I spent four days this week with people who gave me a sense of camaraderie that doesn't exist in most of my other social circles. As nearly 200 people gathered in the north woods for an annual convention, we had one thing in common; we were all involved in camp ministry in some way. From executives, to maintenance people, interns, housekeepers, secretaries, and ministry wives, we connected because of our common goal of reaching people through outdoor ministry. We celebrated our diversity. We bunked together in cabins and snored in harmony with one another (while some of us shared a mutual affliction of sleep deprivation). We broke bread together. But it was more than that.
We nurtured one another in prayer and shared our burdens. We fed our souls from God's Word. We came away refreshed. It's important that we not forget the value of networking with others who share our interests and understand our heart desires. Through networking relationships we gain more than a career association or the potential to discover industry secrets. We gain a connection with people, a connection that provides a source of encouragement when we're slumping into discouragement. We build relationships that stretch us and challenge us to pursue excellence. And like a distant cousins at a family reunion, we know we'll pick up where we left off the next time we see one another.
Who's in your network? What do you share in common? How are you building one another up and encouraging each other to keep pressing on? Take time to thank the people in your network today.