Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Importance of Connecting

Last night, my husband and I spoke for a Church Planting group of students from the college where I work. I am going to post here, some of my thoughts on connecting. It was very general, and quick, but you have to have an outlet some where right?

So here ya go!

The act of connecting, or the state of being connected; junction; That which connects or joins together; bond; tie.nion; alliance; relationship.

Being a lone island is not what we have been created for. Creatures had each other, Adam had Eve, there is God the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. We were created for relationship, to be in relationship with God, and with each other.

With this in mind, we cannot enter any type of ministry to be by ourselves. The mind set that says, “I am all, can do all, and will accomplish all by myself” is misleading and a total lie. While it is true is that we must make up our own mind to take action upon something, it is also true that we cannot do it by ourselves. There is a fine balance between being alone, and totally dependent. We must be inter-dependent.

Church Planting Resources state that:

“Successful church planters must often spend most of their time (some advocate 70%) doing intentional networking before the first public worship and up to 50% of their time doing intentional networking following the first worship service.”

Take to heart the following two passages from Proverbs:

“For by wise guidance you can wage your war and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (24:6)

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” (18:1)

Being in isolation for a time can be a good time to reflect and improve your own decisions, but it can lead to a time of self-hurt, pain, and selfishness. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness and came out strong, and thrust into His destiny, the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness and never came out.

You need to surround yourself with wise counselors. You need to seek out “fathers” and “brothers”. A father is an older counselor that has been trough the fire and can pastor you with his wisdom. A brother is a person close to you in age and maturity who can relate to your struggle in the “now sense” and can challenge/encourage you in the battle. You should seek counselors from within your network/denomination.

We can also define them as “walkers and talkers”

A “talker” is someone who talks you through your walk. They give you advice, wisdom, prayer and encouragement. This person pours their heart into you over the phone or over lunch and cheers you through your walk.

A “walker” is someone who will walk beside you in your journey. They share your hurt, pain, fears, and destiny. They experience the journey with you.

An example of a talker would be the Apostle Paul talking to his spiritual son, Timothy (2nd Timothy 1:4):

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. To Timothy, a beloved son. I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing, I remember you in my prayers day and night, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy.”

An example of a walker is Elijah and his spiritual son Elisha (2nd Kings 2: 6,9):

“Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan”. But he said, “As the Lord lives, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.

Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.”

It is true that you can learn anything from anyone, but it is very wise to seek out people who share the same heart and outlook for ministry that you do.

It is not enough to talk about what you are going to do with your life, and what area you might want to plant a church in, you must position yourself for your destiny, by connecting to the network and people that will propel you to greatness.

One of the most powerful words to pray are: God take the people out of my life who don’t belong there, and bring the people into my life, of whom you want there.”

Characteristics to look for in relationships:
1. Someone who will cover your hurt. (Noah was disgraced, and his sons covered him)
2. Someone who will walk with you not just in success, but in trails.
3.Someone who is committed to serving you, and vice-versa. (It is a kingdom thing)

What are the benefits to being connected?

-You are resourced with tools that you never knew existed.
-Knowing someone who knows others opens doors.
-Support emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
-Wisdom about fiances, mistakes, and what not to do.

One final thought, remember to forgive people quickly, and love them unconditionally. People are not perfect, even more so those in the church. You will be hurt, but bitterness is not something you are, but something you walk through.

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