The Bible begins and ends with the same picture of what God wants: people rightly connected to him, and to one another. But our sin messes up both relationships. The gospel is God’s story to reconnect us with God and each other. Wonderfully, we see that being worked out in the church and our Connect Groups are a major part of that at Emmanuel.
Connect Groups are smaller communities within the big family of Emmanuel, offering the chance for deeper relationships and regular encouragement to live out what we’re learning together. They are the primary context in which people experience church family at Emmanuel. We’re not so much a church with small groups, as a church of small groups.
Connect Groups have four aims:
- to listen to God together
- to talk to God together
- to care for one another
- to reach the lost together
That’s why we’ve called them Connect Groups. Because they are the primary place in church life where we connect with one another, and where together we connect what we’re learning in the Bible to our everyday lives. They help us to connect with God and grow in that relationship as we listen and talk to Him. And they are places for connecting with non-Christians so that they come to know Jesus too. Our Connect Groups help us to live out these four aims in community together. If you’d like to know more about how this works in practice, pick up one of our Connect Groups leaflets on a Sunday.
We meet during the week in these small groups (on Tuesday or Thursday evenings) in various homes in the area. We don’t want to confine everything to these meetings, but to establish strong friendships to challenge and encourage each other throughout the week, and be involved in reaching our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues with the gospel together.
We have six of these Connect Groups, and most people at Emmanuel are in one of them. We encourage everyone to join a small group like this to help them feel even more part of our church. You can see who our Connect Group leaders are here.
Sometimes people feel that they don’t know enough about Christianity to be in a Connect Group. We really hope that our groups aren’t intimidating like that! But it may be that joining a six-week Christianity Explored course would be a better starting place for you. Click here to find out more about this relaxed introductory course.