Networking is the intersection between work and friendship.
For the purpose of this blog I am defining networking as “Building friendships with like-minded people where you can help each other fulfill your goals.”
Here’s a personal story of how networking works when God is involved.
In 1978 I was attending Bible School in Tulsa, OK. One of my teachers was a man named Willie George.
Willie George taught a class on “Ministering to Children” that totally changed the direction my life. One day, after class I asked Pastor Willie if I could get involved in his children’s ministry. I got involved teaching in a preschool class. This was the start of my ministry to children.
After graduating from Bible School I returned to Michigan where I served faithfully as a children’s pastor for four years. I loved what I was doing, but I was not making enough money to live on.
One day I called Pastor Willie to seek some counsel and he told me about a new church in Tulsa that was looking to hire a children’s pastor. I met with the senior pastor, Dr. Ken Stewart and he hired me to be his Children’s Pastor. I was doing what I loved to do and I was making four times what I was making at the church in Michigan.
Then, in 1986 I took a new position as Children’s Pastor at Living Word in Minneapolis. (Pastor Willie helped me get that job too.)
One day I received a package in the mail from this guy named Jim Wideman. (Jim was Children’s Pastor at Evangel Assembly in Montgomery at this time.) I opened up the box and there were a slew of Brother Jim’s Puppet Trax tapes. I gave Jim a call to thank him for the free tapes. I got some free tapes for children’s church and I made a new friend.
Four years later (1990) Willie gave me a call. He was starting a Bible School for Children’s Ministry and he was looking for somebody to head up the school. I gave Pastor Willie Jim’s name and phone number. Jim was originally hired to start the Bible School, but eventually Brother Jim became Children’s Pastor at Church on the Move.
Let’s think about what happened here:
- I helped Willie George by serving in his pre-school class as a volunteer
- I learned and developed by watching Willie teach kids
- Pastor Willie was instrumental in me getting two children’s pastors jobs
- Jim Wideman reached out to me and I got a good friend for life
- Through our friendship, I introduced Jim to Pastor Willie
- Bother Jim helped Pastor Willie grow the church from 1,000 people to 17,000 people.
Here’s my point: God works through relationships. Sometimes meeting new people can be a little scary, but the benefits are out of this world!
Some of the Benefits of Networking:
Make Friends with Like-Minded People
Learn New Ideas
Feels Good When You Help Other People
Helps You Think Outside Of Your Box
Helps You Advance Your career and the careers of others
Make a list of people you want to meet.
Text somebody and invite them to lunch.
Decide which conference you want to attend.
Start networking today!
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.