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How To Better Connect With People

Posted by Vanderbloemen Search Group on 6/15/12 1:41 PM

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When I meet someone, I often wonder who can this person benefit from knowing and who can benefit from knowing this person? Because of this obsession, I have a great network of incredible church leaders. People often ask how I do it so here are four thoughts on connecting with people:

Learn more than you teach

I remember hosting the great mentor, Earl Creps, at The Oaks. A couple of us took him to IHOP after the service to spend some time with the wise one and learn from his vast knowledge. Instead, we found ourselves answering his questions and teaching him about technology. Earl learned how to send a text message. He later went onto write “Reverse Mentoring”. The best church leaders learn all they can from others.

Listen more than you talk

Nate Ruch is one of my spiritual fathers. As I was about to finish my sophomore year at NCU, I was planned on leaving my role as a small group leader to travel the country with an evangelist. Nate met with me in the school cafeteria and I will never forget this meeting. I spent 30 minutes spilling my guts and it took him 5 minutes to speak deep wisdom into my life. Nate, a great leader, knew the importance of listening.

Add more than you take

Over the years Dr. Sam Chand has become a great friend. The most important thing he has taught me is that the connections God has given you are for sharing, not hoarding. Earlier this year Sam introduced me to William Vanderbloemen in a simple email and then let the connection grow from there. Today William is a great friend and incredible resource for ministry.

Care more than you are cared for

Scott Wilson has been The Oaks’ senior pastor for nine years. Every time I bring a visiting church leader by, Scott makes them feel welcome and makes his every possible resource available to them. I love watching this. From the Chief of Staff for Saddleback Church to the youth pastor of a small congregation, Scott brings them into his office and gives them everything he can. Leaders care for others above and beyond what is expected.

Connect more than you meet

I first met Mark Brewer in the gym of a church that I was staying at for a stateside missions trip. There were about 60 people in the room from 10 different churches/colleges. I remember him walking up to me and introducing himself. He then proceeded to introduce the 4 or 5 other people that were in his circle. Although he talked about these people like they were his best friends, I soon discovered that he had just met them as well. A couple minutes later Mark walked to another group of people. I continued to talk with the group I was with but I watched as Mark repeated the process of introducing himself, getting to know people, then introducing these people to new people. I studied Mark as he did this. Within 20 minutes the entire gym had met each other and was full of friends and not strangers. Mark has a way of making it a smaller world. It is a true gift.

Learn more than you teach

Listen more than you talk

Add more than you take

Care more than you are cared for

Connecting is more than a technique. As I reflect on this list I see a pattern of looking beyond myself and putting the focus on others. The amazing thing is that the result makes me stronger.

The business of connecting isn’t as difficult as we make it. Reach out. Look beyond yourself. You’ll be surprised how much can happen.

Topics: Church Development, Team Building

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