Monday, August 1, 2011

The Cost of Networking

I love my office. I love sitting in my office pumping out that next well-crafted sermon. I love sitting at my computer fleshing out that new strategy that is going to revolutionise my ministry. I love pausing in my office as I think through an idea that could really change things. 

I just love my office.

Despite this love affair, it sometimes does me more harm than good. The more I love my office, the less I want to be involved with others in my ministry area. I often view networking with other leaders as the annoying interruption in my comfortable, self-absorbed day. It is only now that I realise why this networking business often makes me feel uncomfortable. It costs me.

Networking costs me time. If I meet another leader for coffee, that’s at least an hour out of my day where I could be finishing off a new roster. If I meet with local youth pastors for breakfast, that’s 90 minutes that I could be spending preparing next week’s service.

Secondly, networking costs me control. Whenever I’m involved in organising an event with other youth ministries, I don’t get to make the final decision on everything. I’m only given one responsibility and kept out of making other decisions, which makes me feel less important.

Finally, networking costs me my personal beliefs. When I work with other leaders, I often need to sacrifice my perspective on various matters. I may have to give an offering talk even though my denomination doesn’t usually do that. I may have to allow worship to be done with epic lights, booming speakers and slick-dressed people on stage.

But if I step back and look from a Kingdom perspective, is 90 minutes with a local leader and a ‘Big Breakfast’ really a sacrifice of time? Who cares if I’m only in charge of wristbands at a combined event? And come on, does it really matter if there’s an offering talk or not? I mean as long as the gospel is being preached, right? As long as discipleship is still the priority. So please, stop reading this in your office and call a leader in your area for a catch-up. Organise a breakfast for your team.

Go! Get out now, before you’re tempted to marry your office chair!

Luke Williams
Youth Pastor 
Wollongong Church of Christ