Cooperative Competition


Sharon Norris Elliott was one of the special speakers at The Christian PEN convention in April. She presented a unique concept in the Christian publishing industry: cooperative competition. It was encouraging for the editors who attended “PENCON” and it will be for all others in the publishing industry as well.

Here are some of the highlights of her presentation. 

What is “cooperative competition”? It is an oxymoron! Why should we cooperate with our competition? Why should we help out other editors and writers in the publishing industry when they could be stealing our jobs?

Because we all work for the same boss—God.


Exodus 18:5-23 gives an example of cooperative competition between Jethro and Moses.  From those verses, we can draw four concepts of cooperative competition.

1. Mingle

  • Fellowship with others.
  • Go to conferences.
  • Share the good and the bad with others.
  • Bless God together.
  • Worship God together.
  • Rejoice over others’ success.

2. Maintenance

  • Know your gifts and stay in your lane.
  • Perfect your craft.
  • Be willing to share your knowledge and gifts with others.
  • Produce your fruit for somebody else.

3. Mentoring

  • Eliminate the loner mentality.
  • Learn and listen with the right attitude.
  • Never go about anything alone.
  • Be open to be mentored and to be a mentor.

4. Mentality

  • Eliminate the loner mentality.
  • Pass along what you’ve learned.



sharon Sharon Norris Elliott is founder and CEO of Life That Matters Ministries, director of Sandy Cove Christian Communicators’ Experience, Christian educator, conference speaker, composer, editor, and published author. Sharon ministers to women’s and teens’ groups, singles’ gatherings, corporate workshops, conferences, and special church services. Visit her website at