This challenge is an attempt to break the chain of isolation and acknowledge someone where they are.
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Left alone, my thoughts are justified, validated. If left alone long enough, I'm right 100% of the time.
Above all, listen. Don't listen to respond, listen to understand.
I reached out to one of my friends who is currently selling his house and the middle of a very messy foster to adopt situation. (I have never asked him this before) He wanted prayer for finding his next house. I prayed for him and he asked what I needed prayer for and he prayed for me. At the end he said we should do this more, so we set reminders in our phone. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to this exercise and did it to "check the box". When my friend said we should do it more, I realized how impactful this simple act is. I feel happy I did it and compassion for my friend. - Brian
I had my boss ask me about a bible verse tattoo I have a couple weeks ago, he followed it up with saying “he use to follow Christ but doesn’t feel the fire in his heart anymore” I have been thinking about it for the last two weeks. I got the courage up to take this challenge and reach out to him and asked if there was anything I could pray for him about. He seemed very caught off guard. But he asked me to pray for him and his wife’s marriage, his future and for drug recovery for his son. As he listed these to me, I could hear the pain in his voice. It made me very tender for him and his family, since I know them well. Also it made me realize, you never truthfully know who you’re standing next to or working with unless you communicate with them. Loved this exercise. - Anonymous
I was trying to figure out who I should contact, and I kept noticing that the name of and old friend came into my mind. He and I used to be close, and it had been a long time since we connected in a meaningful way. He shared that he has a family member in critical condition at the hospital, and I felt sad and tender, but thankful that he would share that. - Jason
I reached out to my sister today who is a recovering addict. She has been estranged from several members of my family for many years in one way or another. I pray for her regularly but have never asked her what I can pray about. She seems to me to be doing very well right now, and thanked me for my prayers and said they are working. To ask her how I can pray for her brought me so much joy, and I feel even closer to her now. I am excited for future conversations with her where I can ask her again. - Micah
Thank you for connecting with me and sharing this challenge. I value the power in this approach and firmly believe it builds community through developing relationships. There really is no substitute for face to face connection in today’s chaos- no man is an island. I have regularly met with four men per month to seek out community and relationship but recently found myself overwhelmed by the daily grind. After meeting with you, I was refreshed and recharged with the purpose behind this mission and have recommitted to regular practice. For me this is such a rich and rewarding aspect of my day. - Jamie
OK, Greg... I took your challenge to text someone. I asked God for a name and one immediately popped in my head - a friend who was on a mission trip to help a Texas church hard hit during the hurricane season. A text was soon on its way to him with a "thinking of you...praying for you" message. Pretty soon after that there was a reply of thanks. That was that... until later that evening. I received an email from this fellow asking if I could give him a call - ASAP. Little did I know but my phone had been on the fritz most of the afternoon. For some reason I wasn't getting any of his texts. When I got home, I called him on the home phone and listened as he explained a challenging situation he and his team members were facing on their trip. It was great to process together, do some praying, and have the opportunity to encourage him in his leadership. I don't know for sure but I kinda doubt if he would have called me without that little text earlier in the day.
God has a way of pulling His community together! - Dan
Here is my story....about 7 years ago I was very bothered that we didn't really know any of our neighbors. I am by nature a pretty quiet person, an introvert. For months I thought about having a few neighbor ladies over, finally I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. On 4 index cards I simply hand delivered 4 invitations. To my surprise they were thrilled....shocked....but thrilled! I just bought some cookies and made some coffee and wha-la! Ready for company. It was maybe just a bit awkward that first time but very much worth it. Today 7 years later there are 6 of us that still meet every other week in each other's homes! Our highest number was 10. Sometimes we bake a treat, sometimes we buy a treat. Just keep it easy!! I am the youngest by 15 years but still enjoy every minute and hearing all the wisdom from women who have been there and done that. The oldest is 82 years old! When I heard about "cup of connections" I loved the idea....because it works, it really works. One note card, one quick phone call....and you never know what will come of it! Friendships! Sharing Jesus by being a friend first. Thanks Greg for your time and effort in getting this simple yet GREAT idea out there!!
I accepted your challenge and invited a friend to meet for coffee. I had been thinking about this man off-and-on for several weeks. When we met, the man shared with me that he was feeling really sad because he was working through a tough custody battle for his middle aged son, and as a result of the ongoing legal matters, the son was starting to pull away from him and even blame him for things that were outside of his control. My friend was considering giving up and walking away from an important life decision in order to appease his son. However, as he shared this with me, it was clear that this was not what was on his heart. During our conversation, I did my best to simply "hold space" for him and allow him to share his story and feeling with me. When he asked me for my input, I encouraged him to follow his heart and to lean into his desire to love his son but also to step up and fight for him. We talked about the risk to giving in and letting go and what consequences that may have had on his son long-term and we also talked about a Dad's obligation to stand up, in safe masculinity, and fight to love and protect his son. Without going into the details, there was good reason for this man to stand firm and fight to protect his son. I was able to come alongside my friend, listen to him and when asked, lean in and offer my support. I believe that this meeting, over a simple cup of coffee, may have been the little push of support this man needed to stand tall and fight the good fight. Thank you for creating this movement and for allowing me to be part of it. Lesson learned, it is better to be present and connect than it is to isolate and be passive, for both of us! - Greater Denver Metro
Loved your cup of connections challenge and I'm excited to continue to do this within my ministry here in the Czech for the next year.
Wanted to share with you a short little bit about a lunch I had with a teammate of mine. I invited her to lunch because she is visiting from Russia (home to her) and I wanted to know more about her story and why she was here playing soccer with us. It went very well and she was so excited to have a new friend who wanted to hang out with her. God really showed up when he allowed the majority of the conversation to be about religion, beliefs, Christianity and even allowed me to share who Jesus was. I then proceeded to ask Tasha if she had ever heard someone describe Jesus in that way or heard that story. Coming from a Russian Orthodox faith she told me she had not heard it put that way before. The Holy Spirit was so present and really worked in Tasha's heart during this conversation which was awesome! God Bless, Ashley
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