I'm interested in finding or starting a networking group.  I wondered about other people's experiences.  Do you meet at churches, homes, restaurants?  Or do you chat via phone/computer?  How did you find the group you are in?  Suggestions of ways to start a group would be helpful, too.  Thanks so much!  JOY

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We have a local network that meets once a month (the 3rd Thursday of every month).  We started by simply emailing as many churches in our area in a 10-15 mile radius.

Format:  we meet over lunch - people usually bring their lunch and I provide drinks and chocolate.  Each month we throw out a couple of topics and then just let the conversations flow.  Sometimes we lock in on a specific topic.  Other times it's multiple topics.  And sometime people just need a safe place to vent and get encouragement.

Outflow on our Network:  Out of our network has come several things.  First, there is networking and connecting going on outside of the monthly meeting.  Second, a group of us came together and this will be our 3rd year doing summer camp together.

Hope this helps....

Our network group is all women.  They had already been meeting when I connected with one of their members through CM Connect actually.  From what I understand it all started with a few ladies getting together in the area and grew from there.  

We meet about once a month.  Our monthly meetings are at churches and we rotate through who hosts it each time.  The host provides the meeting place and refreshments.  During those meetings we discuss all kinds of topics from volunteers to staff to summer events.  These connections last anywhere from 2-3 hours (we're chatty) :).  We also do a gift exchange and fellowship in December which is usually at someone's home.

We've also been blessed to go on 2 retreats together for a weekend.  It's a huge blessing.  We leave on Sunday after our services and return Tuesday.  We have done studies for the retreat, which always includes ministry talk and prayers, but also refreshes us on our personal walks.

For us it's been a blessing to just have women.  This allows us to talk about the unique struggles we face as females in ministry, but it also allows us to do events like the retreats.

We are just getting ready to start one in our area and INCM has a lot of resources to help you do this in your area. 

We are just now starting one in our area INCM: Columbia on 2/20.  I first introduced the idea to the area pastors group and asked for their approval and they agreed to us to do that.  Then they let us send out an email to all the pastors in that group.  We've had a really great response.  I've received 12 or so responses at this point, and I'm thrilled! 

I like what others have mentioned on their replies as ideas as well.

I started by calling up any churches I knew about and asking to talk to their Children's Minister.  I didn't know anything about kidmin when I started, so I needed to learn anything I could.  Anyone that would take my call, I'd talk to and see if I could meet them for lunch sometime to pick their brain. 

Out of that, I had one awesome lady at the largest church in our area invest in my wife and I and 'empty her cup' into us and our ministry.  I would meet with her and some of her friends in other churches once a quarter, and eventually she connected  with another group which she invited me to.  This group keeps growing and reaching more and more people in our area mainly through word of mouth.  We are now partnering with CMConnect and INCM to reach out to more people who may be looking to connect.

We're in Tampa Bay, FL by the way.

Yes, several kidmin leaders meet once a month for lunch, dicussion, and giggles - always nice to get together and network!

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