One of the things I enjoyed the most about living in the Bay Area in the late 90’s was the energy of the tech industry. There were start-ups springing up everywhere. You’d meet guys at Starbucks (or Peet’s!) who were writing their business plan on the back of a napkin.
When I ventured into that world in 1999, I found myself attending networking events in San Francisco with other young guys looking to strike a deal, get a job, or just enjoy the food. Lots of free food. The idea was simple: you walk up to someone, introduce yourself, and ask what they did. Within a few minutes you knew if you needed to talk more or bow out gracefully and move to the next person.
As a pastor, I was accustomed to meeting new people and loved every minute of it. Did I mention the free food?
One of the values I hold to as a pastor involves networking — something I call “kingdom networking.” Having grown up in a fellowship that kept to itself, we didn’t take advantage of what other denominations had to offer. As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered I have much to learn from other groups.
Within the past week I have met with the following people:
- A seminary student trying to find his way from a Presbyterian background to a non-denominational setting.
- A young Church of Christ minister who is considering making a ministry change.
- A retired professor who serves at a United Methodist Church.
- A church planting director for an interdenominational group here in Denver.
I encourage our staff at Mountainview to be kingdom networkers as well. It’s not difficult to seek out others who are involved in your ministry area and most of them will be glad you did.
Too often, ministry people get stuck in the loop that is their church. It’s easy to do. It’s where our office is and we go there everyday. We see the same people, talk about the same things. Kingdom networking allows you to broaden your perspective and even make a friend in the process.
Are you a kingdom networker?