DO YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE SOMEWHERE IN YOUR LIFE? AT CHURCH, AT WORK, OUT FOR COFFEE WITH A FRIEND, A MENTOR…Start creating those CONNECT ZONES TODAY- THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!
Connect groups/growth groups/cell- call it what you may. Its basically a group of people who come together to grow- through teaching, encouragement, correction and learning from each other through engaging. I cannot stress how important this is in life in general, and as a believer. At the end of this I list just some of the things I have learnt through connecting and how to go about it. So if you’re looking for the crux of this – go ahead to the end. Otherwise, please journey with me as I share my personal story of how connecting has blessed me!
There’s something that Pastor Wayne- pastor of Every Nation Church Durban once said- “It takes humility going to a connect group, it takes humility admitting and knowing that you need people.”
This much is true because attending a connect group means you’re going to be held accountable, you’re going to have to dig deep, reflect and really be vulnerable in front of others. But it also means that you are aware that you are not MR/MRS know-it-all and that you need the impartation of other’s perspectives, challenges and wise counsel( Hopefully it is wise counsel!). All of these take massive courage, and humility.
Little did I know that my very revelation and later my salvation would come through a connect group. I can firmly remember the conversation as though it was yesterday. A girl called Gloria was just conversing and eventually asks such a pivotal question- If we say we are Christians and aim to live pure lives, why then in our dating relationships are we still engaging in sexual activity? How come some of her friends who are Christians are engaging in sexual activity while some are not? How exactly are we doing this Christian life thing if some are doing this and some are doing the other, and which is THE way?
And right then the Holy Spirit convicted me!!! I had never been so convicted about the Luke warm life I was living! I was reminded immediately of that scripture “I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! “So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!” -(Revelations 3:16). This hit me so hard. THIS WAS ME- doing one thing but doing another in the same breadth. I was doing this whole Christianity thing halfheartedly- MY way, the convenient way, you know- whatever suited MY needs and emotions. Not what God’s standards of Christianity are, exactly as the Word puts it- I WAS LUKEWARM!!
At this moment the Holy Spirit hits me at a time when I had been one year out of relationship that I now realise I had idolised so much and when it broke down, it broke me down too! The danger of idolising a relationship !!! But that’s a story for another day. Catch it on my other blog post linked above. Anyways, so in this one year I have been in and out of about 3 meaningless relationships where all that has been treasured is my means to engage in sex. I have had a pregnancy scare in this same year. and all the while, I am still diligently going to church every Sunday wearing my next prettiest dress, showing my Colgate smile- but on the inside I AM DEAD, FINISHED, BROKEN, EMPTY! Living this lukewarm life that gives me no boundaries, no standards, no identity.
I talk more about my journey here-on and how I began to explore a lot of biblical concepts including celibacy and offering ourselves as living sacrifices in my other blog post of this series(called awareness and becoming.)
What I mean to emphasise through telling this story is the importance of fellowship, community, connecting. However you do it, connect with other believers on a frequent basis. God places so much blessing for you through other believers; through their counsel, their speaking over your life, their prayers , you witnessing their lives and Him working through them, the ability to share life’s burdens with them and just the opportunity to come to God and into his presence with others. Sometimes you think you have it all figured out and are on the right path, only to come into the presence of other believers and realise – Hebanna!! Connect groups are where these mistakes can gently be corrected, rebuked and through the Word, with two or more witnesses we can guide one another into truly living this Christianity thing. After all, the spirit does promise us that “where two or more are gathered in His name, there He will be.” You’ll never know what blessing lies in another believer- see how God did it for me through another believer- over just a simple casual question!
What I’ve learnt through connecting with others
* There is no age to wisdom, connect with people younger than you, older than you and people your age. We all have something to learn and to give. Open your mind to different perspectives and see how much you learn.
* Accountability is so important – its easy to go long alone without anyone holding you accountable to the things you should be doing or that you want to do. Also, its easy to fall off the wagon of any journey- being around others or being held accountable will keep you in check!
* You will learn more about yourself: A lot of the time, I have heard my abilities and gifts from the people around me whom I spend a lot of time with.
* You don’t have to do life alone- there are others on the same journey as you. 2 is better than 1.
* Connecting doesn’t have to be outside of your daily things you do – make it a part of the things you do.
* As with anything – you MUST be intentional about it!
HOW I connect with people – MY connect zones
I like to think of my “connect zones” as either being in groups, or being one-on-one.
In groups my connect Zones are:
– CONNECT GROUP-CELL which derives from my church. This connect group serves as a means to reflect on the services sermon on a more personal and practical level. it also is. platform to learn and grow and engage in tough conversations we otherwise don’t have in the church setting.
– WORSHIP SESSIONS: I loves singing so Im part of a worship team at church. This serves as an opportunity to do something I love, while having fun and connecting with others.
With one-on-one sessions, my connect Zones are:
– COFFE FOR THE WIN!!: I’m a coffee addict- Any excuse to have coffee! I have a mentor- YES I have a mentor. but now we’re friends. She refers to me as a friend – she’s older and married with kids just BTDABS! We meet over coffee, at church, at her place over dinner sometimes. Anything really…but mostly coffee is involved lol.
– THE RUNNING TRACK/HIKING TRAIL/GYM: Fortunately many people love running outdoor activities. These have really afforded me an opportunity to just interact with
– VISITING OTHERS: I often visit some of my friends and I also tend to use these as travelling trips. I find that you get to learn and observe more about people when you are in their surroundings.
– PHONE CALLS/VIDEO CALLS: These are always awesome- do it spontaneously, plan one with a friend- whatever rocks your boat. Just keep in touch with those you love!
SILVER LINING – CREATE THOSE CONNECT ZONES THROUGH THE THINGS YOU LOVE!!
Please share what some of your #connect zones are or how you connect with people and other believers. What have been some of your experiences with connect groups vs connecting with people one on one?? If you don’t enjoy connecting, why NOT?
Please comment and lets connect 🙂