Friday, September 19, 2008

Networking at work: case study #1 from my experience

I've had a handful of apparently serendipitous encounters with networking at work. Here is one.

In college, a man named Henry led me through discipleship for several years, and we became good friends. He eventually served as the best man in my wedding, and has remained a source of treasured advice and input over the years.

At one point in my candidacy, I was visiting with Henry during a trip to my hometown. Henry knew that I was seeking pastoral placement, and asked about my progress. After hearing my report, Henry asked, "Would you mind if I made a phone call on your behalf?"

I said, of course not, and Henry pulled out his mobile phone and quickly found a number in his speed-dial.

"Hello-- this is Henry."

"We're well, and I hope you are too. Hey, we're going to spend the week after New Years' at the mountain house, and we'd love it if you two would come and burn some firewood with us."

"Great! I'll call you with details next week. Say, I'm sitting here with a friend who is looking for an opening for a position as a pastor. Would you be willing to talk with him, and point him in a helpful direction?"

"That's great-- thanks so much, Luder. I'll give him your home number."

And when Henry hung up, he wrote down for me the home number of Luder Whitlock, longtime President of Reformed Theological Seminary and now President of Teleios, Executive Director of Trinity Forum, and probably one of the top 10 most well-connected men in the Reformed and Presbyterian circles.

It turns out that Henry and Dr. Whitlock have been close friends for years, and Dr. Whitlock was glad to be a phone call away for me. He suggested a few leads for me, and also committed to praying for me in my transition and ministry regularly. What a blessing!

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