to rethink their relationships with each other.   Increasingly, the non-profit’s reality check is that they are going to need to work together and co-create new ways of doing business.   Collaboration, or at least cooperation, trumps competition.

I’m currently assisting a funding agency, in their efforts to help non-profits work together, better.  It’s all about “the future value of increased collaboration“.  For many organizations, there is no alternative.

If increased collaboration is your organization’s way forward, what promise does collaboration hold for you and yours?

Photo credit: uncle_buddha (flickr)


  1. Ben, I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. To check it out and accept please go to
    Anastasia Pryanikova

  2. That’s generous of you, Anastasia. Thank you. And, I like the company you’ve included me with, too!

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