by Wes Trevor
If you are on this site, chances are you are already well aware of youth worker networking. You have probably come across NNYM, denominational networks or other grassroots efforts to rally the youth worker troops.
But one of the major questions I hear (from those that I think have not benefitted from networking yet) is, "Why bother?" "What is the point of networking? I mean Wes, don't you know that I already have too much on my plate and I have parents knocking on my door, students needing my attention and a pastor who doesn't really get why I do what I do, not to mention my family at home?"....I hear you.
All of those are good reasons, at least on the surface, for why NOT to network. But let me respond to those questions with what I have seen happen in my local network (in Escondido, Calif.).
I would say that those that are a part of my local network are all busy, all have a lot on their plate and all could probably spend the time that they invest in the relationships in our network focused on the other various other aspects of their job. Most of us have families that need out attention outside of the ministry that God has us doing. Many of us have senior pastors that expect a lot from us, and students and their families who need us.
We come from a wide variety of denominational backgrounds, from Foursquare to Episcopal, so there are some differences. But despite those forces tugging at us, we have still found the time to meet together, pray together and encourage one another.
I have seen my local network, in many cases, be the lifeline for the youth workers in my community because we are united in purpose and get what each other are about: united in Christ to reach the young adults of our community. We recognize that we serve the same King and that we are reaching the same schools and families.
So, why bother? Because we get you. We understand your mission. We care about your soul, your effectiveness, your family and how you are translating what God is leading you to with your students.
We want to encourage you, pray for you and be your friend. We want to foster the community that God expects of us. We want to buy you coffee and hear about the aspects of your life outside of ministry.
Ultimately, it is because we are better together and no one should have to walk through ministry alone. So won't you join us...?