Leadership Thought: How You Can Live Longer by Connecting with Ohers in Church.
Just yesterday I was in Walgreens when and I came across a person in a military uniform. I walked up to him as I often do when I see members of the military, and looking him in the eye, I said, “Thanks for your service.” And he responded saying, “Thanks, I appreciate your words,” and both of us quickly moved on.”
Just a few words spoken between two people who never met before, but I experienced an immediate sense of connection between the two of us. I felt good, and I had a sense he did also.
That is what happens when true connection takes place between people, even people who don’t know each other.
As Jean and I were leaving the store, I saw a disabled woman pushing a walker, and I took a few extra seconds to wait and hold the door for her, and she began profusely thanking me for my action. I don’t remember what we said to each other after that-not much of anything-but as we both walked away, I do remember having the sense in helping her we both connected with one another and that felt good to me and suspect she felt the same.
I don’t share these two examples to draw attention to myself, but only to point out that it doesn’t take much effort-just a few seconds- to connect with people and experience the good feelings associated with it.
How important it is in life for all of us to look for opportunities to connect with each other
John Maxwell is fond of saying “Always touch a person’s heart before you ask him for his hand,” and that is good advice for all of us who are interested in building relationships with others.
As Connections Pastor in our church, I am intent on looking for ways to connect with people and encouraging them to connect with others.
I encourage our members to come to church with the purpose of connecting with someone they don’t know. When every member does that, a large church becomes small and intimate and a warmth of fellowship develops that possesses magnetic power to attract and retain visitors. Visitors may quickly forget the message they heard from the pulpit, but they will never forget the warmth of fellowship they experienced as people reached out and connected with them.
Churches plan and promote “Make a Friend Sundays,” but why does making friends only happen on special Sundays? Shouldn’t we want to make a friend(s) every Sunday?
Making friends will not happen automatically. As my mother used to say, “to have friends, you must always seek to be a friend.”
Connection with people doesn’t happen without some degree of intentionality, so I encourage our church members not to leave church until they have spoken and connected with at least one person they don’t know.
Connectors “know the way, go the way and show the way for others.” They are connecting examples because they make connecting a priority.
And by the way connecting is good for your health. It can even help you live longer.
A large-scale research review found that low social connection has as much of an effect on our mortality rate as not exercising and is twice as harmful as being overweight. That review also found loneliness effects morbidity as much as a smoking or alcohol. Connecting with People- What It Is and Isn’t. Andrea Darcy, March 21, 2017-taken from the internet.
Let’s make Romans 12:10 our church motto: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
So, if you want to live longer, and make your church more attractive while doing so, just make it your goal to make every Sunday, “Make a Friend Sunday.”
Yours in faith,Tom