They bring people together. They introduce Paul McCartneys to John Lennons and Steve Jobs’s to Steve Wozniaks. They connect Stephen Spielbergs to George Lucases.
They find everyone fascinating and want others to meet these fascinating people. Often as a result of the connections they make, partnerships or teams are formed that change the course of technology or music or sports.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Tipping Point, calls them “Connectors.” Here’s what he says about a lady named Lois Weisberg:
The point is that Lois found him interesting, because, in some way, she finds everyone interesting. Weisberg, one of her friends told me, always says—‘Oh, I’ve met the most wonderful person. You are going to love her,’ and she is as enthused about this person as she was about the first person she has met and you know what, she’s usually right.” Helen Doria, another of her friends, told me that “Lois sees things in you that you don’t even see in yourself,” which is another way of saying the same thing, that by some marvelous quirk of nature, Lois and the other people like her have some instinct that helps them relate to the people they meet. When Weisberg looks out at the world or when Roger Horchow sits next to you on an airplane, they don’t see the same world that the rest of us see. They see possibility, and while most of us are busily choosing whom we would like to know, and rejecting the people who don’t look right or who live out near the airport, or whom we haven’t seen in sixty five years, Lois and Roger like them all.
Every Christian should be a Connector.
We should find everyone interesting and be enthused about people, and see everyone as unique and created in God’s image. We should “see possibility,” and while most of the world is “busily choosing whom (they) would like to know, and rejecting the people who don’t look right or live out near the airport,” we should “like them all.”
We should make a beeline for visitors to our churches. Next time you see someone you don’t know, welcome them and introduce yourself. Take a genuine interest. Ask him what he does. If he says, “I’m a beekeeper,” get interested in beekeeping. “You’re a beekeeper? How did you get into that? How many times have you been stung? Have you ever gone into anaphylactic shock? Do you sell honey? How many hives do you have?”
Be a Connector outside of church. Ask you neighbor about her beautiful garden. Pump your local barista about his favorite coffee or his most complex drink.
Connectors aren’t consumed with themselves. They’re humble. And joyful. Because one path to joy is to forget about ourselves by loving others.
The ultimate goal is to connect people to Jesus. When you care about people they’ll eventually share their desires and burdens and you might get the chance to pray for them and connect them with their sympathetic high priest. Who knows? You may even connect someone to Jesus for the first time.