Opening The Doors
On the very first night of hosting our Ephesians Connect group, my wife Diana lovingly set out snacks to be consumed by our guests. We had recently taken the step to start a Connect group and were both a little nervous. Although several couples signed up for our group, we didn’t know any of them. I kept peeking through the blinds of our living room window to see if anyone was approaching our door (I know, I know; probably not the best first impression). We waited. And waited. And waited some more. And guess what? No one came!
I remember thinking, “We’re failures at leading a Connect group!” But when I told Dan Sherfield (the Herndon Summit Connect Director) about what happened, he told me to not get discouraged.
Over the next week, he added a few more couples to our group. When the next Wednesday evening came around I was still afraid no one would show. Diana and I sat on the couch waiting (I only occasionally peeked out from the blinds this time). Then we heard the most beautiful sound in the world: the “knock-knocking” at our door!
That night, one couple came to our group. We introduced ourselves and made some small talk. Then we jumped right into the Ephesians study video for that week. I thought it might be awkward to discuss the study guide with only the four of us, but it was a lot of fun once nerves settled down. And as the night ended, Diana and I were encouraged to keep plugging away at our new group.
The next week, that same couple returned and three other couples joined us. Yes, that’s right. In two weeks we went from an empty living room to ten people talking, laughing, and getting to know each other. And since that night, the twelve of us have been meeting every Wednesday evening to intentionally be in community with each other.
Starting (or joining) a Connect group can be awkward at first. You are thrown into a room with people you may not know, people who may be very different from you. But if you commit to sticking with it, I believe God will bless you in ways you can’t even imagine. For our group, studying Ephesians for the past three months has been a great way to start out. Not only has it provided stability, it has also helped us get to know each other better. Ephesians covers such a wide range of topics (the central gospel message, prayer, the pursuit of personal holiness, how we view marriage and family, etc.) that has naturally led to some great conversation. And a few weeks ago our group even carved out time to have a “date night” at SAK Comedy Lab… It was tons of fun!
Our group hasn’t decided what to study after Ephesians yet, but we all agree that we want to stay a Connect group beyond this series. We’re looking forward to more laughing, more learning, and more date nights. Diana and I still can’t believe it started on Week 1 with no one showing up, but we’re thankful that we didn’t decide to close our doors that night for good. We would’ve missed out on a huge blessing from God.
If you have ever thought to yourself "heh, maybe I should try one of those Connect group things," there is no time like the present. Join a Connect group!
Michael Murray is the BCL Content Coordinator at Summit Church. If you'd like to get in touch with him about BCL, his Connect group, or how you can get invited to the next SAK Comedy Lab date night, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.