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Itís all about relationships comment (0)

December 2, 2010

By Jean Roberson

I read the other day that our society is changing. As a whole, we are becoming more informal. You can see this in how people dress for church. “Business casual” is becoming the appropriate dress of the workplace. As we embrace community through Facebook and Twitter, our interactions become more informal and our personal and business lives begin to intermingle.

With this growing informality is a move toward a more relational society. Everything now is about having relationships. Even in marketing classes and webinars, we learn the key to bringing a service to people is having a relationship with them. Gone are the days when we could distance ourselves from people we serve through the workplace. Gone are the days when people would come to church or community groups simply because of the purpose of the organization or the programs offered. Personal relationships bring people into those groups, and a lack of personal relationships will cause them to leave.

It really should not surprise us though nor should it scare us. In Genesis, we read how God desired to be in relationship with humankind. It was because of sin that we became distant from God and each other. Similarly it is through a relationship with Jesus Christ that we are saved. God has always been about personal relationships.  

The difficulty is that relationships take time and energy. When we are rushed and focused on getting so many things done and caring for so many people, taking time for relationships can be difficult. However, taking a few minutes to listen and talk to a person can help prevent misunderstandings and future crises.  

For example, if you take a few minutes once a week to speak with the key people you work with, then you may discover what problems they are dealing with or the projects they have to address that week. It provides you with an opportunity to understand what they are facing, problem-solve key issues for the week and learn how you can be supportive of those people. This is also true for people you serve with on a committee, in your faith community and even your children and spouse.  

Having a personal relationship with the key people in our lives enables us to be more effective in managing the workplace, our church responsibilities and our households. It takes more time and energy. That is true. At the same time, we were made to be in relationship with God and each other.

A Takeaway Value …
Having relationships with people is as important as accomplishing tasks. It even can help you be more effective.  

EDITOR’S NOTE — Jean Roberson, MSW, LCSW, is a ministry consultant for national Woman’s Missionary Union. She serves as team leader for the adult team and director of Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and International Initiatives.

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