Regardless of wealth or fame, if our friendships are poor life is generally miserable. Happiness is largely determined by our ability to connect with others and enjoy relationships.
When Jesus began his public ministry, one of his first acts was to form a small group of men (Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 6:13). Jesus spent the majority of his time with this group of disciples. He taught the masses, but he also led this group of followers on a much deeper level.
In Acts 2:42-47 you see small groups of people meeting together for teaching, community, prayer, worship, ministry and outreach. “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Fellowship and community are two purposes of the church that are best experienced when people are connected with others in relationships.
I have the joy of serving as the pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. As the Lord continues to be gather more and more friends every Sunday, we want to make it a simple step from worship to connect with others through small groups (Connect Groups, Bible Study Groups, Life Groups, Sunday School, etc.).
Imagine a church where the entire church family felt cared for personally. Imagine a church where no one (church family or newcomer) ever “falls through the cracks.” Imagine a church whom God uses to reach people like never before and truly inspire every generation to pursue Christ.
I am connected in a small group and I look forward to spending time with them every Sunday. I enjoy talking to a few of the guys in our group by text or phone almost weekly just to talk about life. I am grateful for the connection I have with others.
We are beginning a new approach to helping people connect through Salem. We are calling it Connect Point. It is an opportunity for those in a specific age group to connect in a large group (i.e. 20’s-40’s) and after a few weeks connect in a smaller group together.
We are always trying new things at Salem! Our prayer is that this will help our church connect with others and be encouraged in their faith.