By Jeff Brodie, Executive Director and Orillia Campus Pastor
It’s an exciting time at our church as we move into a new era. A refreshed Orillia campus, and a new central facility in Barrie, has put our community at the starting line for our best years yet! In many churches, renovating and building often leads to running more and more programs mid-week. In fact, in some places, church programming can keep your family running all week.
One of my favourite things about our church is that we aren’t program driven, we are people driven. We are not focused on running fifty church ministries, but running alongside unchurched friends and family as we discover the story God is writing in their lives.
The best example of this is the fact that the only regular mid-week ministry we run at Connexus is our Community Groups. This is an intentional choice; as we think it’s critical that everyone who attends Connexus is also out in our communities meeting new friends, hanging out with our neighbours, and spending time with people who may think differently. It’s only by doing this that we can find out the story God is writing in peoples’ lives. It’s only by doing this that we can live out our faith by loving and serving the people around us.
One of the biggest traps you can fall into is to become more concerned about growing your faith than sharing it.
The truth is that your faith grows most when you share it with others.
As you get involved in your community, and share in peoples’ stories, you really are the Church. And when those people have questions about faith, need care, need community, or need support as a parent, we’ve created irresistible environments for them on a Sunday. All you need to do is invite them.
So how do you meet new people in your community? The following are a few ideas:
Join a gym or sport
This can be a lot of fun, it’s great exercise, and many life changing stories we hear at Connexus started with a conversation at the gym. Squash ladders, rec league soccer, baseball, ultimate frisbee, pick up hockey and golf are just a few great things to jump in on this summer.
Be on the sidelines
If your kids are involved in sports, music, or arts, there are always opportunities to take initiative and meet parents. Don’t isolate, but initiate. The same could be said for getting involved in your child’s school.
Join a public playgroup
Often parents of young children will join a playgroup hosted by a church, or at someone’s home. Or maybe they only do playdates with the same friends. Getting into a public playgroup within your city allows you to meet some new moms and dads.
Be “that family” in your neighbourhood
You know “that family”? The ones on the street who always have kids over, host BBQs, have road hockey nets, play outside or have a lemonade stand. Maybe God wants you to be “that family” for your neighbourhood?
Let’s all look for the opportunity to build relationships and share our lives with the people in our neighbourhood, on the sidelines, or in the community as we get a glimpse into the story God is writing in peoples’ lives. Perhaps we’re one invitation away from seeing people discover who Jesus is for the first time?