One of the things that is absolutely essential to success in any business, ministry, hobby, anything of importance to you, is networking. Someone, somewhere, just scoffed when they read that, but it’s true.
Isn’t every Sunday at church a networking of believers to celebrate what Jesus has done in their lives? Isn’t every small group a network of people living out their faith together, sharing stories of what works, what struggles there have been? Visit a playground sometime and you will see it happen before your eyes – moms sharing stories of discipline, bath time tricks, and where in town has the best deals on kids’ shoes. So, now that we understand a bit more about how networking is already a part of our every day life, let’s just accept it.
This week, I’m at a conference
in Orlando, Florida (well, let’s just be honest about it) at Walt Disney World. This is a gathering called CPC (Children’s Pastors’ Conference) and it’s hosted by INCM (the International Network of Children’s Ministry). It is not entirely random that I’m here, but at the same time, it wasn’t originally on my 2012 agenda until November. But after being here and speaking with INCM’s director, Michael Chanley, I’m even more excited about the week ahead.
There are some great speakers lined up, but I think I’m more excited about the speakers who aren’t lined up. I’m more intrigued about the conversations that are going to take place around tables, conversations that will happen out of the collision of interests, and discussions that arise out of the calling God has placed on people’s lives. It’s very apparent in the rooted philosophy of this organization that no one person or group, or curriculum holds the key to making “it” work. God has gifted every person and equipped each for his/her calling and as such everyone has something to contribute to another person and to learn from another person.
Shouldn’t we be excited about that when we go to small group? When we teach students and kids about what it means to follow Jesus? When we sit in a room with families and talk about the discipleship of kids? We always have something to learn from and give to another believer. As we say a lot, “Growth happens best in the context of community.”
I’m excited about what I’ll be taking home at the end of this week’s CPC.
…and I don’t just mean the Vinylmations…