(image by Brandon Schaefer)
By Jeremy Zach
One of the main traits in my personality profile is “networker.” So, networking comes pretty easy to me. However, I know many don’t know how to do it or don’t enjoy “networking.”
It is a lonely journey out there in student ministry, and student pastors need other like-minded student pastors to come alongside them to help resource, pray and encourage one another. Networking with other student pastors is what kept me alive and going in hard seasons of student ministry. In fact, I have made some great student ministry friendships from networking.
Here are some possible guidelines when networking with other student pastors:
– Leave your egos and logos at the door.
– Place a high value on unity and community.
– Network both online (blogs, social media) and offline (local and national networks).
– Practice listening and asking question to other youth workers.
One of the beauties about being a part of the Orange Strategy is that it automatically gives student pastors a solid community of like-minded student pastors. Instantaneously, a student pastor has access to a network of student pastors who are strategically reaching the next generation. There are some really great Orange XP3 thinkers out there who are doing some fascinating stuff on how to connect the home and church and how to reach the unchurched.
So, how does an Orange student pastor network with other Orange student pastors?
(1) Church Finder: This church finder tool is amazing! If you want to know if there are other Orange churches in your area, click here
(2) Come to Orange Conference or Orange Tour: Orange Conference is one big family reunion where student pastors get to share stories and learn the whys and the hows behind the Orange Strategy. Orange Tour is a regional event that fosters deeper relationships and closely explores aspects of the Orange Strategy.
(3) Follow XP3 Students on Twitter and Facebook: If you want to interact with XP3 Students on a daily or weekly basis, come be a part of our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Using our social media pages allows users to follow, connect and interact with other Orange thinkers and gives users the freedom to share how they are using XP3 Students. So, take a peek and follow us on twitter and on facebook.
(4) Read and contribute to the XP3 Blog: The XP3 Students blog is for XP3 users, and encourages you, our partners, to share XP3 secrets with the Orange XP3 community. If you want to share a tip on how you are implementing XP3 Students, please feel free to leave a comment below. We are always looking to share Orange/XP3 content and ideas with our community.
(5) Start your own Orange XP3 local network: One of the easiest ways to start a network is to go on the church finder and contact other youth workers in your area and do a meet up. If you are a local student pastor network who needs assistance on how to do this, please feel free to contact us and we can provide some ideas and models on how to effectively start a student pastor network. Email us at email@example.com.
Bottom line—find a network of youth workers who can support you, pray with and for you, and share resources with you.