In his book, The Turning Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes the work of the connector. The connectors he explains are important to social epidemics. The reason why a new restaurant would become the new hotspot in the community might well depend a great deal on the work of the connector. You see, a connector is the person in the market place who tells all their friends about the great deal they just got at Wall Mart. Or the fantastic food they ate at a new restaurant. Every church has connectors in them.
I have identified my wife as being a connector. Should Natalie find a bargain at say Wall Mart, she will immediately call her mother and sister on the phone and them about the great deal and why they should head over to Wall Mart as soon as they get off work. My wife is a connector. She loves telling people about everything from the newest restaurant, to the store who has a sale on paper napkins.
My life was changed by a connector. I was 17 years old when I came into contact with this person. 95% of the relationships I have today are a direct result of this one connector in my life. Mike was his name. Had this person never told me about and invited me to his church, I never would have met most of the people who I now know as my close friends and colleagues. He was not a preacher. He was a connector.
Something excited him about his church and he could not help himself to share it with someone else. Mike is not an orator. He is not a teacher of God’s word. But he connected me to the people who would eventually change my life.
We all have had the work of a connector in our lives. They introduced us to the church. They introduced us to our spouse. They told us the kind of car we should buy. They work behind the scenes to promote projects, products and agendas and they do it every day without pay or recognition. You might say it’s their personality. I would say it’s more of an obsession with some people.
My wife can’t help herself. She has to share her good fortune. I have told her in the past to keep some bargains to herself. Like the beautiful new dress she just got off a clearance rack for a few bucks. I tell her let people think you paid a little something for it, but no, she has to tell the world where they can get the same deal. She loves to be the connector.
Every church has connectors in them. We often fail to appreciate the work they do. Neither do we appreciate the fact that they do their work with great diligence and without anyone noticing them. The mistake we often make in the church is we fail to cause the connectors in the congregation to get excited about the work of the church. A connector in the church will either kill or encourage a new project or ministry.
I have gone into churches to promote Small Group Ministries and found that there were connectors in the background of the church who I had failed to get on board. These people are either going to be excited about something or they will be against it. If they are excited, they will tell everyone how excited they are and many in the church will listen to them. However, if they are against a new project or ministry, they will also let those who listen to them know that as well.
A connector can be a church leader’s best friend. Should you get the connectors in the church excited about your ministry or the new project, you will have little problem getting the rest of the church to get on board.
Pay attention to the person in the congregation who does the work of the connector. Identify who these people are. Find out what ministries they support and which ones they don’t. Make it a point to be animated when speaking to them about a project or idea you are wanting to promote. Should you get the connector excited about the same thing that you are excited about, you will find that your job just got much easier.
Remember, the connector in the church may not be on the leadership team. They may be the little grandmother who doesn’t say much, but when she does, people listen.