Thursday, June 16, 2005

Networking in the PCA

“It's like 'old home week' for you,” my friend Craig commented to me. We had only been at the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA's) General Assembly for a few minutes, but I had already greeted a dozen people. What gives?

What gives is the very reason I went to General Assembly: what happens in the church is all about relationships, and Craig saw this starkly in only a few moments. If anything, my hypotheses about networking and the placement process were confirmed and strengthened by my brief time at G.A.

Since I've been in the PCA for a while, since I had a mentor early on who took the time to help me build relationships with PCA folk, and since I have attended the PCA seminary for four years, I am already fairly well-connected in the denomination. What Craig saw was the fruit of that. In spite of this, however, I would be presumptuous if I assumed that my relationship-building work was done.

Based on what I know about my own sense of calling, I set up meetings at General Assembly with key people from PCA presbyteries where we would like to move. For example, I met with the chairman of the Mission to North America Committee from one presbytery in Marcie's home state. We had a great conversation about my passions, burdens, and sense of calling for revitalization, and he indicated that he was encouraged that I would be interested in coming to his presbytery to minister in that capacity. He was not in a position to recommend a particular opportunity to me at that time, but simply having met him and gotten to know him-- even briefly-- seems like it will make a difference in the placement process.

More than ever, I'm convinced that networking and relationships are the key to placement.

No comments: