Merced County Fair 01The Merced County Fair begins this week.  Every year the Fair sponsors a business connector for the three Chambers of Commerce:  Hispanic Chamber, County Chamber, and Greater Merced Chamber.  It is a really excellent way to meet people and network.

There are a few people who always stand out to me at these “connectors.”  They are distinguished by the number of people they know, the accord that is given to them by others, and the breadth of their involvement in the life of the community.  Their influence is is direct proportion to the number of relationships they have and the regularity with which they show up at various functions.  Those that stay home don’t have influence and can’t play in the “game.”

Today I purchased the book, Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi, and I think it speaks well to the subject of the power of building relationships.  Ferrazzi speaks directly to this subject.  He wrote,

I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn.  Why?  Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like.  Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same way.  Even our overall well-being and sense of happiness, as a library’s worth of research has shown, is dictated in large part by the guidance and love we get from the community we build for ourselves.

Church planters do well to understand the importance of being connected in the community.  Unconditional community connections are of great value in building a strong foundation of relationships in which influence is grown.  There is no substitute for this.