Friday, October 10, 2014

Thoughts for Speakers & Writers—Would Jesus Network?

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

Okay, let's be honest here. How many times have you cringed at the word, networking? When I first started writing and speaking, I struggled with the whole concept of promotion and marketing and...yes, networking.

After all, this writing/ministry thing was supposed to be all about Him, not me. I just wanted to write and speak words that would ultimately point others to the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus Christ. I didn't want to talk about me.
My goodness, humility is enough of a struggle, and now they're telling me I've got to advertise? Good grief!

But then somewhere along the way, a wise person told me that Jesus believed in networking. That just couldn't be true! What about Jesus' words in Matthew telling us to be humble, like Him? What about the whole "last shall be first" thing? What about Philippians 2 where Paul says:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
And now they're telling me I need to network?

Wise Person then pointed out that when Jesus selected His disciples and sent them out, He was telling them to network. When He declared what we now know as The Great Commission, He was telling His followers spread out, to make other followers, and teach them to network. When Paul and Barnabas and others traveled on their missionary journeys, they brought letters of recommendation from those in leadership...and they wrote letters for others. That was networking.

Attending writers conferences, reading and posting on others' blogs, promoting others' work and helping them succeed, taking classes, and yes, writing for free are all forms of networking in the writing world. As I look back on my years as a writer, I can see that most of the friendships and connections that have positively influenced by business and ministry have come about through networking.

But don't be deceived. Networking is NOT using others and making connections for the sole purpose of advancing your own agenda. It's sad to say, but it happens a lot.

So what about you? Are you connecting with others in order to spread the Name of Christ? Are you seeking like-minded leaders who could give letters of recommendation for your work? Are you recommending others yourself? Are you helping others succeed?

If so, then you're networking. And done right, networking is a good thing.

Have you experienced success through networking? Would you join the conversation and tell us about it? And remember, we don’t need specific names or locations, but we’d love to see the results of good networking in action!

Networking & Jesus, they aren't incompatible - tips for speakers & writers via @VondaSkelton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Would Jesus Network - Thoughts for Speakers & Writers - via @VondaSkelton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Vonda Skelton is a speaker and the author of four books: Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the 3-book Bitsy Burroughs mysteries for children 8-12 yo. She’s the founder and co-director of Christian Communicators Conference, offering speakers’ training and community for Christian women called to ministry. Vonda is a frequent instructor at writer’s conferences and keynotes at business, women’s, and associational events. You can find out more about Vonda, as well as writing opportunities and instruction at her writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den at


  1. I'm a born networker. I love to connect people with others who can help them or provide what they need. :)

  2. You are indeed, Ane! I'm so thankful God connected us!

  3. Wonderful article! Thank you! I have wondered how to balance the idea of networking with the true humility that promotes Jesus and his renown.

    1. Thanks for your input and encouragement, Karen. It was quite an eye opener when I realized the application. After all, it's a way to connect to others and get the word out about His grace! Blessings on your day!

  4. Networking can be a scary thing, but so doable. I have "met" so many people I would never have come in contact with otherwise. People I barely know have been such a blessing to me in both my writing and editing. I love to return the favor. Some of the best advice I ever received was to believe every day for divine connections, appointments, and favor. God can open doors we could never imagine. Yes, Jesus would network! :)

    1. "Believe every day for divine connections, appointments, and favor." I love that, Andrea! And I think I know who said it. :-) Blessings, sweet friend!

  5. Vonda, what a great perspective on networking. Thanks for the inspiration.

    My parents always emphasized do-onto-others as you'd like to have others do for you. I try to incorporate this in my Tweeting & blogging. Though it would be nice--of course--for return "favors" I sincerely do not social network exclusively for this reason. I enjoy helping others.The unexpected payback is exactly what Andrea said above: I've met so many lovely, good-hearted people that I would have never known otherwise. These kind souls have helped me through several rough patches and I hope I've done, and can do, the same for them.

  6. Hi Elaine! Thank you for your kind words. Yes, your parents taught you well. Thank YOU for the reminder. We're blessed by His gift of friendships through His body! Hope to see you soon.