Bloggers note: I actually like the show Cheers.
But this blog isn’t really about that.
It’s about the counter intuitive emotions we feel that get in the way of what we really want.
For example: the feeling we feel when we walk into a space and we don’t know everyone. Some people walk into that environment and they think, “Great! New people to meet!” These are the more entrepreneurial types. They’re more extroverted, inclusive, generally fun. These people are more precious than gold to social movements.
Then there are others [often times like me] that have this thought, “There’s so many people here. I don’t know everyone.” It’s not social anxiety disorder…it’s something else. These people enjoy smaller groups, deeper conversation. They are more precious than gold when it comes to
slowing social movements down…
…Unless they can learn that feeling bad is good.
So many youth groups, college groups, church plants all hover around the 30-people mark because [among other reasons] there’s this innate feeling that can be articulated like this:
They have to know and be known by everyone in the room.
And this thought is [one of] the kisses of death for any movement.
We won’t be able to serve humanity as long as we’re trying to meet our intimacy needs through large group gatherings. We won’t be able to move forward until we empower those of us who long for deep connection to realize that it’s actually good that we don’t know everyone. It’s good that this room is crowded. It’s good that our community is shifting from a core to a crowd. We will change. We will find new ways of staying connected. We will shift from being friends to creating a culture of friends.
It’s time to dispel the myth of Cheers where everybody knows your name. Cheers was a great show about an incredibly dysfunctional small group. [but even they had to introduce new characters to keep the show interesting].
No, a movement is not where everyone knows everybody but where everybody knows somebody…
…and are looking for more ways to invite others into the movement.
Because that’s what we really want. And it’s worth feeling bad about.[trust me]