Explain what Valuing that Lives are Changed in Relationships Means at Three Levels

For a church to thrive, it must value relationships. That’s where meaningful life change happens. These three pictures show how lives are changed in relationships.

Level 1: Wearing the same shirts

Imagine showing up to The Big House and seeing 50,000 other people dressed in maize and blue shirts, just like you. Immediate connection. The shared shirt brings you into something bigger than yourself: a relationship.

The starting point for changing lives is making connections.

Level 2: Learning to swim

Swimming is easy, once you’ve learned how. Since your body more or less floats anyway, the art of swimming is learning to relax into the support of the water rather than fight to stay on top. Gaining this comfortable familiarity requires time wading in the shallows, then venturing out into the deeps.

Lives are changed in relationship as people build comfortable familiarity. This comfortable familiarity allows people to take off their masks, to be more open and honest with each other about their strengths and weaknesses–and the odd ways those are intertwined.

Level 3: Sheep yoked together

A friend with a sheep farm occasionally had rams that wouldn’t stop fighting. The solution? Tie them together with a very short strap. The result? After being forced to do everything together–eat, sleep, play, walk, etc.–they became fast friends.

The deepest change comes in lives that are bound together by a lasting relational connection. Lives are deeply shaped by sticking together and sticking it out.

Want a thriving church? How are you moving from shirts to sheep?