I was thinking today about how I influence people. How do I encourage people for Christ? It seems to me that I have to first be the person that others would want to talk to and to be around. People will talk because we are social beings and its conversations that connect us. At the base of our existence is a deep need to connect with others, our own hearts and minds, and also to connect deeply with God. We see how word of mouth can be used in social media, TV, shopping venues and all of those areas of service. We eat at a great restaurant and we want to tell someone about it. We get a good product and we want to share it with someone else so they can enjoy the same product. It has been proven why these social media programs have become so popular. We DO have a need to connect. How does that same idea measure up to how I model my Christian faith to others? If we know face to face is one of the best ways to share and make connections, so what are we doing to make sure we have that face to face connection more often? How do we measure up to that level of connection?
We have many types of people in our church family. We have those who are true connecting type individuals. They know many of the people and they make great people to have conversations with. We also have people who are the informative type. You can count on them to have knowledge of many things, the latest technology or they have read something interesting and they like to share it. We have people who are great persuaders and they are good at drawing people out and usually pretty good at having the ability to influence those they chat with. So with all these skills in our own body of Christ, why aren’t these same skills transferred to influencing or encouraging those around us for Christ?
I know for myself, I want to be a good example of Christ to others. I have many areas where I need to allow God to work but I don’t want to wait until I get all in line to share what God is doing currently in my life. Maybe we don’t do more connecting because we might lack is self-confidence or we have a fear of rejection. I know for myself, I am not great at evangelizing, but I am a good encourager. So I can use that skill to share and connect with others. We don’t want to keep encouragement or praise for what God is doing in our lives a secret. We want to spread the good news. If Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or any other social media, can be so successful at using our time, then surely we can give equal time to connecting with others that may need you. I am a BIG social media connector. I love it and find it is a great way to have ministry. But look to these things asking God to help us use it in a positive way. We can then ask him to better prepare us for how He wants us to connect; to be a noticer. Email someone, text someone, Facebook someone…it can be a great way to reach out to encourage and uplift others. But remember, the face to face is the best way to connect. People are listening. People are watching. Let’s give them a reason to connect with us, both out in the world and in our own church family.