I am a typical extrovert. Interactions with others fuel me, and I start to fade without them.
This is particularly true in ministry. My best ideas come from conversations with my friends, Next Step clients or ministry colleagues. Interactions with people in close community feed our souls and fuel our ministries. Even if you’re an introvert, speaking or writing can get to be a very lonely existence when disconnected from others in your field.
Often it’s hard to connect your friends and family into your ministry dreams, because their dreams may be very different. Because of this, it’s important to begin to build a community of people around you who share your goals, hopes and dreams. I’ve been thinking about my communities for which I’m exceedingly grateful, and I’d love to encourage you to build your own. Here are some tips and thoughts.
- Seek out or start a writers’ group. A couple of years ago, a writer friend invited me to her small writers’ group, and I’ve attended ever since. Ours isn’t a critique group. We mainly function to inspire and encourage each other, but that’s exactly what I need. You can find a group or form a group to meet your needs too. There’s lots of information out there about how to form a writers’ group. Click here to read a link with a great description on how to start a group.
- Start an action group. Michaela, my sweet intern, told me about a group she has with a group of other speakers in her homeschool speaking co-op. They met as an accountability group to set goals as a group and individually. Each one would report progress at the next meeting. My friend Cindy and I have formed a group of two 🙂 to work through Michael Hyatt’s Platform. We’ve stalled a little in going through the book as we work on new websites, but we are going through section by section, discussing the book’s content, making action steps and sharing our progress. We’ve also been giving each other feedback which is a tremendous help. You can’t imagine how I lit up yesterday when she told me she loves my new tagline! (I’ll invite you to the unveiling in a couple of weeks!)
- Form a prayer group. There’s nothing more powerful than prayer to unite a group. Invite friends in ministry to come together and pray for each other regularly. You could cover upcoming events or projects as well as praying over individual’s needs and taking time for corporate worship.
- Be generous. This isn’t a concrete step but rather an attitude to develop in order to form strong community. Jeff Goins is writing a lot about generosity, and I encourage you to visit his blog. He is an incredible example of growing community and ministry simply by starting with an open and generous heart.
Are you a part of a community that feeds your soul and fuels your ministry? We’d love to hear about it!
Also, we’d love for you to join Next Step in our social networking community. We’re on Facebook and Twitter, and you’ll find daily encouragement built around the theme in our weekly blog posts.