Dear Church Family,

Last month I wrote to you about the first “C” of church involvement—celebrate.  This month I want to write about the second “C”—connect.  If we want to position ourselves to grow as healthy church members, being involved in corporate worship services (which is what we mean by “celebrate”) is not enough.  We also need to make sure that we are connecting with other brother and sister church members in deep, meaningful relationships.  I’m convinced that this kind of “connecting” can only be achieved when we involve ourselves in a small group of believers for the purpose of fellowship and accountability.

We all know that it’s possible for a person to be very faithful in attending worship services (celebrate), but never really build deep and meaningful friendships with others in the church (connect).  This is due to the fact that in a large group worship service it’s almost impossible to have a conversation with people that goes deeper than surface level.  In the worship service, all we might have time for is a quick chat about the weather.  This is where small groups like Sunday school classes come in to play. A Sunday school class is an environment that is conducive to deeper conversation, and deeper conversation leads to fellowship, and fellowship forms friendship. I believe this is what it means when it says of the early church that they “attended the temple together and broke bread in their homes” (Acts 2:47). They met in a large group (“the temple”), and in small groups similar to our Sunday school classes (“in their homes”).  Both large group celebration and small group connection was needed in the early church and both are needed today as well.

If you are already a regular member of a Sunday school class, I would encourage you to continue to use that class as an opportunity to build deep relationships.  I would also encourage you to extend those friendships to times and places outside the Sunday school hour and church facility.  Make it a point to go out to eat or grab coffee with someone new in 2014.  Have a few families over to your home for dinner.  Build a wide and strong web of relationships within the church.  If you are not currently a regular member of a Sunday school class, I would encourage you to join one, and make 2014 the year when you begin to connect more deeply with the people you worship with on a regular basis.  As I often say, no Christian is meant to live out the Christian life alone.  But the only way to make sure there are Christian friends walking beside you is to be intentional about making those friendships yourself. I thank God for all the deep relationships with Calvary members that Melisa and I have. I thank God that we are not having to live the Christian life alone, and I pray that you can say the same.  Let’s connect with one another, and let’s live the Christian life together!

In Christ,

Pastor Grant