This challenge, written as a blog post by marketing guru Seth Godin in February of 2011, changed my life. It’s what inspired me to literally walk away from my mediocre lifestyle to chase after something more. For me, that meant quitting my job and going on a year-long missions trip, where God opened my eyes to a world of impoverished people living far richer lives than I could ever attest to back home.
Immersed in this simple and earnest way of life, I was struck by the impact we, as human beings, can have just by “showing up” in our surroundings.
I thought I needed a grand plan with statistical outcomes proving its success. Build! Educate! Revamp! Remove! And don’t get me wrong, we absolutely need those things, but what I often felt left the most lasting impact in the cities we lived in (from me personally), were the friendships. Seeing people – looking at them square in the eye and seeing them – for who they are seemed to make a visible world of difference. So my “big plan” actually proved to be something seemingly quite small.
My conviction is that we live in a world where people go unseen. They get lost in the shuffle and drown in the overwhelming obstacles that life throws, be it poverty, depression, anxiety, loneliness…
I have always said I can do anything with “just one other person.” Who doesn’t love a sidekick? There is comfort and strength in that. As a Missional Community leader, I see myself as a “sidekick” for the east side. We all want to make a difference, (re-enter the grand plan) and in the process make lasting connections with the people in our neighborhoods, together. There are no bad ideas. We strive to incorporate and explore all possibilities driven by the passions of the group.
As a result, my hope and prayer is that we continue to “make big plans” for the East Side community, because as Seth notes:
…it’s the best way to make big things happen.
I hope you join us for our next Dinner & Discussion. We meet the 3rd Sunday of every month from 5-7 PM at the Joke Joint to hang out and explore ways to benefit our community at large. Oh, and to have some fun, too.