I love networking!! No, I’m not talking about hooking a bunch of computers together (although I used to do that too). I’m talking about sharing information and helping each other to accomplish a shared task. Things like telling people about Jesus and how we do church and what’s working and what isn’t, how to do things better, sharing creative ideas, sharing creative media (like Lifechurch.tv does), etc.
I’m really excited about what God is doing here in Sherman, Texas. I don’t know how many churches in town are working together but I know that we’re working with several. Joshua’s Crossing, Fairview, and Legacy are three we’ve done some things with most recently. They are each doing unique things but we’re sharing resources, ideas, praying together, telling other people about each other’s churches, etc. I love networking with pastors from other churches here. This is one of the many valuable lessons I’ve learned from my pastor (and boss!) Dennis. Competition against other churches sucks (there, I said it). We can go faster, farther, if we work together. Just like a team of rowers on a boat, they are all trying to get to the same place, so sync up and work together! For this easter, one pastor of a church here that we hang with alot made an invitation card inviting people to go somewhere for Easter… and put all three different churches’ maps on the back. That’s cool!
I also really enjoy reading blogs and networking with other churches from around the country. I’m going to a roundtable down in Fort Worth at the end of April to meet with a bunch of other small group pastors. I chat often with a new pastor friend from Chicago area about how we do church and what interesting things we’re doing (he’s a REALLY REALLY weird guy so check his blog out here!!). I talk to pastor friends from other churches on a regular basis and read blogs of several guys (mark, craig, tim, tony, others) in the grind week in, week out. I just love that!
I love the fact that people are doing a lot of networking in the church staff world. I love that people are sharing their resources. I saw on a post by Gary Lamb (church planter in Georgia) that at a roundtable they are hosting for church planters, they are giving away all of their stuff for free. In his words, “We’ll make EVERYTHING we have ever done available to you from our graphics, videos, policy manuals, assimilation junk, small group stuff, etc. If you want it, it is yours. Bring your stuff along as well and we’ll swap resources.” I LOVE that!!
Who are you networking with? Who do you get to know and swap resources with?