A trusted friend and leader in church ministry, John McClendon, recently launched a network designed to help the local church partner with seasoned trainers and veterans of local church ministry for the purpose of strengthening and growing their Sunday School and small-group ministries. The following Q&A with the president of the 412 Network, John McClendon, will help you gain an understanding of how this exciting new venture can help you and your church. My questions to John are in bold, and his answers follow.
Question 1: What led you to start the 4:12 Network?
As a leader, I regularly receive calls asking me to recommend someone, an organization, or a resource for training in the local church. I am not alone in this. I know that, as a regular routine, local church leaders are continually asking each other and trusted friends, “Who can I get to help me equip leaders?” I also know there are multitudes of individuals and organizations who stand ready to help, if only a church leader knew how and where they could be discovered.
I discovered a possible solution to help connect the local church with the expertise they were seeking during my journey as a trainer at LifeWay. I was given an opportunity to visit a national training organization convention for businesses and was amazed at the vast network that was available for businesses to tap into for their training needs. My question was, “Why can’t this be done for evangelical churches?” That experience became the catalyst God used to place me on a path over the past three years of exploring this possibility. Every time I tried to set the dream aside and walk away, God would place something or someone in my path that would refuel the desire to keep moving in His direction.
Question 2: What do you hope to accomplish through the 4:12 Network?
As a local church leader, God has placed you in His church as a “general contractor” to help build up the body of Christ (see Ephesians 4:11-16). The 4:12 Network is a ministry that helps you find the “sub-contractors” you need in order to complete the building project. It finds its name and purpose in Ephesians 4:12, “for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ” (HCSB). The goal is to provide a place where church leaders look for that just right ministry specialist, organization, resource, or event that can meet a specific ministry need. The needs vary, as do the churches, so the challenge lies with how to help the church find the best solution. My dream is for the 4:12 Network to be the solution discovery place.
Question 3: What’s your background in the local church?
I have been in the ministry for 33 years (I was very young when I began!). During my years in ministry I have served on church staff in a variety of positions related to education ministry and as an associate pastor. I am currently serving as a lay person in my home church, Northside Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN, while focusing on the 4:12 Network. I teach adult Sunday School and coordinate the First Impressions ministry.
Question 4: Where else have you worked as you have served the church? What were your roles?
The past twelve years were spent serving the local church through LifeWay as an adult Sunday School specialist, adult ministry specialist, and manager of LifeWay’s corporate training team.
Question 5: How will the 4:12 Network help the local church?
It will help by simply providing a free place for the local church to find an individual, an organization, a resource, or an event that they did not know existed that would meet the training needs of their church leaders.
Question 6: What are the advantages of using the 412 Network to find personalized training for your church?
Searching is FREE. Any church of any size, with any size budget can find what they need. Once you discover what you need, you simply go directly to that individual or organization to continue the conversation. You only need to create a log-in and password to search.
Searching is customizable. The local church can search by ministry need, location, denomination, and by organization. Any church can explore resources, learn about training events, and search for members and affiliate organizations that will meet their ministry needs.
Searching expands the possibilities. We all have limited access to information through our existing networks. This expands the opportunities for the local church to discover someone or something they didn’t even know existed.
Searching gives you accountability.Each paying member is required to agree to our Terms and Conditions before joining. Once you find someone you want to pursue further, you have all the information you need to do further research as to whether this person fits your need.
Question 7: What kind of information will you find on the 4:12 Network website to help make a decision about training for your church?
In order to search in our expanded database you will need to Create a Free Account. The database gives you access to every member and organization affiliated with the 4:12 Network. You can narrow your search by
- Ministry Role & Focus
Once you find a leader or affiliate organization you want to consider, you can click on their profile to see a brief description, contact information, references, and any resources they might recommend. Here is an example of what you will see:
Question 8: What else do we need to know about the 4:12 Network?
It is important to create a free account so you can search the database, “like” us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to the newsletter, and follow the blog. We are a start-up organization so we are adding leaders monthly and will keep providing updates to those who connect with us.
If you want to join the 4:12 Network as a member or affiliate so your can expand your opportunities to be used by the local church for their training needs, check out our membership costs.
It is my prayer that the 4:12 Network will become your trusted site for discovering what you need in order to continue building up the body of Christ!