Today I retire. I leave the employment of the CRCNA after 32-plus years with CRWRC, the Denominational Office, and most recently, The Network. So I’d like to say a thing or two about this venture, The Network. We launched its online service in February, 2010, not knowing exactly what to expect. We’ve watched it grow during each one of these last 18 months. We’ve seen it connect people doing ministry in churches across our denomination. And we’ve seen it evolve based on your feedback.
Why did we create The Network anyway? Don’t we have enough denominational ministries, enough forms of communication? Aren’t our inboxes already overflowing? Well yes, I suppose. But there should always be room for the new—as long as it meets a need or adds some new value.
With The Network we’ve tried to do two things:
- Create an easy-to-access, one stop resource center for local church leaders. We started by asking what pastors, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, technology people might want to know. Actually, we gave that question to volunteer “guides” and forum hosts who are themselves anchored in the local church and asked them to assemble resources—articles, basic guidelines, practical advice, and links to the web sites of denominational agencies and other resources. But we also hoped that participants could themselves be resources to one another—asking questions, giving answers, sharing ideas.
- Create a meeting place for the CRC and its friends—a place of conversation, a place where even difficult questions of ministry can be addressed. We are all to one degree or another isolated, perplexed, searching. Could we help the CRCNA be a community of Christ that more easily and quickly learns from each other’s experiences in ministry?
To sum it all up, you could say The Network has been an effort to apply social networking to the church. Not just for the sake of being social, but to equip and encourage each other for ministry.
Are we succeeding? Should we continue?
The Board of Trustees has initiated a review of The Network and, specifically, this website. Use the comment feature below to share your thoughts.