LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

The Value of Networking

A few times in my life I've had the chance to gather with a group of leaders for the sole purpose of sharing ideas, brainstorming, considering the future and talking about trends.

Today was one of those days. Mark Beeson and I sat with 18 other leaders, made up of authors, pastors, business owners, entrepreneurs and consultants. Some of my observations, mostly about myself...

  • I think better when I can take notes. The facilitator asked us to put our laptops and paper away for the first three or four hours, and it nearly disabled me. I was probably the slow guy in the room, but I wasn't able to process the information and wasn't able to gain much. The last part of the day worked for me.
  • I'm a practitioner. I don't do theory very well for very long. At some point, it's got to get to: What the heck does this mean in the real world?
  • I'm a listener first. A writer second. A talker third. Not saying that is the right order--but it is who I am.
  • The older I get, the more I appreciate, value and seek opportunities to network. Today gave me a chance to rub shoulders with people I didn't know.
  • Meeting people wears me out. That's not their fault. It's just my personality. Being an introvert, mixing with people I don't know requires energy and focus that isn't natural.
  • Mark Beeson is exactly the opposite. Meeting people energizes him and brightens his day. We are a good balance whn we travel together.
  • I learned again today the reasons I like Dave Ferguson, Dave Travis and Ed Bahler. I met Will Mancini, Troy Jackson and Matt Evans--all cool guys. Hoping to connect with them more tomorrow.
  • I value dissent as long as I trust the individual. Today I heard some very different ideas about how to "do" church from Frank Viola. But the guy loves Jesus and he's likeable! I gained a respect and trust for Frank and love his heart for the Church. We agree on the basics, so having the discussion was healthy and helpful.

I'm grateful to the Cornerstone Knowledge Network for putting this event together, and I'm looking forward to our final few hours together Thursday morning.