If you want to be successful in almost any realm of life, you must always be networking until it pays off. However, it should become a lifelong habit. Networking will not only bring you monetary gain, but also friendships that prove to be worth more than the money in the bank account. No matter where you go, always be looking for opportunities. Networking is a mindset. Internally you may say something like this to yourself, "Could I possibly do business with this person now or in the near future?” “Could this person, perhaps, introduce me to something or someone of benefit to advance my agenda?"
Now, I know what your thinking, there seems to be a little selfishness in networking. I mean, let’s be honest, what’s in it for me? It's a perfectly honest question to ask yourself. Yet, as you mature and get wiser in the game of networking, you’ll soon realize that sometimes the greatest satisfaction is being able to help someone who cannot help themselves.
Now, this isn’t a post about "how to’s" and cool tips about networking. My goal is to turn our attention to leveraging successful networking in churches. I debated about a few other lesser known venues to network, but I am convinced by experience that learning to network properly in faith-based churches can really improve your life tenfold.
Here are some steps to finding a great church to network in.
Look for larger non-denominational churches
Not all churches are created equal. Denominations have their place, but most of the Protestant and Catholic denominations are small, dying churches with hardly a breath or two left. Few and far between will you find a vibrant church in that arena. When networking, why would you choose a dead church? To be fair and play devil's advocate (no pun intended), I'm sure there are some wise old saints in those lifeless churches. But you must go where the people are, example larger churches.
Many non-denominational churches are nontraditional. Some may rent a space in a school gym or cafeteria instead of a traditional church building. If you are a millennial, this would be an excellent place to start networking. Who knows? Maybe ditch tinder and find yourself a good soul mate. Just saying. Take 10 minutes and go to google. Start searching for non-denominational churches in your area of business. Do some research and see the size, location, and time of worship.
Non-denominational churches are multi-generational and multi-cultural
This part is rather awesome. The headline says it all. Most non-denominational churches strive to break down the walls of stereotype and inspire what Jesus had in mind for the church; which is multi-cultural and generational. Howbeit, this is also just everyday life. If you live in the city than this is nothing new. Should you need to break from your comfort zone, I highly suggest visiting a church like this. Diversity is good. Smart churches promote diversity because of their core belief in one Creator. Multigenerational is even better because you get the diversity in age, experience, and wisdom of others who have been there.
Here is something else to consider, people come from all different educational backgrounds. I’ve been in churches with recovering drug addicts, lawyers, pilots, doctors, and accountants. Sometimes, I get the feeling academia still looks down on the church as not being intellectually relevant. Sometimes millennials might get the impression that educated and affluent people don’t attend any type of worship. That couldn't be farther from the truth. There is not any doubt you want successful people in your network. However, don’t underestimate anyone. You never know.
Most non-denominational churches have a welcome section pre-service and post service. They hand out connection cards and introduce you to their services. Now’s the time time to ask questions, introduce yourself, and get to know other people. You may be surprised that someone may ask you all the questions first and take an interest in you. Churches are far from perfect, but you have a better chance at meeting friendlier people. In other words, it may be easier to engage in meaningful dialogue. Typically, people are excited to be in worship on a Sunday morning. Their soul is uplifted before the cold hard week begins. Be curious and engaging. Investigative when in a new setting. Opportunity is waiting.
Some final thoughts
As a word of caution and a reminder, not all churches are created equal. Some are terrible and just suck. Yes, some people are awful as well. It is a fact of life. Don’t get discouraged by one bad experience. Try again. There are many places to network. I’ve been to many events. They are hit or miss. However, you have to take a chance regardless of your experiences. You’ll find an increase of people attending non-denominational churches. As I said before, you must go where the people are. Who knows? Maybe you’ll connect with Jesus himself.
Check out my blog where I talk about old school advice for the modern millennial www.themodernmentor.com