The Holy Purpose of Networking
“Hi! I hope it’s OK I’m reaching out; I just had a few questions about your publishing journey and experience as a writer … I’m so excited to be obedient to God’s call on my life and would love to learn from those who have walked the path before me.”
I sent this Instagram message to a fellow author shortly after I knew the Lord was calling me to write. I distinctly remember my hands sweating and my stomach turning as I pushed send. I’ve never loved mingling, reaching out to people I don’t know, or networking in general, but God has slowly shown me that it can and does serve a holy purpose.
I’ve learned that oftentimes, networking isn’t exactly what we perceive it to be. Instead, in Christ, it’s an opportunity to seek and build community for the sake of encouraging one another and further fulfilling our mission.
With this in mind, here are a few biblical purposes for networking with others:
- To give and receive encouragement.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13, NIV).
Did you catch that? As long as it’s called “today,” we will need each other’s encouragement and admonishment to keep our hearts from hardening. When we put in the effort to surround ourselves with other believers, especially in tasks as lonely as writing, we set ourselves up to both give and receive the help we need day by day.
- To wisely walk the path laid before you.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom …” (Colossians 3:16, NIV).
There is great wisdom in watching, learning from and imitating Godly people who have gone before us. Don’t let fear keep you from reaching out to someone the Lord may want you to learn from. In the same way, be willing to teach those coming along behind you, encouraging them to walk wisely in each and every step.
- To expand the reach of the gospel.
“He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV).
After Jesus’ resurrection, this is what He told the disciples. Going into ALL the world to preach the gospel to ALL creation is a big command. This is why each member of the body has a role to play. We weren’t meant to do it alone. When you take a step out of your comfort zone to form a connection or ask a question or encourage another writer, you are helping to fulfill this calling. Our voices that proclaim the gospel speak louder and reach further when we work together.
Sending a message, approaching a stranger, or willingly putting ourselves out there can feel uncomfortable, but when we do so, asking the Lord to pave the way for His name to be made known through us, He is glorified in our networking.
The woman I sent that message to has encouraged me, sent me helpful resources, and cheered me on both privately and publicly, and it all started with that one (uncomfortable) step of obedience. Is there someone who you could learn from or encourage that the Lord has laid on your heart to contact? If so, don’t let the fear or awkwardness of networking keep you from stepping out in obedience. You never know what He might do through that relationship!
How have you seen networking serve a holy purpose in your life as a writer? We’d love for you to share your story in the comments.
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