“…Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition…” Philippians 1:27 (MSG)
We have all heard pundits, researchers, spiritual guides and thought leaders talk about how hard it is to make connections in globalized cultures. We are on the move, scheduled tight and unaware of our surroundings.
We have few friends besides friends related to our work. And because we change jobs more frequently, we loose those friends and have to make others. In short, we have few meaningful connections in the professional world today that go beyond specific situations. It is no different in the ministry context.
I have found that unless we take Paul’s challenge to the Philippians to stand united seriously we will be divided without even knowing it! It will simply happen out of neglect. I’m sure you have had experiences like that. Times when you thought you were in agreement with someone you hadn’t seen in ages and then get together only to realize that one of you has moved ideologically and are now in a new place. That wasn’t an intentional division between you, but without work, it simply happened.
I have realized that without intentional efforts to engage our chances of being united in Christ with those around are slim. So I have found a few things very helpful:
- We found a church with a Sunday School class that is serious about community. This group is an amazing source of spiritual support, energy and friendship.
- As I took on my CEO role at GMI, I found a group of Colorado Springs CEO’s that get together several times a year. This has been extremely helpful in understanding what other CEO’s are dealing with and connecting around common challenges.
- I also got involved with the CLA’s Leader2Leader Mentoring program where several leaders of nonprofits get together to provide peer-to-peer mentoring to each other with a facilitator.
Each of these has been an intentional effort to engage with others and create connection, community and relationship. How are you intentionally engaging?