The Power of Networking in Ministry Today

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How Ministers of the gospel can use the power of networking to expand knowledge and build the body of Christ cohesively

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Dr. Oyewole O. Sarumi IN MINISTRY TODAY

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It is the meeting of minds on common ground that benefit both parties

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Opening Prayers: What I see not teach thou me Oh Lord Explain your will to us in this meeting Move me forward after this time out. Opening Scriptures: Ruth 1:6-18 II Sam.13:1-5 14

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Introduction There are networking that are good and bad. Some are effective while others are ineffective. Even some are even toxic. We need to know how to build network as it is those that you know that will make you known.

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Introduction Success in life and ministry doesnt happen overnight. In fact it may take years for you to have success. That is why it is important for you to continuously build your network relationships. With the right networks you can generate success sooner than later.

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What is Networking The bringing together of like minded individuals who through relationship building become walking talking advertisements for one another."

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Networking Defined Network noun - A group of people who exchange information contacts and experience for professional or social purposes. Networking verb – The art of building alliances connection linkages etc.

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If You’ve Ever Done These You’ve Been…networking You’re Networking Everyday Talked to church members When attending Conferences Bible Colleges Seminaries and other church/ministry events. Invite a minister to speak in your church or you’re so invited. Volunteered for a local community event Connecting with people on the social media Participated in extracurricular groups/activities Talked to your neighbours/community Struck up a conversation with anyone while waiting anywhere… YOU ARE NETWORKING EVERYDAY

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The Characteristics Ineffective Networking

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1. No Value Added Those that doesn’t add value to who you are or whatever you are doing. A good networking should add value to your life ministry and your labours

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2. No Forward Movement Those that does not move you to your next level in life ministry and endeavours If you are just where you are in a network it is not helpful.

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3. Contradicts God’s Mandate Those that does not facilitate the fulfilment of God’s mandate in your life. It should accelerate and facilitate God’s purpose in all that you do doing or will later engage in.

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4. Pulling Down Syndrome Those that pulls you down rather than build you up. People who make you feel small and inferior and want you to know how big and how superior they are to you. They exhibit superiority complex.

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5. Deviation from Biblical Standard Those that leads to deviation and diminishing from divine standard – acceptable biblical standard. Please beware of many corrupters in ministry who are wolves in sheep skin.

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6. Worldly than Word-full Those that makes you more worldly than word-full. If your interaction with someone start to make you worldly it is not good. Even though the person may be old in ministry he/she may be worldly. You can enjoy physical material financial blessing from any network but if there’s no spiritual blessing escape promptly.

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6. More Corruption Those that brings more of corruption than edification progress – run from it.

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7. Nullify Core Values Those that affect your core values negatively run from it. As a Christians you have convictions and values if your networking does not enhance it it is dangerous for you.

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Summarising Ineffective Networking Reading I Kg.13:11- 21: NOTE- Any Networking that: Makes you to disobey God That promote their ideas above what God has told you – An Angel told me… That make you to contradict your consecration which you receives from God. NB: The most dangerous people that make you to fail and fall are the old prophets – Age is not an indices of hearing from God

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In Ikg.18: 21-22 we saw how 450 people in Acts 23:12-14 40+ gathered together in a networking – against the will of God. Beware of unprofitable networking – these people perished in one day. Be cautious of those that you invite to minister in your church – they always leave deposit of their lives – good or bad. NO SENTIMENT.

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Traits of Genuine Networking

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There are about 5 things that you can see in a genuine and profitable networking:

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1. Enhancement Those that brings genuine enhancement into your life and ministry. Once you meet a correct man your life is improved.

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2. Enlightenment There will be enlightenment – an eye opening to areas that you have not known before.

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3. Encouragement There will be encouragement no casting down

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4. Edification There will be edification -

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5. Exaltation There will exaltation - it moves you to the next level

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You Cannot Do it Alone Reading – II Sam.10:10-11 – We see Joab’s experience. Don’t wait until things get worse for you. You cannot do it alone though I’m the captain time will come that I need you and you will need me – two is better than one.

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You Cannot Do it Alone Reading I Cor.12:14-27 The body is not one member like the church. Lets operate with the body concept – we need one another to do well. No room for self arrogance in the body of Christ. If your ministry is big and mine is small we all have a role to play on earth. Don’t despise one another – we are all necessary in the body.

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Once a part of the body is not performing its function the body breaks down and diseases sets in – Please consider the Church and problem of denominationalism today and the harm it is causing to the body of Christ

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The Premise of Networking

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1. The Body of Christ is one and interdependent I Cor.12 we’ve just read says - The Body of Christ is one and interdependent Denominationalism is causing problems and cleavages of the church today. People are building personal empire –and it is causing rancour and rat-race and all of become rats at the end of the day.

