We kicked off a series yesterday called "Are You Connected?" where we're talking about these things.
First off, let's make it CRYSTAL CLEAR what it means to be "Connected" at Grace Church — to move beyond "Weekend Warrior" status. A person is "Connected" at Grace when they've gone 3-FOR-3:
- Friends to Love — At least 1 friend at Grace
- A Place to Learn — A small group OR Bible study OR 1-on-1 discipleship
- A Place to Lead — A ministry at Grace OR outreach beyond Grace
Are we all clear on this??? 🙂
Now, yesterday's topic was "Friends to Love" from John 15:9-17. Here are some bonus thots:
- The "One Anothers" — I referenced the fact that a LARGE number of commandments in the New Testament can't even be lived out unless you have "Friends to Love." These are known as the "one anothers." I found this list 59 "One Anothers" online. Here's my list of 66 "One Anothers" I found when I studied it out last Friday.
- Greet One Another — Doug Riede grabbed me after service and said that he had been already trying to live out the command to "Greet one another." In fact, he pointed out, 3 John 14 commands us to learn people's names & greet them by name! He tries to learn 1 new name a week by (a) meeting 1 new person, (b) writing their name down, (c) lifting up a quick prayer for the, & (d) keeping the sheet in his Bible to greet them by name next week.
- What Friends Are For — When Jim Shrader heard I was going to speak on friends last weekend, he wrote me this quote: "Just remember that Hallmark may have the card, but a real friend helps hide the bodies." When I told this to my family, Jacob said, "Dad, a friend is someone who'll visit you in jail. But a real friend is someone who will be sitting beside you in jail saying, 'Man was that fun!' " This was from the kid that God designed as the ultimate-rule-follower! 🙂
- The Lonely Guy — Speaking of friendships, I used to love the movie with Steve Martin & Charles Grodin called "The Lonely Guy." It was clips like this one that cracked me up.
- SOMEBODY, Stop Me! — In all 3 services, I told people we celebrate the ordinances of baptism and communion "once a month like clockwork…communion on the 2nd weekend of the month, and baptism on the 3rd." Then we celebrated communion. The only problem? It was the 1st weekend of the month! Can I get someone…anyone…in 1st service to STOP me from repeating it to 2nd & 3rd service??? (P.S. I should have just said we celebrate baptism & communion once a month like clockwork. That's true.)
Next weekend, we take the 2nd area of being connected…finding "A Place to Learn."