There is a clever series of commercials that start with a seemingly random act, but through an odd series of events end up in some crazy scenario. The most recent one has a guy skipping work at the zoo, they let someone who lacks experience do his job, which leads to a lowland gorilla escaping. The gorilla ends up attacking the guy who skipped work. The tag line is, “Don’t be attacked by a lowland gorilla.” These types of situations are referred to as “unintended consequences.”
In the spirit of those commercials let me explore some unintended consequences for pastors who do not network with others in ministry.
1. By not networking, a pastor becomes a “lone ranger” who is isolated from others.
2. When a pastor becomes isolated they have no one to turn to for support in a crisis.
3. When a pastor has no one to turn to in a crisis, the pastor is tempted to make bad decisions (intellectually, morally or strategically).
4. When a pastor makes bad decisions, the church asks him to resign.
5. Don’t have your church ask you to resign.
OK, I know this seems far-fetched. But in my work I have watched a lot of pastors go through all kinds of crisis situations. Those who have a network of support to lean on always come through the crisis in a better way than those who have chosen to isolate themselves. Those with support have others who will be praying for them, standing with them emotionally, giving them good advice, and being there for them when everything falls apart.
This is why I strongly encourage pastors to connect with some sort of network like our Pastor’s Fellowship. And, I practice what I preach. I belong to three different networks of people in ministry. Our Pastor’s Fellowship meets on the third Thursday of each month from 11 AM to 1 PM (including a free lunch). The location for meetings vary from month to month. If you are not on the mailing list for this gathering, contact email@example.com and asked to be put on the pastor’s mailing list.
If you don’t come to the fellowship, don’t blame us when you get attacked by a lowland gorilla.