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Many of us are not praying for other churches pastors and souls. Many parishes are not working together and everyone seems to be on their own. Intra-departmental networking is even lacking in the same parish or assembly.

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Women meetings or conferences are dominated by women. Ditto for children youth men and other groups meeting. This is an enourmous problem in the body of Christ. Can you imagine RCCG people praying for Winners or CAC meeting or gathering

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2. All Gifts are for the Body Any gift or resources in the church is meant for the whole body of Christ. Anything that a church possess is for the whole body of Christ. Daddy GO is not just a gift to RCCG he is a gift to the body of Christ today. There are many like him also planted in different denominations.

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3. Tap and Demand For it God’s desire and design is that we tap and make demand for what he has provided for our total good. Why suffering when God has made provision for this in the body – Just reach out and tap from it. Some are more gifted in prayer teaching prophecy etc. – Tap from it without apology.

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4. No one Knows it All No one knows it all – so that we don’t become God. It is a deliberate design by God for our interdependence. There some things RCCG have that CAC does not and vice versa. Many churches are totally closed to the other denomination – it is not what Christ died for.

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5. You Need External Inputs You cannot do it all alone without external input. See IIKg.4:1-7 You will be rotten and decay when you don’t look out – you need to be exposed to see how things are being done afresh and better elsewhere. The closed churches are far behind and lacking in many things. You may not copy but you need skeletal ideas to build upon.

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6. Corporate And Collective Efforts Networking applies corporate and collective efforts within the Body. We need the input of one another. The New Testament church applied this extensively as we shall see were soon. There is no wisdom or benefits being alone an island or segregationist – this is not wisdom and you may regret it.

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No Business with any Man Let’s look at Judges 18:7 27-28 – NO BUSINESS WITH ANY MAN – even though they are progressing like many churches today it isn’t healthy. It is very easy for you to be destroyed when you are far from any man. What of Samson very powerful but died the death of a fool. He lived alone work alone and died alone. His parents has no influence on him. Let his life speak to you – Get connected

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Networking Makes The Work Grow Faster Networking makes the work grow faster and it is totally scriptural and needful. Acts 4:23 – They went to their own company – not alone. Acts 8:14 – Phillip created impact and others came to join him from Jerusalem- Peter discover Simon the sorcerer which Phillip couldn’t do. Simon is a destroyer Let us help ourselves in the body of Christ.

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Populating Your Network The people in your network can: Help you solve a difficult problem Provide perspective Teach you new things Support your efforts/labours Inform you of new opportunities Celebrate your successes Give you valuable feedback Help you relieve stress

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The Practise of Networking

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We can thoroughly examine the Scriptures to fully understand that God desire we network for the health and vitality of the body. Even in Gen.3:9 God laid the foundation for networking when he visited Adam in the Garden of Eden.

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New Testament Examples of Networking Acts 9:13 2736 11:22-25 Ananias was told to make input into Saul’s life when converted Paul was rejected but Barnabas introduced him to the church when nobody refused vs.27 Even Jesus was introduced to the world by John the Baptist – He must increase….. Barnabas was sent to Antioch but after he went after Paul – Networking can be expensive sometime- vs.11:25.

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The people in Joppa sent for Peter to come and helped them- vs.37-38 Many are protecting their contacts. NOTE- You receive this contact anyway Let’s learn to share and look for one another What are we struggling for that we have not been given What you know can benefit the body let other people know it – selfish canal mind isn’t good.

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Acts 15 – when they had trouble they had to go to Jerusalem to resolve it. Acts 16:1-3 - When Paul got to Lystra they introduced Timothy to him that was how they met. If you have good books give it to others to read and benefit from it – Stop this rat race please. Acts 17:10 18:18 – All through here we see networking in practise. Even Priscilla and Aquila discipled Apollos.

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Even in Old Testament in I Kg.19:15-17: God said all of these people are working for my own cause. We need to note the following for a good practice of networking:

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Seven Important Things Right Concept of the body – we are all one. Right Companionship – I need you you need me. Right Communication – I’m free do you need help here I need help here. Right Cooperation - Joining hands together in sincerity Right Commitment – with good motive Right Contributions – do your part and I do mine Right Concerns – Be concern about one another

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Kinds of Networking in Ministry In networking you think more about the kingdom than denomination. There could be: Intra-departmental Intra-church Inter-church Inter-ministerial Intra-ministerial Inter-denominational

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Over familiarity makes networking difficult because we don’t value what is close to us. There is a beauty within us – let’s stop this unnecessary importation of ministers Look within your parish church ministry and use them then if not available be bold to reach out to those outside with the grace you need.

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Important things in Networking In networking the following 7 things are important: SINCERITY – don’t use people don’t take advantage of people SERIOUSNESS STRAIGHT FORWARDNESS SUBMISSIVENESS SELFLESSNESS - don’t think about yourself alone SIMPLE MINDEDNESS STRATEGIC REASONING – there is something this man carry that my church or ministry need.

