I’m at the Global Leadership Summit debrief in Chicago. I know no one. There is a lot of meet and greet and trying to make connections.
The classic icebreaker is “Where are you from?” “Sumter, South Carolina,” I reply. “Oh, that’s where the Civil War started, right?”
Nope. That’s Charleston. And it wasn’t the Civil War; it was the War Between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression, or the late, great unpleasantness. Sometimes, you just have to teach people history.
I had an assigned table at the meal. We had just started on the salad when the guy to my left asks me about our church. I told him we were getting ready to launch our first campus in February. “Oh,” he said, “You need to meet Bob. His church went multi-site and now has 10 campuses.” Bob is seated next to him. I spend the next 20 minutes talking to Bob about his church, their philosophy, and their experiences. He gives me his phone number and tells me to call him any time.
Now the main course has arrived. It’s chicken; always chicken. I start talking to the guy on my left again, and find our he specializes in generosity coaching. He gives me a personal tutorial on building a generosity culture in church.
At this point, my head is reeling. Then I finally meet the people across the table. Turns out he is a pastor of a large church in a small city in North Carolina. They have six campuses, and he starts telling me some of their challenges. Their challenges are a lot like our challenges.
As we are getting up from the table, I speak the guy on my right and apologize for ignoring him all night. Turns out he is our new regional representative for the Global Leadership Summit. He will be coming to Sumter soon!
Question: You think those people were grouped at that table by accident?
Maybe, just maybe, the God who lines up the stars and keeps them in motion also knew the people I needed to have dinner with Tuesday night.
He is the God of the Big and the Little. He is at work. Open your eyes, and see.