One of the things that leaders often overlook is the power of networking and getting into affinity groups, which allow you to listen to others as well as share ideas and get support. As leaders, we sometimes believe that part of our job to “carry the mantle” alone, forgetting that there is safety – and often wisdom – in numbers.
If you’re in charge of the church’s finances, for example, there will be times when you’ll have questions, or merely want to benchmark and hear what other churches are doing about similar challenges that you may be facing within your church.
What if you’re a pastor? There’s something cathartic about talking with other leaders and hearing from them on what they’ve done (and are doing) within their own ministry – not to mention getting ideas and suggestions on things that you could try within your church.
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Let me share a recent example with you about the power of your network.
Recently, I learned about a plant church that was meeting in a local High School each week. The church was looking forward to celebrating its first upcoming Easter service in April; but was informed by the High School, some weeks before, that that school would be closed for repairs during that Easter weekend.
The pastor of this church immediately began thinking about alternatives to where the church would be able to have service. As it happens, this pastor was also a part of a local fellowship of pastors who meet regularly to pray, benchmark with each other, and offer support for other “men of the cloth.”
When the group asked if there were any particular prayer request, this pastor casually requested the group to pray for his church as they were informed that they’d have to find an alternate location for Easter. After the meeting, the Lord impressed upon a fellow pastor, whose church was located less than 2 miles away from the High School, to offer their church as an alternative worship venue for the plant church.
In fact, God moved on the fellow pastor to bless and pour into the plant church supernaturally, by insisting that everything on that Easter Sunday would be branded with the plant church’s logo and organized like it was their own service. This way visitors would “see” the plant church and hear the Easter sermon by the plant church’s pastor. The fellow pastor offered the church’s staff, their musicians, and their equipment to the plant church, and told them that even the offering collected on that Sunday would go to the plant church!
God used a fellow pastor, and the pastoral fellowship group, to create a significant blessing for this young plant church. This is an excellent example of enlarging your circle and getting out of your comfort zone to meet and connect with others that may not look like you, or even have the same doctrinal beliefs as you. But the fact of the matter is that you can learn so much by interacting with people who may know more than you or may be further along than you are right now.
That’s why we encourage pastors, their leaders, AND their teams to join Churbiz Helpdesk and Churbiz Academy. These are two communities created especially to help church teams learn more, get stronger through education, ask questions, and share ideas with other church leaders who have similar roles within their church. It’s a community that we’re proud of, and one that we’re confident will help you and your leaders grow into stronger leaders.