As a church our Mission Statement is: Connecting with God, Connecting with Others and Connecting Others with God. No ministry is more vital to these three aspects of our Mission Statement than our Connect Group Ministry! Connect Groups used to be called Sunday School, and I know many of us have a hard time making the name transition. To be honest, I often still call it Sunday School myself. Regardless of what you call it – it is vitally important for us as a church in accomplishing our Connecting Purposes.
Connect Groups are used to accomplish three things:
1) Connect Groups are designed to REACH PEOPLE (Connect Others with God).
There was a time when the first experience a visitor would have at a new church was in a Sunday School class. Typically, because they had been invited by someone. In a new church, it’s often more comfortable to enter a small group first — especially one where they already have a friend. Today things have shifted. The first point of contact a guest has with the church is more often in the Worship Service. But you can’t really get to know someone on a deeper level in the Worship Service. Those relationships are built in the small group/Sunday School, and this brings us to the second purpose…
2) Connect Groups are designed to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS (Connect with Others).
Swift Creek is a large church and it can be hard to make friends in a large church. The Worship Service is really not the place to sit and talk and really get to know someone – that could get very distracting. But Sunday School is a place where people can talk and share prayer request and really develop meaningful relationships. Plus, our Connect Groups are constantly having “Fellowships” which are specifically designed to make these connections.
3) Connect Groups are designed to TEACH THE BIBLE (Connect with God).
The Bible is God’s revelation to us. In order to fully understand who God is and what He has accomplished through the finished work of the Son of God – Jesus Christ, we must study the Bible. Teaching is vitally important for any Sunday School/Connect Group class but remember it is only 1/3 of the purpose.
I have begun attending Connect Group classes in order to gain a better understanding of how each class function, and I must say this teaching purpose is a great strength for us at Swift Creek. We have teachers who are faithfully studying and preparing great lessons each week. The members of these classes are blessed to have such faithful teachers!
Over the next few months I will be attending the rest of our 16 adult Connect Groups. I look forward to seeing how well we are accomplishing our Connecting Purposes. If you are already a part of Connect Group, I will see you soon in class. If you are not involved in a Connect Group, I encourage you to visit one or several of our classes. Visit as many classes as needed to find the right class for you. I can promise you this – being involved in a Connect Group will help you Connect with God, Connect with Others, and Connect Others with God.
See you in Connect Group!