Life as we experience it contains a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs, and highs and lows. It is because of that roller coaster type existence that it is so important for us to be connected to one another as humans.
As someone who has spent their adult career in ministry, this is not always the easiest thing to do. I don't want to sound condescending, but if you haven't served in ministry (as a job, not a volunteer) I don't think that you can fully understand why. When you are on a church staff, people scrutinize EVERY thing that you do, say, type, wear, eat, etc. I could share things that I have been scrutinized over that would probably shock you, but that isn't the point of this blog. It is a fact that you have to be able to deal with or ministry will eat you up and spit you out. Consequently, connecting to others has been a struggle for Beth and I. You always wonder if people that are befriending you are doing it genuinely or if they are simply trying to find something in your life to use against you at a later date. Unfortunately, this isn't fair to those who are genuinely seeking friendship, but it causes you to put up a wall to protect yourself and your family from all of the junk.
While we've been attending our current church for 8 months now, it was just 3 weeks ago that Beth and I made the decision to attend our first Life Connection Group (SS Class). Let me share with you what I have found in the past 3 weeks with The Servants (that's the name of our group).
For starters, we chose the group because we already knew a few of the members through our involvement in worship ministry. That made it much easier for us to walk into a group. The Servants are not your typical Sunday School class and I LOVE them for it. In our short time with the group, I have come to learn that (and if I'm wrong, then I hope that John will correct me) their main focus in our hour together is to share needs and concerns that people have and to spend time praying for them. Sometimes, that may take the whole hour and if it does that's ok. It's not that we're pushing Bible study to the side as something unimportant, it's that we are making sure that every person around the table knows that the people in that room love them and care for them. It is truly a living breathing example of bearing each other's burdens.
Whatever church you call home, I encourage you to seek out a small group that will allow you to come as you are and encourage you along this crazy journey that we are all on. It can be a life changing experience to get connected.