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The Armour of NETWORKING DISCRETION – you need wisdom to know what to do DISCERNMENT – is this the relationship I desire and need. DISCIPLINE – know when to stop the networking if harming you. You could have made a mistake in networking with the wrong people. Cut it off promptly. Many people were anointed in the past but they are no more in line with God. So inquire on them

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People in your Network Your network should include people with a variety of connections to you and who serve you in different ways such as: People with knowledge you need Social/ministry contacts Peers in your church/outside Relevant groups like PFN CAN others. People with external perspectives People with spiritual knowledge People with church organizational awareness People with knowledge of church growth People with backgrounds different from yours cultural gender age educational denominational callings expereince etc.

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Problems Against Networking 1. PRIDE 2. SELF 3. MIS-UNDERSTANDING OF THE KINGDOM CONCEPT – We are one body 4. UNNECESSARY FEAR 5. INSECURITY 6. PLAYING GOD – who can teach me attitude 7. GREED

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The Principles of Networking

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What are the principles that will help us in effective networking Know your limitation – if you don’t know your limitations you will die as a fool. Hand over areas you are weak to those who can do it better Know what others can do better Understand that the body is one

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We don’t need to operate in fear and arrogance We don’t despise the strength and grace in others – God has many children please. Be ready to benefit from others. Realise and know the principle of division of labours and work – to teach pray giving etc. requires different people/graces The is the Lord’s work allow Him to build it in his own ways

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We don’t need to build new structures all the time – every church has a Bible school – we are wasting resources what of hymn books – every church has their own – starting everything new. This is pride and arrogance. Mention others. Live always with the kingdom mind-set Be fully persuaded of what you want or who you want.

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Networking is not an abdication of your responsibilities. You have work to do in the church get it done and don’t surrender it to others but invite people to help you in areas of your limitation. Know when to start networking and when to stop. Any good thing can become bad if abused. Don’t over stretch it

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Stop when you sense danger or going out of God’s purpose. This is important. Be sensitive to God’s spirit what to do and who to link up with at every given time. Don’t invite someone if the Holy Spirit has not led you – don’t join the multitude to invite the so-called popular ministers – Be CAREFUL.

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Understand yourself and the calling of God in your life – know the uniqueness of your calling and link with those who will help you actualise it. The PERSON and CALLING is key. Networking with people of like minded calling passion and vision. Not because they have big names and big ministries as most can corrupt the work. ALL THAT GLITTERS ISN’T GOLD

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Be always willing to give and receive – give what you have and receive what you don’t have. Have good motives in networking not for canal purpose but for the growth of the kingdom.

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Don’t pull down others and don’t let people pull you down. Appreciate people whom God wants to appreciate. II Pet. 3:15-16: Peter appreciated Paul – Please appreciate those that God is leading you to appreciate.

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The 50-5-10-2 Networking Strategy 50 Your top 50 Networking contacts. 5 Reach out to them once every five weeks or so. 10 You will touch base with 10 people per week 2 You will touch base with 2 people a day

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Once you have established credibility and trust with certain people in your network you can reach out to them for help. Your network can be a great source of help support resources partners mentors etc. Take advantage of their collective experience and network. You will be surprised at how much people want to help.

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However make sure that you are providing value to your network long before you ask for help. Spend time nurturing your relationships by helping when you can and making appropriate connections to assist them to accelerate their life and ministry careers.

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You will be amazed at what can happen when you leverage your network. The people you know are one of your most valuable assets. Take advantage of it but only in a reasonable and credible way.

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Conclusion John 13:17 “If you know these things blessed are you if you do them”. NKJV “You know these things — now do them That is the path of blessing”. NLT “If you know these things blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them if you act accordingly and really do them”. AMP

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So it is in Ministry - Oyewole Sarumi 2012

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Be A Candle or A Mirror

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Prayer issues Thank God for this revelation Make us to see through your light Oh Lord. I now know that I’m incomplete without my brethren Break off every wrong yoke we are affiliated with Let me not be filled with myself and not listening to others in this labour. Let me not abdicate my primary assignments Deliver us from the old/evil prophets with sweet mouth to deceive. Let me not be jealous of anybody or ministry Let me use everyday of my life to grow and manifest your glory in my life and ministry.

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References Used Itiowe Alfred. “Effective Networking in Ministry”. A message delivered during the NTA Worldwide 18 th Annual National Conference Dec.2013 Lagos Sarumi Oyewole. “Networking Skills for Leaders”. PLA Resources Series No. 2334 June 2012. Sarumi Oyewole. “Relationship and Networking in the Workplace”. A Lecture delivered to NNPC Staff during a Retirement Workshop in Abuja Nov.2013.

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