This summer, I attended The Church Network's 61st National Conference in the Washington, D.C., area. According to the TCN Conference website, the conference is described as "an engaging, thought-provoking three-day event offering you multiple ways to network with church leaders, find a mentor, get a sneak preview of emerging technology, and hone your skills. You'll have opportunities to get started on certification requirements and to participate in continuing education."

I have attended this conference three years in a row now. In an age when taking the time to attend an in-person meeting is difficult — much less an in-person three-day conference this is a conference that I make sure not to miss.

Now you are probably thinking, "This is about to turn into a commercial," but wait ... it's not. The point is meeting in person is important.

For me, it is this particular conference, but for you it may be a different setting or topic. The key is the benefit of building personal relationships. When I meet with people in person, even when I mess up a name or two, I am connecting on a different level than I can in any other way.

In an article for Forbes, Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment's senior vice president of national meetings and events, reflects on in-person meetings and shares that "if we don't continue to nurture strong and positive personal relationships with our clients and co-workers, we won't build trust, understanding, or a sense of a shared mission all of which are critical elements to successful partnerships and business success."

One of the most important metrics for relationships is authenticity. Authenticity is nearly unmeasurable without a foundational relationship. Nurturing a relationship requires effort, time, trust and face time.

The in-person meeting has competition in technology, but let us not give up the investment in our relationships by giving up on this important time of meeting face-to-face.

This conference helps me to have that kind of face time with my church administration colleagues. I hope you can find time to meet with those who help you build deep authentic collegial relationships.