It is counter intuitive but a key way to grow your ministry is to focus on relationships outside of your ministry and normal relational circle. Relationships are the door openers to all kinds of opportunities, help, counsel and ideas. The wider our circle of relationships the richer our lives and leadership.
The reason it is sometimes counter intuitive is that we often feel like we don't have time to develop a wide set of relationships given the busyness of our lives and the demands of leading our own ministry. However, relationships are leverage for growth in our own lives and consequently growth in our own ministries.
As a ministry leader, I intentionally take the time to develop relationships with other leaders. In doing so I am blessed by:
- Learning new things from new people
- Meeting a new circle of leaders who other leaders know
- Finding synergies where we can work together
- Gaining advocates or counsel when I need them
- Finding solutions for common issues
- Meeting people I can serve in various ways
- Enjoying the fellowship of individuals who have similar values and goals
Every new relationship widens my own world and the world of others. I am enriched and hopefully I enrich others. In fact, who I am today is directly connected to the number of people who have enriched my life and leadership. I owe many people many thanks and I would not be where I am today without those relationships.
Over the years I have grown a considerable library. Those books are my friends and I love to commune with them. But more significant is the group of friends that I have grown who in various ways contribute to my life and ministry and to whom I can contribute. It is a world wide group and each one is important to me.
Never underestimate the value of taking the time to develop relationships outside of your normal circle and from other ministries. You never know how those connections will enrich you, allow you to enrich them, open doors, provide counsel and or simply allow you or them to be connectors with others in ways that build God's kingdom. For those who say, "I don't have time," my response is that it is some of the best time you will invest.