I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
What will be your main focus as you begin this new year of 2021? Coming off 2020, where you had to be isolated from people more than ever, you may want to focus on building relationships. As a servant leader you know the importance of relationships and the significant positive impact they have on your effectiveness as a leader.
When building relationships, the power of presence is critically important. Relationships are nurtured by being present with your spouse, your family, your friends, and those you lead.
There are 26 instances in the Bible where God says “I will be with you”. I have always felt that when God repeats himself, I should probably listen. He understood the power of presence.
We can learn a lot about building relationships and the power of presence by looking at the Triune God.
God the Father is over us for provision
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
God is everywhere and He is all powerful. We can rest in this promise that He will never leave our side and will always provide for us.
Application: You can’t be present without being available for people. That is the beginning of a great relationship. Let the people you lead know that you have their back, and that you will always be available for them. Then illustrate it daily.
Jesus was with us for sacrifice
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)
God sent His son Jesus into this world as a living sacrifice for us. He walked in our shoes. He was physically present, constantly interacting with his leaders and everyone within his path.
Application: Face to face interaction is how you build and nurture relationships. Be intentional about spending time with those you lead. Ask great questions and listen more than you talk. Being vulnerable and transparent, while present will take relationships even further.
The Holy Spirit is in us for empowerment
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
The Holy Spirit is always there for us right when we need Him. The living God within us is the ultimate culmination of relationship. There is nothing more empowering to me than the promise of this level of relationship and presence.
- Application: Capitalize on the urgings you get from the Holy Spirit to be with and serve people. He knows who will need you and when. Be tuned in to what He is telling you and act on it.
The Triune God is your perfect model for capitalizing on the power of presence and building relationships to enhance your influence and leadership.
Here are some challenges for both your personal and professional life as you work to capitalize on the power of presence and build your relationships in 2021:
- Every Day – No screens at the dinner table. Engage in meaningful discussion and listen.
- Weekly – One night per week of no TV or screens in the evening. Do fun things together.
- Monthly – One “day date” per month (full day, not just an evening). Do something special.
- Every Day – Look for someone to lift up and personally recognize them. Make it specific, highlighting the positive difference they made and how much you appreciate them. The more, the better each day.
- Weekly – Meet 1:1 with each team member to check in with them on how they are doing and find out how you can serve them in the upcoming week. Focus on listening.
- Monthly – Take a team member out to lunch or coffee to have some deeper conversations about their dreams and goals and how things are going for them. / Spend a concentrated time of 2-4 hours outside of your normal routine and walk in other’s shoes. Focus on listening.
I will look forward to hearing stories about your progress of being present and building relationships to another level in 2021. Everyone within your sphere of influence will appreciate your efforts in this area!
Let’s make Jesus famous in 2021 as you lead Jesus’ way!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
My spirit needed this today. For the first time in two/three years I am going back to work. A woman from my church asked me to help her over a rough spot in her office. I feel like God brought it to me even though it isn’t anything I would have envisioned. Jesus is going to be right there with me and as work for my friend I pray that it gives her the encouragement she needs to get on top of things. The scriptures you quoted are the perfect reminders.
Hi Jane, thanks again for your wonderful feedback and update. I hope everything is going well with your work. I know for a fact that you are an incredible encourager for your friend as that is in your DNA. Nobody better! Blessings on all the great work you are doing!
Love this article, Mark! Your insights from God’s priceless Word and applications to our personal and professional lives are inspired. I especially love your focus on God-directed intentionality in building our relationships. Such an encouragement and exhortation to start 2021 strong!
Thanks so much Diana. You are such a wonderful vehicle for the Lord in encouragement. The world is brighter thanks to you! Blessings on all the great work you are doing!