Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicago Netowrk Leaders Meet

Greetings Chicago Network Leaders!

Nearly 30 Church Led Network Leaders from around Chicago met on Thursday, October 2nd to get acquainted with each other, to identify existing church-led networks around Chicagoland, and to learn from one another in the area of collaborative church networking. What follows is a quick recap of our time together:

  1. We identified several EFFECTIVE METHODS whereby churches are connecting and collaborating together (by regions or communities)
    1. Demonstrating God’s love through Community Service Projects (i.e. ShareFest, CareFest, Helping Hands, etc.)
    2. Prayer & Worship Services (i.e. When We Pray, Celebrate Jesus, etc.)
    3. Shared Ministry Events/Resources (Alpha – evangelism; DivorceCare; Marriage Mentors; Prison Ministry; Family Bridges ; etc.)
  2. Challenges facing Church Led Networks around Chicagoland:
    1. Building relationships across denominations and race / culture / class lines
    2. Urban vs. Suburban needs and strategies
    3. Keeping it local!
  3. Key Elements of Successful Church Led Networks:
    1. Building Relationships of Trust
    2. Taking “ Hills ” Together Locally for Christ
    3. Prayerful Dependence on God Together
  4. Next Steps:
    1. Continue meeting and Identifying Local Church Led Networks around Chicago . Send contact information to me at
    2. Next Meeting à tentatively scheduled for Thursday, January 22nd. Time = 11am – 2pm (lunch included); Location TBD. Please plan on attending and building this Chicago Movement!
    3. Chicago Wide Synergy in 2009? Every network represented at the meeting stated they are ALREADY PLANNING to coordinate a Collaborative Community Service effort involving several churches in their area in fall of 2009. We will continue taking steps to link these efforts across Chicago , thus multiplying its effectiveness and sharing…

i. SHARE a common weekend of service or season of service (i.e. we all target October 3 & 4; or the month of October; etc.)

ii. SHARE a common website and media/promotional tools (so the city can see the church is leading the way for real change, real transformation)

iii. SHARE a common vision and passion to see the reputation of Christ restored in our great city!

iv. Note: this does not mean we complicate the effort or necessarily plan events together. We merely link what is happening across the city, multiplying the fruitfulness, making the church hard to ignore!

  1. It is imperative that we understand that when we gather as fellow network leaders, we are NOT attempting to add one more THING or program to our ministry plate. Instead, we are coordinating and communicating things we are ALREADY DOING and sharing best practices – collaborating to make our community a better place in the name of Jesus!.
  2. We all agreed that unity in each particular network (or region) takes intentional effort – we can’t pray for unity and then ask God to show us when we are “there”. We need to take steps to get to know and build trust with fellow servants and fellow ministers of the Gospel. A key part in that is CONNECTING. Every network has one or two strong leaders that takes risks and leads the way to ensure the network has relational integrity. Each of us is committed to build bridges and relationships within our own God directed networks (city, county, etc.)

Hope that helps… pray about increasingly being an active servant leader along with others across Chicagoland!

Bill Yaccino

Executive Director
(847) 281-3370

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