I like the word “networking.” To network means to be interconnected with others. I’m not talking about a formal network, rather your connection with other pastors and leaders in the Conference and in our community.
With COVID and all its restrictions, we need to network more now than ever. Here are some reasons you and I all need to reach out to others.
1. Networking works in building deeper friendships.
There are times you may feel that you don’t have anyone in your corner. In my ministry, it was with fellow pastors in my community that I found some of my best friendships. We had potlucks together. We played golf on our days off. Most of all we shared our struggles and encouraged one other. We prayed together regularly. To this day I am good friends with many of these pastors I met 30 years ago.
On the Conference level, reach out to other pastors and leaders. One way is through our weekly “Touchbase Tuesdays” at 8:30 am. We meet for 30 minutes to share and pray together. Email me for the link!
2. Networking works in getting a better perspective.
We are all in this COVID thing together. Whether it is the little weekly adjustments or something overwhelming, we all get discouraged and it’s easy to believe we’re alone. When we realize that we are not alone, it helps us bear up and not get bogged down by the things your church doesn’t have or hasn’t yet become. It allows you to be blessed by what you do have.
3. Networking works in needed accountability.
One of a pastor’s greatest needs in ministry is accountability (by the way, that’s a good reason for coaching). John Howe, a church consultant, says “When you’re isolated is when you’re most vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.”
To whom have you given permission to ask about your integrity in your finances or your personal life or your marriage and parenting? With whom do you share the hurts and challenges? What trusted ear hears the victories and triumphs?
Who are you sharing with and leaning into? It’s best if it’s someone outside the church. But the task is too great and the goal is too significant to risk doing this alone.
4. Networking works in receiving helpful resources.
We need help! “So, what is everyone else out there doing?” Good leaders are curious. They want to know what the other churches are doing during these tough times. Don’t be afraid to make connections with other churches outside of your usual network. Learn what they’re doing in their ministry to bring people to Christ and disciple them. There is so much to learn outside of our four walls.
BEFORE YOU GO…
We need one another! If you are feeling isolated, especially during this COVD time, reach out to another pastor. Go out for lunch or coffee (it may be take out again). Make a phone or zoom appointment. Listen and learn from one another.
In what other ways does networking work? Love to hear from you!