Six Degrees of Separation: Why Our Witness Matters

Our lives reach farther than we can imagine.

Connectedness is largely taken for granted in today’s world. In many ways, interconnectivity is the air we breathe. Six degrees of separation is a familiar concept to many and it holds a magnifying glass to the relational connections we have. Originally developed in 1929 by a Hungarian playwright named Frigyes Karinth, the theory of six degrees of separation suggests that any two people on earth are connected by as few as six other networking relationships. The idea was popularized in America by John Guare, a playwright in New York who in 1990 developed a theater performance by the same name.

It may have been a small world when that play was released, but the reality is that the world has shrunken dramatically since then! Sysomos, a firm monitoring social media, reported in 2010 that the average relational distance on Twitter is 4.67 degrees of separation. Our increasing interconnectedness is taken for granted in many spheres of our lives, but let’s take a moment to consider how the principle of six degrees of separation might impact our evangelism.

Here’s an example from history of what that might look like:

In 1855, a Sunday school teacher by the name of Edward Kimball led a teenage D.L. Moody to Christ. About 20 years later, after one of his evangelistic meetings in the 1870s, D.L. Moody had a conversation with a man by the name of J. Wilbur Chapman through which Chapman received the assurance of his salvation.

About ten years later, in the 1880s, Billy Sunday converted to Christ during an evangelistic event hosted by the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. For a time, Billy Sunday worked for J. Wilbur Chapman, helping him organize Chapman’s evangelistic meetings, but Sunday then went on to host his …

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from Simon Cox Blog http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/g04uH48u_OQ/six-degrees-of-separation-why-our-witness-matters.html

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