How Do You Build Authentic Relationships?

And Why They’re Important

Learning About Authentic Relationships

What does it mean to be truly authentic, build authentic relationships, and have a genuine relationship with God? Living an authentic life—striving to align one’s actions with one’s core values and beliefs, with the hope of discovering and then acting in sync with one’s “true self”—has recently become a popular topic.

Authentic Leadership was a term coined in the 1990s and embraces the principle that leaders can prove their legitimacy by nurturing sincere relationships with those they work with and encouraging them to share their input. The roots of the concept date back to early Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, who advocated seeking alignment of inner values to outward manifestations.

Neurological evidence suggests that humans are hardwired to connect, which begs the question: Can that need be fulfilled without authentic relationships?

 

What the Bible Says About Authenticity

Being honest is frequently mistaken for authenticity, but it’s more than simply being honest. Being authentic requires courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposing ourselves as flawed, which may lead to rejection and hurt. But it’s the only way to grow spiritually and emotionally healthy.

overcoming difficulty in relationships

“But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-8 NCV)

 

Moving Beyond the Superficial Into Authentic Relationships

Authentic fellowship is not superficial. It’s genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-wrenching vulnerability.

The church should be a place where people from all different walks of life can come together without feeling the need to hide their imperfections. Unfortunately, many people think that they have to display the most polished version of themselves in church. They fear being judged. How many parishioners sit in your church every week thinking everyone around them seems to have it all figured out, that their walk with Jesus will never be “enough” compared to others?

Authenticity happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives; when they share their pain, reveal their feelings, admit their fears, acknowledge their weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer.

Only when we become open about our lives can we experience an authentic relationship with God and fellowship with each other.

 

How Can We Learn to Be Authentic?

Although it seems that being authentic should come naturally to us, society urges people to cover up, to wear a mask that hides their real thoughts and feelings, and present an image they hope will prove their worth. Over time, the mask becomes more comfortable, and people move farther from their authentic self. But healthy relationships are not possible unless you remove the masks and show others who you are.

 

The Role of Christian Leadership in the Journey to Authenticity

As church leaders, you are called to minister to your congregation and your community. One aspect of that ministry is helping your congregants on their path to developing an authentic and meaningful relationship with God and one another. How can you ensure that your efforts are effective?

The Relational Discipleship Network believes it all begins by following Jesus’ method and model. What started in 2007, as an opportunity for Real Life Ministries to share how it started with the method used by Jesus, has blossomed into a network of ministry leaders who provide events, training, and coaching to help other leaders to do the same.

This collaboration of churches and church leaders worldwide is an excellent step to strengthening your relationship with God and guiding your community to true, authentic relationships with God and others.

Recommended Articles

I’m Not Good Enough

Share this story with a friend:[dssb_sharing_buttons icon_placement="icon" icon_color="#000000" _builder_version="4.8.1" _module_preset="default" share_font_size="16px" width="100%"...

3 Keys to Creating a Relational Environment

Share this story with a friend:[dssb_sharing_buttons icon_placement="icon" icon_color="#000000" _builder_version="4.8.1" _module_preset="default" share_font_size="16px" width="100%"...

One on One Disciple-Making

When I first joined the RDN (Relational Discipleship Network), one of the ways we had to shift our church was not in overall structure to our life groups, but in overall philosophy. We were already...

Meeting Community Needs

If you want to understand your community, and what the needs are, spend a lot of time out there. Every place you go and every person you talk to outside the walls of your church can be a God...

On Mission in Small Group

A Disciple…Someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and ON MISSION with Jesus. What an opportunity we have to know and do the Will of God. Being on mission and sharing the Gospel as...

Out of the Shadows

A few months ago, our church hosted a community outreach event which provides shoes and socks to children in our community. Our planned strategy for this event involved one volunteer team connecting...

Get er’ done!

My friends know that I am a “get er’ done” kind of guy. (I’ll be transparent… even those who don’t know me well pick up on that pretty quick.) A fast paced, task focused, checklist kind of guy. This...

It Changed My Life

“Something isn’t right here. It seems like the things we measure don’t produce what we say we are chasing.” This thought just wouldn’t go away. I was sitting in a service at my church and listening...

A Good Story

I was trimming a jungle of tomato vines on a beautiful summer day when I found myself thinking about the parable of the lost son in Luke 15. As I pulled vines, searching for fruit, my thoughts...

How Relational Discipleship Changed My Life

I grew up in the church. I love the church! It’s one of the reasons I’m a Pastor today. However, the word “discipleship” in the context I grew up in was primarily about a transfer of information....

It's all about Relationships

Find out how you can build community and connections within your circle of influence like you never have before.