Photo by Ben Duchac on Unsplash

Delight In People

I have always considered my self to be an introvert and have not felt energised by people. However God has been taking me on a journey of what I call ‘delighting in people.’ It turns out I can be energised by people; they just need to be the right people — my tribe. Do I still feel lonely sometimes and depleted by people? Often. But this is changing every day.

My Unhealthy Default

I can be very detail orientated instead of people orientated. Because of this it is easy to ‘use’ people and see them as a means to an end rather than God’s children. I can also get quite frustrated with others because of ‘wrong doings’ or ‘not pulling their weight.’ However this is not healthy at all. It dishonours God and ends up in hurting others and myself. Leviticus 25:17 (NLT) says, “Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the LORD your God.” Many times I would rather just do it myself.

Be Fuelled by People

Dr John Townsend — psychologist, leadership expert and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Boundaries — shows how the right kinds of relationships can provide more energy, focus, success and joy in your life in his new book People Fuel.

‘Everything significant starts with relationship. At the end of the day, your faith, your family, your work, and your leadership are all based on who you relate to and how you relate’ says Townsend.

Just as we are fuelled by the nutrients in our food we can also be fuelled with relational nutrients and be energised, clear headed and ready to go. However the opposite can also happen where you are left feeling sluggish because of people who drain you or are negative towards you.

Townsend breaks up the 22 nutrients into 4 quadrants; Quadrant 1: Be Present, Quadrant 2: Convey the Good, Quadrant 3: Provide Reality and Quadrant 4: Call to Action.

Often we just need someone to get it and be there with us and for others we need to shut up and listen (Q1). Othertimes we need encouragement or need to celebrate with someone (Q2). Then there are time we need the hard truth and information (Q3). We also need someone to challenge us to take a step of growth. The nutrients in their quadrents are below.

Be Needy

We need to need others. In fact we were created to need others. Some examples of where the bible speaks of need include; Gen. 1:29; Ex. 16:31; Matt. 5:6; John 6:1–12; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 4:16; James 4:2.

‘God created a system in which we are to need not only him but also one another. That means we need to know what we need, recognize who can supply it, and have the skills to get it’ (Townsend).

We need others because we are designed for relationship. God is love and we are called to love others (1 John 4:16). I am very comfortable meeting the needs of others and I have asked ‘why didn’t you tell me?’ more times than I can count. BUT I, dare I say we, are not comfortable being needy and asking for help — whether it be relational, financial or physical. We have trust issues, we feel selfish, we feel weak and ultimately we feel shame when we are needy. Many times I simply don’t want to burden others. But WE NEED TO NEED!

Townsend’s 7 C’s

There are 7 types of people, some who we should get nutrients from and some that need nutrients from us and one who we should stay away from. There are Coaches who invest in you only; Comrades who are your Life Team who invest in you and you in them; Casuals low-commitment, enjoyable relationships; Colleagues work associates who are also very valuable; Care where we provide for others; Chronics people who can be a significant nutrient drain on you; Contaminants one who seeks to harm others, people we should steer clear of.

We all have these people in our lives. When in leadership it is easy to be bottom heavy with colleagues, care and chronics resulting in relational deficit. We should not get rid of these people but we need to have coaches and comrades who invest into us.

You Need A Mastermind, A Life Team, A Tribe

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” Jim Rohn. We all need a group of core people to do life with. Brian Dixon, Author of Start with Your People: The Daily Decision that Changes Everything, coins the term ‘Mastermind,’ while Townsend uses the term ‘Life Team’ however they are essentially the same thing — a group of ‘3 to 10 people that know everything about you and are on your team no matter what’ (Townsend).They are an ‘intentionally selected set of people who become your primary source for relational nutrients. The main focus is growth — specifically, transferring the relational nutrients to one another, resulting in doing better in your personal, relational, spiritual, and emotional life.’

You need a life-team of 3 to 10 people that know everything about you and are on your team no matter what. — John Townsend

I have struggled with this for a vey long time. Even Jesus had his three — Peter, James and John. I am woking on it but still don’t have my “inner three.” However I have a ‘Tribe’ — people who encourage me, spur me on and fuel me. People who I can be myself with and it is refreshing to just be Michael. The interesting thing is that they are all younger than me but are all very wise. I finally found these people at Hillsong College.

My 3 Action Steps

  1. Create a Life Team/Mastermind

2. Express “who I am” to others in a way that creates fulfilling connections with other supportive and positive people (bonding).

3. Don’t leave confrontation to another time. Keep it timely but respectful (boundaries).

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Michael Godfrey

- Husband, father, teacher and theology student with a mission is to engage, equip and empower others to serve God, Church and neighbour.