Being a Good Connection Group Member
One of our core values (or three C’s) here at Veritas is Connect. If you’ve been around for a little while, hopefully you’ve caught on to the vision and emphasis we put on Connection Groups as our main way of connecting and living in community.
We believe that living in community is vitally important to our walk with Jesus. We know this to be true because God, who lives in community Himself, designed us this way. Being in a Biblically based small group can be a life giving blessing. It also can be hard. Really hard. Intentionally living life with others usually is.
Whether you’ve been in a Connection Group for years or are just starting out, here are some tips to help you be a good Connection Group member. Some are obvious. Some are challenging. Hopefully all of them cause you to examine your heart and your role in your Connection Group.
You can’t be a good (or bad) group member if you’re not there. Show up. And show up consistently. Make living in community a priority by being dedicated to your group.
You won’t get to know the other people in your group overnight. It takes time to build a solid and trusting relationship with others. Be patient with the process. You can also be a catalyst to growing relationships by being intentional about getting to know the others in your group. The goal of connection groups is not to meet all of your best friends, but to create relationships of mutual discipleship. Be willing to both be a disciple and to disciple others.
Be intentionally authentic and help the others in your group get to know the real you by being the real you. Don’t pretend you have it all together, because none of us do. Be honest with your struggles and your triumphs. If you are intentionally authentic in sharing your life others will follow and the whole group will benefit.
Intentionally leave space. This can be uncomfortable, but do your best not to jump in to fill the silence after a question is asked. Leave time for everyone to contemplate and come to a conclusion. If you are always answering, no one else gets the chance to.
On the opposite end of this, no one can get to know you if you sit in silence the entire group. You are an image-bearer of Christ which means you have a unique and interesting perspective on the topic being discussed. Share it. Others will get to know your heart and the whole group will be better because of it. Be respectful of opinions that are different than yours but also challenge those that are not Biblically rooted in scripture.
Intentionally live out the “one anothers” of scripture. Care for one another, serve one another in love, be patient with one another, be kind to one another, forgive one another, love one another… all of these require that you be involved in each other’s lives. Follow up with people outside of group with a text, phone call, email, coffee, etc. Pray for them and let them know when you do so. Keep them accountable and ask them to do the same to you.
Love the people in your group like Jesus would. Offer your gifts to the group and serve each other. Do you have the gift of hospitality? Offer to host your group. Have the gift of administration? Offer to organize prayer requests or the group snack sign ups. Be continually asking the question “what I can do for the group?” instead of “what can the group do for me?”
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but I hope it gets you thinking. Take some time to reflect and pray about your group and your participation. Ask Jesus to grow you in the places you may be lacking. Thank God for the ways He has gifted you and ask for clarity in how to use those gifts to contribute and be a blessing to your group. And if you haven’t lately, thank your Connection Group leader for all that they do!
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