Archive for the ‘Connect’ Category

Best Place To Meet People

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Every year the Concord Monitor does a best of list and this year Grace Capital Church won the vote for the Best Place To Meet People.  I love this!  The fact that we strive to be a very relational place is why I attend this church.  My first time walking through the doors of Grace Capital Church over 12 years ago I was met by a woman who greeted me with a hug and made me and my wife feel welcome.

Do you want to meet people in and around Central NH?  Come to Grace Capital Church.  We’ll help you connect with others!

Naked and no shame

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This morning Dan Fontaine, missionary to Quebec, spoke on the importance of being open about our lives.  He referenced one of my favorite portions of Scripture in the book of Genesis.  Honestly, I think I could preach from the creation account for months and not feel like I was repeating myself – such incredible stuff right there!  Dan asked a question after reading from chapter three

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”   verses 8-11

The question was this, “Who told you that you were naked?”  It’s the same question that God asked Adam and Eve.  They were never told that they were naked.  They discovered that they were naked when they acted in disobedience to what God had asked of them.  Rather than walking around in their nakedness they made clothing of fig leaves to hide their stuff.  And nothing has changed in the years that have passed since this time.

We have been hurt and we hide in order to keep from being hurt again.  We have failed to we hide in order to avoid being asked to try again.  We have words spoken over us that are negative so we put on the clothing of over-doing it to compensate for that negativity – because we HAVE to prove those words wrong.  

It is our failure to stand in our nakedness and say, “here I am, this is the real me.”  that keeps us from being real with people.  Because of the barriers that we build up around us for protection we push people away and we lose the community that we were meant to be a part of.  We were created for community.  Relationship with God and others.  That is why we exist.  When we fail to connect with others we lose the ability to be whole and healthy.  Isolation keeps us from living lives of purpose and stops us from being free.

I believe in small groups.  As a member of a small group at my church for the past twelve years I will say that I could not do life without having people actively involved in my life.  I need people who will speak words of encouragement, correction, life and hope into me.  I need to do the same for others.  

If you attend Grace Capital Church and have not gotten connected into a small group let me challenge you right now, get started.  Drop the excuses and get involved.  There are people who need you just as much as you need them.  For those of you who have been involved in a small group and have taken a break for a while, let me encourage you to get back in the game.  Maybe you don’t feel like you get anything out of the group.  Can I ask you to change your thinking?  Try another small group, but this time go with the mindset that you are bringing something to share with someone else.  I would go one further and challenge you to pray this prayer, “Lord, use me to help someone else.”

We need to be open about our lives.  Getting involved with a small group is a great way to do this.  

I pray that you will allow yourself to be naked and have no shame.

Facebook Friends vs Real Friends

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Social networks are all the rage right now.  It seems everywhere I go I hear people talking about a new “friend” that they accepted on Facebook.  Heck, my mom has a Facebook!  Over the past few months my friend list has grown tremendously.  I have been reconnecting with old friends from college and high school.  I do not strive to have an incredibly large friend list.  I’m the type of person who cares deeply about the people and I like to actually know the people that I am friends with.

While these friends are great and it is nice to know that Bill is doing well out in Utah and everyone needs to know that Jenna misses her cell phone there also seems a bit of disconnection that occurs through these friendships.  We keep each other at safe distances and reveal as much as we want to online and yet never actually spend time with our “friends” any more.  It seems as though these friendships need to be changed.

I write this after having spent the day snowboarding with Scott Campbell and Matt Trottier.  Scott & I went to school together junior high through college and Matt and I grew up together from elementary school through high school.  I have seen Scott every so often – we both agree not enough, and it has literally been almost 20 years since I last got together with Matt.  Today we spent the day on the slopes catching up with each other.  It was so refreshing to see each other and spend a great day reconnecting.  We plan on doing this much more often.  Matt even wants to work together with me to use Facebook to recruit more old high school friends to another day on the slopes.

This all raises the question, what are you doing to connect with friends outside of the safety of your computer screen?  

Catalyst Conference

I’ll be headed to Atlanta next month for the Catalyst Conference.  This by far is the best conference I have ever attended and I look forward to it every year.  While I am down there I would love to connect with others who read this blog.

So, who’s going?  I already have plans to connect with Stuart for coffee.  Anyone else?  Let me know…

Parent Information Meeting

This Sunday we are hosting one of my favorite things that we do each year.  We have our Parent Info Meeting.  I love being able to connect with parents and share what we do and why we do it.

We greatly desire to partner with parents to help them be the spiritual leaders that they are called to be for their families.  What does that look like?  Discipleship isn’t a program of the youth ministry.  While we work to encourage youth to get a mentor, daily spend time reading God’s Word, and resource them with the tools that they need to grow we  understand that discipleship is really the role of the parents.

In  writing this I understand that there are students who don’t have parents who are capable of  discipling them – we work with them.  But for students who have parents who can disciple their kids we work to help and resource the parents.  I believe this is truly God breathed –  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

I don’t believe that God asks us to “farm out” our kids to others to talk to them about God – while we as a student ministry have a role in helping reinforce what the parents are doing at home, we are not the primary people that get this done.

If you are part of GCC and have a student in Impact we would love to connect with you this Sunday at 12:30.  Join us as we introduce our youth staff, share plans for 2008, and connect together to IMPACT the Youth of Central NH with the Love of Jesus.