The Pastor And Networking


“Networking needs to be the priority of every pastor of churches under 450… You should be spending 75-80% of your time “out there.” The pastor is the primary person to bring people in churches up to 450.”  – Bill Easum

To do this the pastor has to give up some things and the congregation has to step up. The pastor must come up with ways to manage their time to be present in the community inviting people.

Limit office hours, be out and about. Don’t go out to hang around with ecumenical partners or church members, but work to meet people who are not part of any church. You need five contacts every day. A contact only counts if you get their name and contact info.

If you connect with 100 people each month, you will have two new connected to the church.

If your pastor doesn’t do this, you church will not grow.  But lay people aren’t off the hook.  In order for your pastor to do this, you will have to take on the load.

To network effectively, pastors must practice the Four “P” Principle.


1) Proximity: While networking in the community, you must be somewhere where you see people, school, McDonald’s, etc.

2) Predictable: You must be in the same place at regular time each week.

3) Persistent – You must keep at it for a long period of time.

4) Proachable – Get over being shy and be open to people.  As you are sitting out in the community, lift your head,  look them in the eye and smile.

Another idea is to leverage your church member relationships. At least once a year, lay people host a party at their house. Do not invite church friends. Invite pastor.

Leverage your visitor’s friends. Visitors: do you have friends I could meet?  The guests in your church will have the highest probability for knowing other unchurched people in the community.

We’ve got to stop being bashful and we’ve got to start networking.

These were notes taken during the Only Four Things Grow a Church Conference at Troy UMC this Spring.  You can pick up a copy of the book, Bill Easum’s Book: Effective Staffing for Vital Churches here. 


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