"There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who walk into a room and say ''Here I am'' and those who walk into a room and say 'There you are’” — Anonymous
“There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.” – G. K. Chesterton
One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.” His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself. After many, many years, after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written: Your son is mentally ill. We won’t let him come to school any more.
What an incredible woman Thomas Edison’s mum must have been. She saw the gold in Edison, before anyone else did, and spoke words of life & encouragement over him.
I find this as an incredible illustration of how we can create ‘Family’ in our Connect Groups by speaking life & encouragement over people.
Cultivating true belonging is creating a ‘come as you are’ community in your Connect Group and creating an environment where you leave better than how you walked in because you speak words of life in a world inundated with negativity.
This incredible story of Zacchaeus illustrates how Jesus created true belonging.
Jesus commonly shared the Gospel over meals, and created moments for people to feel like they belonged before they believed.
I feel like Jesus could have easily convinced people he was the most ‘interesting’ person in the room, however he was determined to not be ‘interesting’ but ‘interested’ in whoever was in front of him.
Today I want to encourage you to look for the gold in the people in your Connect Group & intentionally encourage them.
We can never underestimate the power of timely & specific encouragement.
(1) How can you create a culture of belonging in your connect group? What are some ways you can build bridges with those different to you?
(2) What are some ways you be present today in conversations and look how you can be interested in someone’s story?
(3) Who is one person today you can text to encourage and speak words of life over today?
Dear Jesus. Thank you that you’ve invited me to be a part of your family despite all my shortcomings and failures. I pray that you would help me to help others feel the same embrace you have given me. Amen.