From the outset of our ministry a few years ago, the number one question we are asked is “How do you find the Young Professionals you will work with?” It’s a great question, because we’ve wondered that ourselves. When we worked with college students, we had no problem finding them. We just walked onto campus and there they were! We had proven methods and strategies for engaging with students and finding those who were interested spiritually.
But finding Young Professionals is more difficult. There is no central place, like a campus, where they congregate. We have to find different ways to locate them and engage with them.
It turns out that the way we’re finding Young Professionals is through networking. Like many other fields and industries, we are building our ministry by utilizing our existing network of relationships and seeking to expand our network through the people we meet and the relationships we are developing.
Let me share an example. Over the summer, I contacted one of our local Cru campus teams about meeting up to share with them who we are and what we do. (see our newsletter from last month – Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1).
We set a date to meet, but in the mean-time, I asked them to let us know if they had any recent grads who were living and/or working in Orange County with whom we could connect. I got an e-mail back with the name of a gal who had recently graduated and was living back at home in Orange County.
Jen arranged to meet with Rayna, who, as it turns out, lives very close to us. Jen explained what we’re doing and how we’re seeking to help Young Professionals stay connected to Jesus and live with purpose. Jen invited Rayna to be a part of a new Leadership Development Group that she is starting up. Rayna was excited to be a part of the group and began recruiting other women in the area whom she knows to be a part of the group with her.
Rayna then told Jen about her college friend Chris who is a PhD student at UC Irvine.
I met with Chris and shared about what we’re doing, inviting Chris to be a part of my next Leadership Development group. Chris was not only interested but suggested I talk to his friend Arthur about the group.
The next week, I met with Arthur, heard his story, shared about our ministry and invited him to also be a part of my next group.
One simple e-mail and question ultimately led to us connecting with over half a dozen new people.
While it may not be as easy to meet new people as it was when we were on campus, we’re starting to see the fruit of our networking efforts, as more and more Young Professionals are engaging with us and connecting us to their relational networks.
We are so grateful for your partnership which enables us to meet with people like Rayna, Chris and Arthur and others. Please continue to pray that we would connect with even more Young Professionals as our extended network continues to expand.