Spheres of Influence

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Building New Relationships

Our  Relational Evangelism series:

TreadmillAre we called to isolate ourselves?

One reaction to the culture is to isolate ourselves:

  • Christian social networks,
  • Christian business,
  • see only Christian movies,
  • listen to Christian radio, and
  • attend the local coffee house when a Christian band is playing.

That’s intentional isolation.

There is also accidental isolation via the Christian treadmill.

It’s pretty easy to do over the course of time.

We are busy with activities in our highly programmed church, attending Bible studies, choir practice, and if we are in leadership, there are all the preparatory meetings for these events on top of the event themselves.

Our social calendars fill up by default, with good things to do, but the accidental result is

All our friends are in our church.

Looking at your spheres of influence

Instead of trying to ditch everything and form new social connections, perhaps you already have some that you may not be aware.

These are connections that are already part of your life, but may not come to mind immediately.

The goal is not to add another layer of work for you to do to get out of the bubble, but to start seeing the organic relationships you may already have.

I picked up a concept from a presentation years ago that has stuck with me.

These relationships may not be deep, but you already have regular contact with these individuals.

Consider these three spheres of influence:Atomium #3

1.  Where you live.

Consider the natural relationships you may have with

  • Members of your own household (Kids, parents, siblings).
  • Extended family members with whom you are regularly in contact
  • Immediate neighbors and their families or households.

2.  Where you work.

Consider the natural relationships you may have with

  • co-workers in your office.
  • people you regularly share a work-meal with.
  • People from other divisions you regularly meet every few months.

I think of some networking meetings after hours where conversation did get more personal and off topic from work.

I remember seeing people at such meetings once every two months at dinner when I worked for a global corporation.  These were natural conversations where spiritual subjects did come up.

You may have work place rules about sharing of personal faith stories and conversations.  You may also have some deepening friendships with co-workers that blend personal lives where you have liberty to talk about matters of faith.

3.  Where you play

Consider the natural relationships you may have with

  • People you meet at your kid’s sporting events.
  • People you play a sport with.
  • People in your social club (e.g., knitting, reading, bridge, poker)

Coaching Corner

Take a few moments and pray through these spheres of influence.

Who does the Lord bring to mind that you need to deepen a relationship, strengthen a connection, or pray for the an opening to talk about your faith?

Series NavigationSpheres of Influence 2: Where do you Work?
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