What’s meant by “Connecting Always Requires Energy”? It’s right to take it at face value. If you hope to connect with people, you’ll need put some spunk into it, baby. Maxwell does a good job explaining what he does and doesn’t mean.
When I suggest that energy is required to connect with others, I’m not saying that you must be a high-energy person to connect with others. Nor do you have to be an extrovert. You must simply be willing to use whatever energy you have to focus on others and reach out to them. It’s really a matter of choice. (Connecting, 78)
Maxwell enumerates five ways to use energy to connect with people. The first is to take initiative. You have to make the first move. Simply put, if you want something to happen, make it happen. This concept is embedded in evangelism. We don’t stand still waiting for the nations to come and be discipled. We GO and disciple the nations. There’s gospel initiative on the part of Christians. In a similar vein, whether we want to gain friends, build business, or organize a golf tournament, we’ll need to take the initiative in doing so. One cannot simply wait for other people. For “when it comes to interacting with others,” says Maxwell, “they often wait for the other person to take the first step. But all that does is lead to missed opportunities.” Missed opportunities are sad.
Now, taking initiative with people can be scary. It takes both confidence and willingness to make oneself uncomfortable to do it. Picture the new couple at church last Lord’s Day. It is so comfortable to talk with our friends instead of greeting that couple, but we need to extend ourselves. We need to think of how to minister to other people, and that’s often uncomfortable.
Initiating a conversation with someone often feels awkward. Offering help to someone means risking rejection. Giving to others can lead to misunderstanding. You won’t feel ready or comfortable in those moments. You just have to learn to get past those feelings of awkwardness or insecurity. (Connecting, 81)
Love of Christ and a heart to see him glorified and a desire to minister to other people should be enough for us to overcome our own feelings. After all, fear (for example, of rejection, awkwardness, pain) is only in one’s own head. Love for Christ and for other people must be a stronger motivating factor.
So, try it. Put the energy into overcoming your fears. Start small: meet someone you don’t know. Go introduce yourself to the visitors at church.
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