Get Connected Part 1:Community
On Sunday 16th October at our morning services, we started our series 'Get Connected'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
I was brought up in a small market town where you knew the faces of everyone in town.
Then as a young adult I moved to places where I didn’t know so many people.
I wasn’t part of the community and I missed that.
We are hard wired to connect. This is true whether you are a person of faith or not. We need people, we need to connections; hence this series.
Sue Bourne, writing in The Guardian, notes: ‘The loneliness epidemic is affecting people of all ages’’. The fact of our loneliness tells us that we were designed for connection and feel its loss. We are designed to be in relationship with God and each other.
We are hard wired for community.
As a church part of our aims is to “…grow together to become more like Jesus.” We can only do this together. This is not just about what we need to grow but what we can give to help others grow.
Most of us live in Bracknell. This is our home, our community.
Within that we are part of the smaller community of this church.
The church is not an organisation but an organism: living, growing and developing. If we are serious about growing together to become more like Jesus then we have to get connected.
Church is likened to a body in a few places in the Bible for example in a letter that a follower of Jesus called Paul wrote to the church in Rome. You can read this by clicking here.
Leading up to this Paul has written about all that God had done to enable us to come into a relationship with Him. Now he outlines what our response should be. Just as Jesus sacrificed for us he calls us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices; a sacrifice for the God who sacrificed for us. This is what real worship looks like. What we do on a Sunday might be called an act of worship but worship doesn’t begin and end here. Living a life of sacrifice is our true act of worship.
Paul talks about the church being like a body; the many form one body; different, interdependent, each part connected to bring health, life and development of the whole.
As a church we want to see people get connected with each other in meaningful friendships, and connected to God, and to help facilitate this we provide different ways to connect.
We can CONNECT FOR FRIENDSHIP in one of our Social Clusters.
Or CONNECT TO DISCOVER in one of our discovery courses.
CONNECT TO SERVE: This is a great way to get to know others and invest in the vision of this church. You enjoy the satisfaction of achieving together in a team. There are all sorts of serving opportunities with a place for you.
CONNECT FOR LIFE: get into a “Life Group” where you can share your life of faith. If we are serious about growing together to become more like Jesus then we have to get connected.
CONNECT FOR CHANGE: we would like people to develop accountability partnerships.
Paul says that we all have a gift or ability that is essential to the body.
Everything that we do in the church is funded by and executed by the people who are a part of it. Now that we are without a senior minister and his wife the children’s worker it is time for each of us to think and pray about where we can connect and contribute. Each of us need plug in where we fit.
We are fortunate in this church with the numbers of people who are part of the teams and giving financially. We probably have about 75% of the people here contributing in some way. If the church is like a body then how would that look if 25% of the body isn’t contributing? Think about your physical body now. How much harder would your life be if 25% was not working? Think about what you would no longer be able to do, and the strain placed on the rest of the body as it has to compensate.
This isn’t Jesus vision for his body.
If 100% were committed to contributing to the life of the church that would really excite me. Meaning is found in community, not individualism. Are you plugged into church or just a passive spectator each week? Are you living life connected at the moment? If not choose to do something about it today.
If we are serious about growing together to become more like Jesus then we have to get connected.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1. What are the issues is it that this talk raises for you?
2. What do you think that our concept of worship usually is?
3. What do you think it would look like if everyone in the church worshipped in this way?
4. What would it mean in your life?
5. What are the positives and negatives about serving in a team?
6. It says that each member belongs to the others? How do you react to that?
7. Paul says that we all have gifts, what do you think that yours are and where do you think that you fit into the body?
8. Are you living life connected at the moment? If not what are you going to do about it?