It is so easy to lose momentum in networking within your community:
- After a great event, some people may just feel burned out.
- Another youth leader—who was a key player in the network—leaves their church.
- Sometimes it is the slow fade of busyness that sets in, and no one seems to want to come anymore.
So how do you overcome the networking doldrums? Here are some ideas to help you keep the “mo” in momentum.
Working for spiritual transformation in your community is a spiritual battle. Are you remembering your weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4)? A solid communication link with God is essential to the health of our networks. Prayer overcomes the obstacles in working together to reach the teenagers in our community. Ask God what He sees as the problem in your network. You may be surprised by the answer!
Ask around and make the personal connection to listen to those in your network. Why is it that you are unable to make it? Sometimes it is as simple as a schedule issue: The meeting time no longer works.
Other times it can be deeper; balance might be an issue. In one network I belong to, there was a big push to do a big event, and it was a huge success. Afterward, I was playing Frisbee golf with a youth leader who hadn’t participated. I asked him why he did not connect and he said, “All the network does is plan events.” His relational need was not being met by the over focus on doing stuff. It was time for that group’s pendulum to swing back to its people.
Lack of consistency is the number one killer of networks. Not meeting may seem to be the natural thing to do when attendance is waning. But that one time you decide not to gather might be when someone shows up who needs the group. It happened in one network when all of the leaders decided to flake, and a youth leader showed up who had never been there before. Thankfully, he pursued the leaders and become a solid member of the team. Size isn’t always important; it is still powerful when a few youth leaders gather to pray and share.
Help people plan ahead. The first notice about a network meeting should be before the morning of the day the meeting is to happen! And keep the time and place consistent. Setting a regular time each month for network meetings helps people plan.
Use multiple methods to connect with people. Personal visits, social media, texting and phone calls are all important. One network in my area sends out multiple invites. I have had five invites on my iPhone calendar before! I know exactly when that group will meet for the next five years!
Finally, momentum increases when youth leaders feel like they belong and own the network. It is all about building relationships around the goal of changing the lives of teenagers for eternity.
We would love to help you develop a solid action plan for your network—one that will help you ride out the “doldrums” and keep your network moving forward. Consider getting Coaching to help you keep your momentum going!
This article originally appeared here.