When I realized I was made to not only serve in the church but to serve others as the church, connecting with people became of the utmost importance to me. You can’t serve without connecting. And who you connect with will change the stories you tell tomorrow. This has been true throughout history. Just consider the man who wrote more than one-third of the New Testament, the apostle Paul.
Paul wasn’t always a Christian. Before he was a follower of Jesus, he was Saul from a city called Tarsus, an angry guy who persecuted and killed Christians. If you don’t like Jesus' followers, you’d have loved Saul. But after taking the lives of those who believed Jesus was raised from the dead, Paul became one of them himself.
His transformation was so big, so radical, and so life-changing that Saul (who was renamed Paul) immediately wanted to tell others about Jesus. The problem was that no Christians trusted him and for obvious reasons.
The book of Acts puts it simply: And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple (Acts 9:26). You can’t blame the disciples for their skepticism. I wouldn’t want the guy who killed Christians last month leading my Bible study! Would you?
Paul had a problem. He lacked credibility with other Christians. So Paul reached out to anyone who would give him a chance to share his newfound passion. Paul’s decision to connect didn’t just change his story; it changed history. Paul by God's grace was able to connect with a man, to help alter the course of his destiny. And that friend was a man named Barnabas.
You may be one friendship away from changing your story.
Barnabas risked taking Paul to the apostles, who were the leaders of the people Paul had been trying to kill in his previous life. What happened? Paul’s new friend Barnabas staked his reputation on Paul. And because of Barnabas, the other disciples gave Paul a chance. The rest is history. You may be one friendship away from changing your story.
You’re one friend away from a better marriage. You’re one confession away from overcoming an addiction. You’re one conversation away from getting in better shape. You’re one mentor away from understanding your gifts and becoming a better leader.
Ask yourself, what do I need to do to connect with the right people? Is there anyone I need to disconnect from?
Every day is a new day, and every day is a day to connect!