Late Night Rendezvous: The Afterhours Gathering

Long days. That sums up my entire week at an annual meeting that I attend. Don’t get me wrong, I’m invigorated by that week every year and I walk away with a lot of new knowledge and I get a lot of great work done. But, man, at the end of the evening, I’m ready to crash.

Except, a funny thing happens every night at these meetings. Many attendees gather, after a long days work, at the bar, restaurant, or just in the lobby. What do they do? Talk. And talk and talk and talk.

I am not an evening person. If I had my way, I would go to bed at 9pm every night. But something strange happens to me when I attend meetings with great leaders from across the country. I don’t want to go to bed. I want to stay up and talk with them.

Why?

Well, for how great the meeting during the day was and how much was accomplished, I find that the most valuable time of the entire week are these evening gatherings. No agenda. No tasks to accomplish. Just relationship building.

I learn more about leadership in the church sitting in the lounge with a glass of wine in hand listening to great minds. I’m always curious to find out how other people do ministry across the country. So I ask good questions. I find out what’s working and what’s not working in ministry. I get to know about their family, especially their children. I find out who are some good people to invite to my area to present workshops or seminars. I network and people find out a little bit about how I do ministry back home.

These evening gatherings act very much like my learning lunch.

How can I apply this everyday to my life?

Well, for one, I need to always remember that relationships are always more important then the tasks I have to get done. I can’t tell you how much that pains me to write. I’m a task guy, but I have to take time for relationships.

What does this look like on a daily basis?

When someone comes into my office asking for assistance or needs to talk a ministry question through, I need to not act like it is an inconvenience. It’s my job and a part of my vocational call to respond to the needs of others. If it is truly an inconvenient time, then I need to tell them right away and give them a good time to come back and talk with me. People are not a distraction. People are what I am all about in ministry.

So, stay up a little later than usual to network and get to know people. You’ll find that this is a great time to bond and connect, as well as learn a ton.

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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