Tools & Training
Equipping Christian leaders for effective collaboration
visionSynergy is committed to equipping the leaders of the networks we serve – as well as the broader Christian community – through practical resources, focused training, and strategic consultations emphasizing the best practices of ministry collaboration. We want to help leaders get a firm grasp on the key principles and specific skill-sets for building collaborative initiatives that can have a significant impact on the world.
After nearly 30 years of developing strategic mission partnerships and networks, we know that simply getting people around the table together is not enough to power real collaboration.
The world is changing rapidly. Ministries that have no value or skills for partnering are destined to failure at worst, or isolated impact at best. It is essential that the ministry leadership paradigm for the next generation is firmly grounded in collaboration.
That’s why we have also developed a special initiative focused on Christian higher education, with the goal of seeing collaboration become an integral aspect of the educational programs for emerging Christian leaders.
We provide a range of useful tools to help leaders develop the vision and skills they need to build effective collaborative initiatives. Our resources are free and include books, courses, articles, guides, and other publications.
The Synergy Commons is the upcoming relaunch of the PowerOfConnecting resource site, which we hosted for the past seven years. The new Synergy Commons will be an online training & resource center where we will aggregate, organize, and link to all our published content and other media.
We provide free online access in multiple languages and multiple formats to the definitive partnership handbook – Well Connected (written by visionSynergy founder and mission partnership pioneer, Phill Butler). Thousands of ministry leaders around the world have purchased print copies or downloaded the free e-book.
We have developed a unique, university-level course on the topic of partnerships in mission. The course is available for free use in Christian seminaries, colleges, and Bible schools, and has already been used at the master’s and doctoral levels in more than a dozen programs in six different countries. The course is currently available in English, Spanish, and Russian, with more translations on the way.
Blog & Social Media Sites
As thought leaders in the area of partnerships in mission, we actively publish relevant content through our blog, YouTube channel, and other social media sites.
We offer a variety of face-to-face and online training events through interactive workshops, keynote presentations, webinars, and other facilitated discussions. Most of our face-to-face training events are highly customized and offered primarily to the networks and partnerships we serve as advisors. We do also provide periodic online learning opportunities open to everyone.
Face-to-Face: Workshops, Keynotes, and Presentations
We offer intensive, introductory workshops covering the entire process of partnership development. We also offer keynotes, lectures, and other presentations to inspire and inform Christian leaders on the power and potential of ministry collaboration.
Online: Webinars, Tele- conferences, and Forum Discussions
We offer periodic webinars and teleconferences addressing specific issues that commonly arise in the operation of ministry partnerships and networks. In addition, we facilitate interactive discussions in our online forums including book clubs, Q&A sessions, topical dialogues, and more.
This year, we will begin hosting an international, invitation-only consultation designed to give in-depth insight into the state of collaboration in global Christian mission.
This annual consultation will provide a connecting point for leaders from the networks and partnerships we serve, along with major Kingdom investors and others who provide resources and mobilization in missions. The consultation will be an opportunity for peer leaders to learn what works – and what doesn’t work – in the broader context of mission collaboration. Attendance at the Summit is by invitation only.
Christian higher education initiative
Reflecting our commitment to developing collaborative leaders for the next generation, one of visionSynergy’s major goals is to see collaboration become a key theme in the curriculum, teaching, and research of Christian higher education.
What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us, we will not hide them from the next generation; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done … so the next generation would know them… Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds.
Over the past several decades, we have seen a new model of ministry leadership emerge – a model uniquely suited to our increasingly interconnected world. The model of the “celebrity” leader has gone. The model of the “collaborative” leader has come.
Collaborative leaders see the world differently. They see networks and synergies, not organizations and limitations. Collaborative leadership is not just about effective teamwork. It is about working across boundaries – across ministries, agencies, and organizations – to accomplish goals, solve problems, and realize dreams beyond the capacity of any individual organization.
Collaboration among Christian ministries has had a dramatic impact in world mission. Collaborative leadership has even become a focal theme in secular management, education, and research. Nevertheless, very few Christian higher education programs currently offer courses addressing the specific skill-sets needed to form and facilitate collaborative ministry initiatives.
To address this gap in education, we have developed an innovative and interdisciplinary course which is available for free use by Christian seminaries, colleges, and Bible schools. This course is designed to provide a practical launching point for Christian higher education institutions interested in teaching, research, and applied learning for ministry collaboration.
Designed around a novel, story-centric learning model, the course is currently available in several languages (English, Spanish, Russian). It has already been taught at the master’s and doctoral levels in a dozen programs in six different countries – including such well-known institutions as Eastern University, Bakke Graduate University, and BIOLA. More than 20 other institutions are currently evaluating the course for adoption.
We are currently forming an education roundtable to connect academic faculty and administrators from Christian higher education institutions around the world who share a common interest in seeing ministry collaboration become a more important part of their curriculum, teaching, and research.
“Collaboration is the wave of the future but most pastors do not have it in their dictionary. I want to see how to encourage more pastors to enter into partnerships. I want to see how to build this into the DNA of the theological students.” – Senior Administrator, Singapore Bible College
Want to leverage the power of partnership?
We believe that God is always at work around the world, moving His people toward community and collaboration. That’s why we so often find that the dreams stirring in one person’s heart are the same dreams stirring in another person’s heart. If you want to learn more about how to leverage the power of partnership in your own ministry context, or how to get involved in the work of bringing others together to advance the Gospel, contact us!Contact Us