I was having lunch with a friend yesterday and I asked him about how his weekly “kingdom business group” was going.
He said, “It’s OK…but I’m kinda burnt out on it.”
He told me the group evolved into something that felt more like a support group then a mastermind group. He said some people would just spend time venting and complaining and call it a “prayer request.”
His story reminded me of all the times I’ve tried so hard to create friendships intentionally, especially with other Christians. For whatever reason they just seem to fizzle out and die when they get formed “artificially.”
Then I thought about some of the best friendships I have and how they were formed.
For example, I thought about the day I met my friend who I was having lunch with.
We met because we both happened to go to the same thai restaurant one day.
I was eating alone and he was about 15 feet away having lunch with another guy. I was eavesdropping and heard them talking about the Presence of God (one of my favorite topics!).
So when he got up to leave I made a super-awkward, creeper move and followed him out the front door.
As he was shaking hands with his friends about to leave I said something like, “Oh, hey, I just heard you guys talking about the Presence of God and wanted to introduce myself…”
After a few awkward seconds of silence passed, he smiled and thanked me for introducing myself and then invited me to lunch another day.
That was over seven years ago and we’re still good friends today.
Another time an organic friendship formed was when I was living in Bend, OR.
It was a week before Christmas and we decided to take our daughter to a Gingerbread House Exhibit in Sunriver.
I pulled our minivan in right next to another minivan. The guy got out, smiled and said, “Hey nice minivan.” We chuckled and went into the lodge.
As we made our rounds of the gingerbread houses with our kids we ran into each other again and struck up a conversation. I found out he was a believer and was also in marketing.
Since then we’ve formed a great friendship where we get together and talk about life, God and business. We pray together and encourage each other. I always feel better after our talks.
And guess what? Both of those friendships were “organic.” In other words, there was no artificial attempt to try and form these friendships. They seemed to just “happen.” But I believe they were the results of divine appointments.
I believe God has friends in mind for us. We just have to be open and sensitive to what He’s doing. Does that mean we can never do anything to make friends on our own? No. It’s just a lot better when it happens organically. 🙂