Welcome to March! I am looking forward to spring break, my 20th wedding anniversary, and
Easter at the close of this month. What are you looking forward to? In the past six months, my
oldest daughter has started driving and in the process of learning she has asked me a plethora of
questions ranging from, “Mom, why is that car so close to my bumper?” to “Mom, how many
friends can ride with me?” But there is one question that sticks in my mind, it’s the kind of
question you remember as an authority figure because you cannot stop thinking—you know I am
really not the best person to ask. Here it is, “Mom, when should I fill up my gas tank?” Truly, I
am the worst person anyone could ask. It is not a matter of training; both my parents directed and
encouraged me to fill up when the gauge reads a quarter of a tank, but in reality, I wait until the
very last minute. Even to this day, almost every time.

So, when a close friend recommended the book “People Fuel” by Dr. John Townsend, I was
hooked when I saw the cover, an image of the gauge reading “full tank”. Then, the deal was
sealed when I realized the text involved my favorite topic: people. His premise is simple and
practical as is the case with most of his reads. Each of us has needs and we were each born to be
needed. We have functional and relational needs, but generally the latter is the most challenging
to have met. He spends the rest of the text outlining the relational nutrients each of us needs and
how to obtain them and spoiler alert he introduced me to a structure that has been extremely life-
giving (more on that later—I even created an acronym for this community!).

For our conversation, relationships are defined as close connections between people that
meet needs.
This month, I am excited to encourage and equip this community by
answering the following questions:

How do Relationships relate to Identity?
How do Relationships relate to Purpose?
How do Relationships relate to Direction?

I would encourage you to begin reflecting on your relationships. When it comes to relational
fuel, would you say that you are at a quarter of a tank? Half tank? Full tank? Let’s stay connected
this month to learn about how a full tank makes all the difference!

Thriving Together,
~Erin Mander