Everyone Needs Friends (Including Leaders!)

group of friends from behind

One of the things that bugs me is how isolated we are becoming as a society. Don’t get me wrong—we assume that we are more connected than ever in the age of Facebooking, Fortnight gaming, and hosts of other ways to be “connected.” As adult business leaders, we all agree: kids relying on these forms of connection aren’t really connected at all.

Neither are we.

What happened to genuine friendships?

(Stop right now and ask yourself who is your closest friend? When was the last time you had extended uninterrupted time with them? How did that make you feel?)

We all need friends. Two recent stories suffice here.

As I have mentioned before, Sarah and I lead a couples community group at our church. A few weeks back, one of the men texted the other men asking for prayer. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and experienced things unimaginable for the rest of us. The night prior to this request, he had reconnected with a fellow soldier who was in a bad spot. This reality was torturing his psyche. Upon receiving this text message, I called him up. I know this is probably weird to some reading this post, but I just called to pray – right there on the phone. Regardless of your beliefs around prayer, you can’t deny that we connected through that conversation. It was not as good as eyeball to eyeball, but he knew I—and the rest of the group—was there for him.

He had a friend.

A week later I was in the Netherlands. Jet-lagged, enduring persistent acid reflux symptoms, and beyond tired, I was struggling. It was about 7 p.m. at night and my attitude was toxic. “Hey bud, just want you to know I am praying for you right now,” read the text from my friend Larry. I had seen Larry a few days prior at our local Starbucks and I had told him about the upcoming trip, and my ongoing struggle with acid reflux. As corny as it may sound, that text message provided a jolt of encouragement at the right time. Yes, it would have been better to have seen someone in person, but like my friend above, just knowing someone was “with me” made all the difference.

Life is not supposed to be an isolation game.

We have communities for a reason.

I challenge you to consider who you can build into…

And who can build into you…

It is a two-way street, as all relationships should be.