God has gifted us the Body of Christ.  We are not alone; He has granted us fellow brothers and sisters to serve alongside of and support.  Benefits of collaboration are easily seen within individual congregations.  Members with many different gifts and resources come together to support and serve in a variety of roles such as preschool workers, choir members, greeters, student leaders, and Bible study teachers.  This model of many members coming together to serve a whole, works well in a congregational setting and the impact is great.  Can you imagine the impact on a larger scale?  The Body of Christ is much larger than one individual church.  God is at work all throughout our neighborhoods and He has placed co-laborers and resources all across our cities.  The key to utilizing these resources is connecting and collaborating.  It is the larger Body of Christ coming together to impact entire communities.             

Collaboration can often start with a simple introduction.  On January 23rd, DBA launched a pilot group called Co-Lab.  Co-Lab is designed to be a city-specific place for young, DBA church leaders that centers around three objectives: discover, encourage, and collaborate. Through this group, young leaders can discover things about themselves, their fellow laborers, and their communities, find encouragement by learning from and walking with others, and collaborate by connecting with churches, resources, and the larger Body of Christ within their own cities.  Mesquite is hosting this initial Co-Lab group which will gather together every other month.  The first meeting was a beautiful time filled with food, fellowship, discussion, and prayer. Each participant was issued a challenge to connect with and visit at least one other DBA church within their city.  These young leaders are following through with their assignment.  Through this simple introduction, connections and collaborations are already beginning to take shape. Sam and Gloria Pendyala, from Inspiration Church, stated, “Co-Lab was a fantastic opportunity to meet with local pastors that are in adjacent trenches. It takes an event like this to encourage us to do what we ought to be doing organically and that is meeting with our fellow pastors who are reaching the same community.” Hopefully, these connections will grow to benefit not only these individual leaders and their churches, but their community as a whole.  We are so excited to have the opportunity to serve and invest in this exciting generation of leaders and look forward to taking Co-Lab to other areas around our county soon!  Be on the lookout as Co-Lab grows, and be sure to take those simple steps to connect with others in your community.  You never know how God will use a simple introduction.