Friday, September 21, 2007

Jesus, the Networker

I have always been wired to network. I love sharing information; connecting cool people with other cool people, seeing groups come together for a common cause. There’s strength in numbers. Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30).

Because networking is so much a part of my personality, I have been teased a lot. I had even begun to think I was a bit strange – until I realized Jesus was a networker. He had to be. He took twelve folks and revolutionized the world. He had a life-changing message that He imparted into mankind through the networking of men. The twelve disciples told some people, and they told some people, and so on and so on...

Isn’t that what life is all about? No man is an island – we all need each other. How could anyone have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior if they had not heard the Gospel? And how can they have heard without someone telling them? (Romans 10:14). That’s the ultimate “network.” Hooking people up to the “true vine” because Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1 and 5).

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King talked about networking too. He said, “As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I had a billion dollars...I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are all interdependent.”

Networking is not always about getting. It’s really about giving. Actually, you’re more blessed when you give than when you receive (Acts 20:35). I have a passion for God which has caused me to have compassion for people.

We must be set on helping people. Ephesians 4:3 says, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” When we network together, we weave a bond of ultimate power. Creating alliances and cultivating relationships is critical today especially in business.

It is painful to me when I see “lone rangers” and those folks floating encased in their own bubbles. They will never experience a full, abundant life because they are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Or they’re just too proud to ask people for help or too selfish to even think about anyone else. These attitudes are totally against the Word of God.

God’s Word tells us to walk in love. Perfect love will cast out fear (1 John 4:18) and when we are walking in love, we esteem others higher than ourselves. We not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of others (Philippians 4:3-4). Our love for God is expressed by our love for each other.

Networking is love in action (see 1 Corinthians 13). The master networker, best-selling author of “Success Runs in Our Race” and publisher of the Success Guide, George C. Fraser said, “I think success really involves the situations you get yourself into and the people you meet. No one can be successful by themselves. It’s the relationships that you develop with the people around you. Throughout my life, I’ve had people who helped me do better.”

Success does run in our race. Fraser has been on a mission to link African Americans together for the betterment of them all. For ten years, he has published The Success Guide to accomplish this goal. More than an upscale directory of contacts, it is the only vehicle that has African American professionals from 7 different countries and 75 cities. “It’s networking in an instant with real people getting real results,” said Fraser.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 25:39 to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the key to a successful life. Another recurring phrase in the Bible is “one another.” We are to: love, instruct, encourage, stir up, lift up, rejoice with, prefer, serve, pray with, submit to, admonish, minister to, fellowship with and edify ONE ANOTHER. Sounds like networking to me.

Nobody gets to the highest peaks without help of others. Networking is the identification of relationships for the purpose of sharing information and resources. Taking time for people and communicating is the key. Don’t ever get too busy to share information or your wisdom.
Get the right attitude about networking and begin to open up and give. Hook up with like-minded folks and kindred spirits. Moving ahead often involves reaching out and being willing to give. We reap what we sow._________________________________________

Pam Perry is the president/founder of the Detroit Chapter of the American Christian Writers Association (www.Acwriters.com). Her work has also appeared in Gospel Today magazine, The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, CBA Marketplace Magazine, Precious Times Magazine, Christian Covenant News and The Christian Communicator. www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com to network with Pam Perry. Sign her elist!

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