My family just got back from a great vacation. But I realized that part of what made it so successful was the recommendations from others. We borrowed tents from friends, got all sorts of tips about what sites to see, what to avoid, and so much more. If we had just headed out on our own, we wouldn’t have had nearly the fun we had. But the collective wisdom we gathered from others made the vacation a successful one.

The Power of Relationships in Ministry

Ministry is much like that. One of my mentors used to repeatedly say,

“All effective ministry happens in the context of relationships.”

But how does a relationship begin? Well, think through your friendships. Most of your relationships started in a very casual way:
[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]It may have started through a conversation with a fellow parent in the stands at the ball game as you watch your children’s sport.[/list_item]
[list_item]It might have begun over coffee with a co-worker you see every day.[/list_item]
[list_item]It could have started in a grocery line.[/list_item]
[list_item]It might have been sparked by serving alongside someone.[/list_item]
[list_item]Or it might be that because you live next to them, you just kept running into them at the mailbox.[/list_item]

Most people do not try to force a relationship. Most of us allow our relationships to begin naturally.

So let’s apply this to Riverwood:

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[list_item]This means a relationship could be sparked on a Sunday morning standing around the food table.[/list_item]
[list_item]It happens as you commit to going to a Growth Group weekly.[/list_item]
[list_item]It might occur as you serve alongside each other doing set-up on a Sunday or at the Food Bank each month.[/list_item]

But I can tell you this: While those relationships might begin naturally, they won’t happen by accident or magic. It means you have to actually stop by the food table and strike up a conversation with someone. It means you have to sign-up to serve at a FirstServe event, then say “hi” to those who show up. It means asking someone questions to get to know them.

I want to see you be Dynamic in human relationships. It does not mean you have to be a flaming extrovert, but it does mean you need to value people because God values people. And as you allow God to create these relationships, you will not only see God use you to bless others, but YOU will receive a blessing as well.

So reach out. Get to know others. Be caring. Love others. Be generous. And watch God improve your social IQ, making you more and more like Jesus. Leverage relationships for His glory.