According to the Huffington Post, networking should be written into your job description. Have you ever thought about it that way?
It truly is a super power to ministry leaders! So, put on your cape and strike the confidence pose.
In all seriousness, who doesn’t want to truly be known and know others who are passionate about the same mission? Perhaps the idea of networking seems overwhelming to you, but never fear, a few practical tips and tricks are here!
Start in your neighborhood and then stretch out into your city. Visit other church websites, visit other church services, research what groups already exist in your area. Don’t be afraid to let other churches know what you’re planning, and take notes of what they are doing that is effective so you can be the first to offer support. One of my mentors once told me you gain those you serve. Why not be the first one to lean in?
Share from your experiences to advance the kingdom. The good, bad, and ugly are all beneficial for others to hear and learn from. Believe it or not, it is so encouraging to feel like you’re not the only one who has felt a certain way or made a mistake. These networks can become a safe place for you and others. We all need these spaces to keep it real. But be mindful to not overshare and highjack the gathering. If you feel like you need to go deeper, perhaps schedule a follow-up coffee chat with another leader. You kind of know who you’re vibing with after your first meeting.
Come prepared with questions and your top one to three things that you’re working on that excite you. Also, think of one to three things that are down the road or that you’re currently walking through that are a challenge. Be ready to listen to other people’s advice and take notes. Sometimes it is that one-liner that makes all the difference in how you navigate a situation. Follow up with others to hear how their event or meeting concluded. You can learn so much from how others finish something. Also, stay connected between meetings—social media can be your friend in this way. Post pics of your space, show your pre-prep photos, or your massive shopping trip photos! (I love my Costco and 99-cent store trips and the looks I get from other people.) Pray for one another, and don’t let too much time pass in between connections. I know you’re busy but, trust me, these types of relationships are gold! If you made a form, shirt or logo, script, etc., bring it with you. Share the love. What goes around comes around. Also make your needs known—you never know what others have lying around. One church’s junk is another church’s treasure!
Bonus Points: When you network with other Orange churches you are all working on the same thing at the same time such as themes, Life Apps, and events (with a few exceptions). You will be able to brainstorm ideas about the Orange Strategy. Perhaps your FX will fall on a Friday and someone in your group just did theirs on Sunday. Share resources and maybe even talent! Say what? Yes! Why not pull together to do one large incredible event with other churches and take turns hosting. Remember we are all ONE Church.
Maybe the time is now for you to make that call, send that email, or open up your church for a networking event! Maybe it will be only one leader and one church to start, but before you know it a small group will form. And when you come together to dream, pray, share, and learn, the results can be supernatural. Alone we can make a difference but together we can do more!
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