(This is part three of a five-part series. Click here to read Part IPart II , Part III, and Part IV.)

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

Being loyal does not mean you have to be a stalker.

Building a relationship takes time – something that most of us seriously lack.

Fortunately with a little more intentionality, you can build relationships with people practically anywhere you go. By practicing loyalty to a certain location or person, you allow for an increased opportunity for relationship.

I’m not saying break the bank by driving to the other side of town and ordering a mocha frape maximum grande every single day of the week. I’m saying as you go look for occasions to build a relationship with people you already come into contact with.

Michael and I like coffee. As in really like coffee. Hold the Starbucks, if you please – we want the good stuff.

We’ve invested in different specialty brewers, grinders and we occasionally even roast our own beans. So does it make sense for us to go out and spend $56 a week on coffee when we have everything we need to make an amazing cup at home? Of course not.

But once a week or so, on our date night, we make a visit to a local coffee shop. Why? Because $8 a week is worth a friendship or at least getting to know someone a little better.

Take for instance the story I shared about the owner of the coffee shop in Houston.

Michael and I have made it a point to visit this particular coffee shop at least once every time we’re in Houston. And because of that effort, it’s opened up a realm of influence into the owner’s life.

So much so that she’s cried on our shoulder and we’ve been able to pray with her. All that just from taking time to talk to her like a human being and not a coffee-making robot.

There are probably countless ways you can build relationship with people. Be creative and think of those you already have regular contact with that no one else does.

Is it the elderly lady that walks her dog when you run every night? Is it the Post Office clerk that works every Friday when you go to mail your bills? Is it the homeless man on that one intersection right before you turn onto the highway?

Is there someone who needs compliment or smile that I’m in a unique position to give? Is there someone worth remembering their name and who needs me to listen when no one else will?

Contrary to what some may still think, this kind of an effort doesn’t make you a stalker or creepy. It may make you an exception to the hundreds of other people that walk through a person’s life – but it does not make you creepy.

You just need to ask yourself: If you don’t care to be loyal and make an investment in that person’s life, who else will?
The place where everybody knows your name.

Just reading those words instantly bring the melody of the theme song from Cheers to mind.

We all want to believe there’s a place for us in the world. A place with genuine smiles, friends, laughter and warmth. A place where we can catch a break and let our guard down.

I think that’s the reason so many of us warm up to the song “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.

I believe the Church should be that place for the world. (And by Church, I mean the living, breathing, moving Body of Christ – not necessarily the fixed structure made of four walls and a steeple.)

I believe as the walking, talking Body of Jesus we can be the place where people come to meet with a familiar friend, one who knows their name and listens when they had a bad day. Sinners and tax collectors wanted to be around Jesus.

They felt comfortable around him because he gave them the time of day. He didn’t treat them like a bunch of hopeless, unlawful scumbags.

He treated them like human beings who were desperately loved by an all good and all wonderful Father.

Can people say that they feel comfortable around you, just like Jesus? Can people say that they feel special when they’re around you, just like Jesus? Can people say they see Jesus when they see you?

As an ambassador in chains to the Gosepl (Jesus), the answer to all those questions should be yes, yes, yes! If not, maybe it’s time to reevaluate who we’re reflecting and adjust our mirrors to see Jesus!

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,

and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see,

our troubles are all the same.  You wanna be where everybody knows

Your name. You wanna go where people know,

people are all the same. You wanna go where everybody knows

your name…”

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