Today is a special day for me, and for many other people in my church. Today starts this semester of what we call Connection Groups. This is basically a setting where people get together in small groups, outside church, to grow spiritually together, and walk through life together. Something I say often is that people need people. I firmly believe that God created us as community people. We are meant to walk through life with people, never alone. The focus of our Connection Groups is to reach up to God, reach out to others, and reach out to the community. It’s about so much more than just getting together to study. It’s about walking through and doing life together. It has to do with getting to know people, as well as being a friend and showing love and support. Beyond that though, it’s allowing them to be the same with and for you – allowing other people in, to be a part of your life.
I am really looking forward to this evening’s meeting. I can’t wait to connect with these people, and just see what our study is all about. It’s called anticipation!
I intentionally left this open, and did not complete this post until after the meeting this evening. I had to step away from the computer, and have now returned home from our connection group. I’d like to share a real life example of the importance of Connection Groups. Throughout the course of today, my day became fairly irritating. Several things played a part in this scenario. I was almost unable to attend the group, and this frustrated me. As the meeting time neared, I found myself fairly unhappy, but knew I needed to be there anyway.
I walked in, and started with some small talk with people I don’t really know all that well yet. What was interesting was how the night played out. Just being in the room, connecting with these people did something amazing in me. We shared a few silly laughs, did introductions and briefly got to know everyone, and then read through the introduction of the book and study material we are reading from. As I sat there, I felt an absolute peace in the place. I felt at peace, and left in much better spirits than when I arrived.
After getting back home, several people (online mostly) asked me how I was doing. My response was “absolutely positively fantastic” and I meant it. Each and every one asked why. Without regards to who I was talking with (a member of our church, family or friend) I explained why. I talked about the importance of connecting with people and how it can turn a day around – just being around other people. Sometimes it’s as simple as that – just not keeping everything to yourself, listening to others, and for me – stepping outside of my comfort zone.
If you attend a church, find out if they have small groups? I urge you to find and get involved in one. If you find there isn’t such a thing at the church you go to – ask around. Talk with the leadership. Maybe you can be instrumental in starting one. I know it’s a bold statement, but I firmly believe that connecting with other people is paramount. As human beings, we need it. When you attend church on Sunday morning, you can have surface, skin deep relationships. We, simply as people, need more than that. I strongly urge you to get involved in something similar. NEVER walk through life alone. You aren’t alone, and you shouldn’t feel that way.
Reach out to others, but also allow them to reach back to you.