“A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Eccl. 4:12). That Scripture verse is often quoted at wedding ceremonies, but have you thought of it in relation to ministry?
In September, 10 worship leaders and pastors from the greater Toronto area gathered with some members of the Worship Ministries advisory committee. They had the simple goal of meeting each other, eating with one another, and sharing joys and challenges.
“It was a wonderful evening with two hours gone too quickly,” said Joyce Borger, director of Worship Ministries. “In the end, there were still so many things left unsaid and so many questions left unasked and unanswered. That’s OK, because this meeting wasn’t the end but part of a journey together.”
In the room were seasoned pastors who knew each other from seminary, classis events, and various committees. Also present were lay worship leaders, young and old, new to the CRC and lifelong members, experienced worship leaders and those just beginning their position, full time staff, part time staff, and volunteers.
Even though people came from different backgrounds, they all agreed that it was good to be together. In fact, the diversity of the group added to the experience."
“To hear each other’s stories, to celebrate the blessings that God has given to our worshiping communities, to realize that others face the same struggles and questions, and to learn from each other, was a blessing,” Borger said. “It was a delight to see individuals seek each other out at the end of the evening and exchange contact info so that they can continue their conversations.”
Networking, such as this event, takes some intentionality and even courage to get started. Organizers said that those who take that leap, however, will soon find that it is worth the risk.
“By connecting with people doing a similar ministry, we find ourselves stronger, encouraged, and supported. For Worship Ministries, creating these networking opportunities for two, 20, or 200 worship leaders is one of our main objectives because we all intuitively know that we are better together,” explained Borger.
In addition to area events like the one in the Toronto area, Worship Ministries has a growing Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/CRCWorshipMinistries) where people share resources, ask worship-related questions, and receive great responses from others in the group. This year there are also 15 Peer Learning groups that are meeting in person or online to study a book together.
Borger suggests that you don’t need to wait to be invited to attend an event or join a program to begin networking.
“Pick up the phone and call another CRC in your area and ask to speak with their worship leaders or planners and meet for coffee,” she said. “Connect with worship leaders and pastors from other denominations that are in your town. Join a Facebook group, send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call Worship Ministries (1-877-272-6202) and let us know you are eager to connect.”