Jacqui Crumrine, Associate Pastor – Worship and Arts
Never underestimate the power of community and connection.
As I write this, I’m sitting in one of the largest coffee shops in town. A place where people come for their java fix, and perhaps a workspace as indicated by those with books strewn about, headphones in, and laptops open. But the majority of the people in the room are there to connect. I’m particularly intrigued by the table of five men that are gathered around a table that doesn’t fit the size of their group. That doesn’t seem to bother them as they sit shoulder to shoulder. The men have trickled in one at a time, and as they do, they are greeted warmly with a joking welcome, slap on the back and a hearty laugh. Immediately their topic of conversation carries on, each chiming in as they want. It’s endearing, really. From the outside looking in, you can tell that this is an important time for them. It’s more than just a casual gathering over a cup of coffee…these are deep relationships being lived out.
Why is connection so important? Why does it affect us so much? Because we were created to be in relationship! God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit model the perfect unity of the relationships that we are to be in, not only with God, but with each other. When we aren’t in community, then, we aren’t able to exist the way that we were created, and that causes us pain.
It’s no wonder then, that one of the greatest impacts we can have on a person’s life is to be in connection with them.
‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’
1 John 4:11
‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.’
1 John 1:7
‘May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.’
At Covenant Grove, we value our times together. We gather each week corporately to grow together, worship, and have a ton of fun connecting. We have mid-week gatherings for youth and adults because we believe that when we meet that our lives are changed. We read God’s word, we pray and care for each other. We NEED to be in connection! We have men’s and women’s retreats each year, we serve on ministry teams…and one of the greatest benefits? You guessed it…connection!
We are not made to walk through life alone. ‘And let us not stop meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.’ Hebrews 10:25
And lastly, but definitely not the least…we need to invite others to experience this incredible community that God has called us to. Our connections are not exclusive. One of the greatest ways that we can share Christ is to love others and to be in relationship. Jesus’ commandment to us is to ‘…Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
This week, seek out connection with others and even more importantly…seek out someone that is disconnected. Experiment with a random act of kindness and see what conversation and connection can be made. Believe me…it WILL make a difference.