do you network?

posted Sep 23, 2014, 9:10 PM by Ginger Bowman   [ updated Sep 23, 2014, 9:10 PM ]
Network: v. to connect (computers) in a way that allows information and equipment to be shared.  Merriam-Webster 2014
Obviously we are not computers, but this is my favorite definition of the word "network."  It is exactly what we should be about as we work together.  Connecting so that we can share information and equipment for ministry.  So, what about you?  Do you network?  Or are you a lone ranger?  
In our busy world of packed schedules, sometimes it's easier not to network.  We just don't have time to fit it into the "to do" list with all of the urgent tasks that call for our attention.  This is particularly true if we have other roles to fill in our lives.  Our latest estimate from the BSM Annual Reports and the TX College Church Survey suggest that 87% of those serving in college ministry in our state are also responsible for at least one other area of ministry.  
With all that is on your plate, why network?  Networking with others can make your ministry easier.  As we work together we share best practices, ideas and resources, and we find commonality that strengthens us in the difficulties of ministry.  Instead of having to come up with ideas on our own, or find resources that might work in our context, we discover that someone else has something that we might be able to use.  Shared information and equipment.  Been discouraged lately?  Maybe you need to connect with a colleague in ministry.  Sometimes a fresh perspective can be the solution or at least change your outlook on a situation.  
Be intentional. Be intentional about networking with others. Networking relationships can bring a new freshness to your ministry.  Be intentional with whom you will network.  Seek out those that you know are "experts in the field," and those who serve in a similar ministry setting to yours.  Be intentional about when you will network.  If it doesn't come naturally for you, plan to attend conferences, events and meetings at regular intervals where you know you will have the opportunity to interact with others in your field of ministry.    

Looking for a network?  You're already in ours!  Close to 400 people subscribe to our mailing list.  Many of them are serving as college ministers, youth & college ministers, and volunteer college ministry leaders.  We would love to help you build a support network to enrich your college ministry.  Let us know how we can help!  Email ginger.bowman@texasbaptists.org.

And here are some upcoming opportunities for networking!  
TX Baptist Youth Ministry Conclave will be in Arlington, Oct. 13-15, 2014, AND we're excited about this year's new Youth & College Ministry Track.  If you're doing both Youth and College Ministry in your church, this event is for you!  Join us on Tuesday of Youth Conclave for a conference at 3:00 with guest leader Jeff Kennon, and white board sessions.  Then stay through the dinner hour with a free meal and time for networking.  Registration for the evening meal is required and space is limited.  Click here to make your reservation.

NOVEMBER 6-7 is this year's  CHURCH COLLEGE MINISTERS RETREAT.   If you're a leader in church college ministry, we hope you're planning to join us on November 6-7 for a few days of refreshment at T Bar M Resort & Conference Center in New Braunfels. Our guest speaker this year will be Bruce Venable. Registration for the retreat is now open with an early registration discount.  Here are all of the details:  
TX BAPTIST CHURCH COLLEGE MINISTERS RETREAT
When:  November 6-7, 2014          
Where:  T Bar M Resort & Conference Center
New Branufels, TX (get maps)
Cost:  $45.00 until Oct. 8
            $55.00 Oct. 8 & After
            (spouses are free)
            Meals are included.  
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