Victor Rao – Impact India
God designed us to connect. From the very beginning (Genesis 2) God says, “It is not good for man to be alone”. We need connection. We need community. We need meaningful relationships.
So much of our lives, our world is about separating us; isolating us. Even though our lives are so busy and often surrounded by people, we feel alone. We thrive on being able to do life on our own, not needing anyone. But this is such a dangerous thing.
It is through connecting that we grow, that we develop, that we do what we are called to do. The greatest commandments are love God and love others. Truly to connect with God and to connect with people. These 2 flow together. As we connect with God and as we follow the great commission to make disciples, we MUST connect with people.
Connecting with people though isn’t always easy. There may be disagreements, annoyances, or even fights. But how do we choose to handle those situations.
John 13:35 – “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Christ is not saying if you do this miracle or that miracle, people will know you are a disciple – no, he is saying if we love each other the world will know we are his disciples.
Connecting with a small group can make a big difference in your life and even in the world. When we meet as a small group we truly are being the church. It is not about going to church – to a building – but rather about being the church wherever 2 or 3 are gather in God’s name.
On Sunday, I had shown a video of Francis Chan explaining the power of small groups, the power of discipleship. For those that missed it, you can see it here: http://www.churchleaders.com/smallgroups/smallgroups-videos/158087-francis-chan-why-small-group-discipleship-is-important.html
Small groups also create a network of care and accountability. As you begin to connect on a deeper level with those you are connected with, you naturally begin to care about them and them for you. As you connect, you also begin to keep each other accountable, and challenge and encourage each other because we see the potential that each person has and we want them to be the person that God is calling them to be.
It isn’t only about the “small groups” we have at the church, it is about connecting with fellow believers and journeying together. Our church “small groups” simply provide an opportunity for that type of community. If you are interested in joining a small group, talk to me (Cam) and I would be happy to find a group that you can connect with, grow with, journey with.
We also have a brand new group that is beginning on October 14th called Starting Point. Starting Point is an 8 week commitment to a group that wants to have a conversation about faith. This is not a class where you are being taught, this is a dialogue as we discover some of the foundations of spirituality and faith. This small group will be about 10-12 people in size (only a couple spots left) and will run from October 14th-December 2 from 6:30pm-8pm every Wednesday. This is a great opportunity for new believers, non-believers or returning believers to have a safe and comfortable environment where they can ask any questions they have about faith and spirituality. If you are interested in joining starting point, contact Cam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting Point Promo:
Hey Church – Small Groups
Cam Liske – Hey Church – Small Groups
This past Sunday’s sermon was a bit of a lesson on the history of the church. We journeyed from the birth of Christ to Martin Luther and the reformation and then we jumped from Martin Luther to our church Celebration.
I need to note one area that I typed up wrong in my sermon slides on Sunday. I had on my slides that Jesus died in 30 A.D. – that was an error. He died in 33. A.D. Pentecost and the birth of the church were in the same year. Thanks Cam for catching that and letting me know. I don’t like making mistakes, but I sure like when people point out that I made a mistake. That way it can be corrected.
The church has existed from 33 A.D. until this very day. It has been attacked and mocked. It has hurt and been hurt. It has seen revival and it has seen decline. It has been faithful and it has been disobedient. The church is the body of Christ. There are so many passages of scripture that talk about the church. Below is the main text we looked at on Sunday.
Ephesians 4: 11 – 16
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
I like this passage of scripture a lot. It has so much depth. Please time this week to read through it. I would even invite you to send me your thoughts on Ephesians 4: 11 – 16. You can send any comments, insights or questions to email@example.com
On Thanksgiving Sunday I will be sharing a very similar message about the church. We will pick up from Martin Luther and the Reformation and will journey through the history of the church until our present day church.
Have a great week and remember we are the church. We are Christ’s body. We represent Him and the church everywhere we go.
Hey Church – What Church Really Is
Cory Illingworth – Hey Church – What Church Really Isx