I get asked the question regularly, “why does Fellowship do Connect groups?” “What is a Connect group”? Well, let me address a couple of those questions, and encourage you to participate.
“Connect” groups are designed for the purpose of allowing us to make connections… with each other and with our wider community.
A Connect group is not a Bible study group, even though there is an element of Bible study involved. However, they are not designed to function as an offering for the latest women’s Bible study or marriage and parenting series. Our church offers those at other times and in other venues. Connect groups are a different animal altogether. What do they do?
- Our Connect groups do study the Bible together. However, these studies are intentionally based upon the sermon text for the week. As a result, they are designed to keep everyone on the same page and to allow everyone to dig deeper into the sermon content. These questions are put together by me in conjunction with the study that I do during the week for the sermon. It allows our Connect groups to discuss the Scripture passage, the sermon, parallel passages, as well as application points in conjunction with the sermon. I am told quite often that our Connect members get more from their group discussion than they did from the sermon itself. I am convinced that they grow in greater knowledge as a result of these group discussions.
- Our Connect groups also serve together. At least once a month, our Connect groups do a service project together. These ministry projects have a far reaching impact and are dependent upon the group. Currently our Connect groups participate in these ongoing ministry projects:
– monthly visitation to the waiting room of one of our local hospitals: while there, they provide a light meal, conversation, encouragement, and prayer with those families in the waiting rooms of the ER, ICU, CCU, and main hospital.
– Wednesday night meal delivery: in conjunction with our Wednesday night meals, we are able to offer delivery to several of our shut-ins that are unable to attend our supper or services on Wednesday evenings.
– yard clean-up: some of our Connect groups meet and do periodic yard work and house maintanaince for our older church members and widows. Our groups have raked leaves, cleaned houses, cleaned gutters, changed light bulbs, changed out a window a/c unit, etc.
– making contacts: our Connect groups will also regularly send cards and letters to keep in contact with people, whether it be those who have vistied recently, or those who have not been in a while. They send cards of encouragement to those who are going through difficult situations.
–sharing a meal: some of our groups intentionally share a meal together. One group in particular did this and invited a gentleman to go eat with them who lives alone and had not been invited to do this in YEARS. Just the fellowship and community around the Gospel meant more to him than anything.This is just a small snippet of the examples of what our Connect groups do on a regular basis.
So, why should you be a part of a “Connect” group? The simple answer is: to be a part of a Connect group is to be a part of Fellowship Baptist Church. They are quite simply the most important things that we offer at the church. You can come to morning worship (and you should), but being a part of the Connect group gives that morning worship gathering greater clarity and greater meaning. Also, there is no way that you will be able to know everyone that is in the room for the morning worship service, but you can know everyone that is in your Connect group. Here, you will find community. You will find opportunities for service. You will find opportunities to use your spiritual gifts.
So, if you are currently not a part of a Connect group, you need to be. You need to see one of the below:
Scotty & Alana Elliott
How do you know which group to join? Well, have a conversation with them. Visit a group. If you feel like you fit with a different group, go join a different group. We are most concerned with you finding where God has you to be.
I will write again at a later date about why we made the move from tradition evening services to our Connect groups.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making Disciples Together,