Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Networking in the Church?

It has been said that people go to church to seek God and find refuge from a world of much turmoil. There is a lot of truth to that statement as it identifies the quest of millions. As people gather or meet within the confines of a church whether in a building or home groups, there are personal needs that can be met simply by getting to know each other.

I would like to share some tips for the human aspect of fellow-shipping with one another without imposition on beliefs or religious agenda. It may be that even by many people also go to church to see God within each other.

I have been attending church since about the age of five and have learned that networking is almost an automatic and effortless dynamic that just happens from a simple handshake and warm greeting to a planned event for product or services presentations.

Every time there is a connection, there is an opportunity for networking in some fashion or other. From the countless examples, let's say there is a Hair stylist attending a particular church and wears her own hair in a trendy color and style. Another member takes notice one day and says something like "I like the way you wear your hair; where do you go?" The hair stylist share information about her salon and there you go. A networking connection has been established.

In another example, let's say there is a massage therapist within a congregation who notices that another member is walking strangely. The therapist may approach this person as ask some questions and maybe even offer to provide a complimentary session to help this person. Now this person knows about the therapist and tells her friends and family that about the experience and there you have another networking opportunity. In fact, this person could offer to repay the therapist with a product or service and the net continues to widen.

Every time you turn around, you can find a need to fill. Perhaps there may be initial seeds to be sown in terms of relationships and gradually, new opportunities continue to unfold. We see even church musicians and singers who network all the time with their service and talents. It is no secret nor is it taboo to network within the church membership.

There are, however, within the positive and excellent opportunities of networking in church, certain tips and pointers that may help prevent misunderstandings in this area. I have listed some here but by no the ultimate and only list of tips.

I guarantee that as you read these, you will probably think about some of your own. Nonetheless, if we apply our best and sincere approach to all that we do, networking within church membership can remain a positive and influential means of reaching out to other people in need and be blessed by others as well. Here is a list of 10 tips for church membership networking:

1. Go To Church and become a member (of course that is your decision).
2. Be proactive in reaching out and meeting other church goers
3. Be sincere in approaching others with in social gatherings
4. Be sincere in presenting your intentions in relationships
5. Give others the opportunity to approach you / stick around and socialize
6. Imprint your lifestyle with positive values
7. Prepare your business opportunities in good taste and be professional
8. Eliminate confusion from your approach for friendship and socializing
9. Follow through on all your offers made in casual conversations
10. Show respect for the boundaries and never surprise your invites with something different than they are expecting!

The list can go on and on but the main idea is simple. Network with integrity and reap of harvest of great relationships and opportunities. Church networking is a positive and fun way to grow in many ways. Others should always benefit from knowing you. Set your expectations high when it comes to serving others and be pleasantly surprised when others go out of their way to meet and network with you.

Before we jump to the next section of this book, I wanted to share just a few more thoughts on this subject that keep nagging at me because they were not singled out in the top 10. Some people may not know where or when to consider their approach a networking move or simply a reaching out approach. Therefore, here are just a few more tips: Networking in a funeral or hospital setting is not a sin or entirely taboo.  Although it may not be the best place to attempt to recruit another church member into your business, there are occasions when it may be appropriate if the conversation leads the way and to the subject of a particular need. Just use common sense in judging the right moment to network so the individual's needs remain as the main reason or purpose for attending.

When networking with others in the church, one should never expect that everyone should patronize one's business, products, or services simply because of the communal membership. There should always be a sense of freedom from all members' part to choose with whom they do business. Never assume that other church members should give discounts or freebies just because there is a common membership. On the other hand, never feel obligated to give away or discount your services or products based on the relationship.

There should be a mutual respect for each others products just as with any other vendor. However, if the relationship is such that there can be some flexibility in this area, that is fine. The key is to not always assume, expect, or get mad if that is not the case. Be polite when networking with other members in the church. There is never a reason to be disrespectful or distasteful when exchanging cards such as making negative comments or putting down the competition. Non-verbal and body language communication is very important to keep in mind especially if you do not like the other persons business, product, or services. The same should be expected from all parties.

The rub is that colors were made for choices and not everyone will like, agree, or believe in what you have to offer. You may feel the same way about the others. The best thing to do is conduct yourself as an educated adult with more common sense. Now that we've covered some of the most obvious pointers on church networking, let's go forth and conquer.

Let's put our best foot forward in all of our endeavors so that our lives can reflect an automatic networking machine that is not confined to the four walls within a church building but that transcends barriers of lack and need.

Share your successes with others and enjoy the blessing of being someone others can come to for help. In your own quest for substance in life, you will find that others may include meeting people like you as part of their life's quest.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your article here about networking in the church setting. Very informative. I truly like your writing style too.