Our Prayer for You

I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers.
EPHESIANS 1:17-18 MESSAGE

Week One


Know God + Know Your Church









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THE CONNECT CHURCH STORY

CONNECTCHURCH was birthed out of a simple idea to help people find a personal and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ and find their creative purpose. Our goal is to help people who don’t know Jesus and people who had a church experience void of a connection to God.
In the Summer of 2015 with a small team of 25 people, we started praying and seeking God’s guidance and provision for the new church. With the original team and other leaders coming on board, CONNECTCHURCH was launched on March 6th, 2016. That Sunday with more than 300 people in attendance, our journey began.
From the very beginning, Connect was determined to provide a safe place for people in different stages on their journey of faith to grow spiritually. Our worship style and messages are passionate and engaging, and our atmosphere is relaxed and casual. We highly value relationships and encourage people to join Small Groups, which are based on seasons of life or interest.
We are passionate about people finding hope through faith in Jesus. We are excited about what God is doing in CONNECTCHURCH and invite you to become part of the family. Come and see how exciting church can be!
Pastor Peter and Nadia

OUR PRAYER FOR YOU

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.
EPHESIANS 1:17-18

I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers.
EPHESIANS 1:17-18 MESSAGE

OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY CONSISTS OF FOUR STEPS


  1. Know God
  2. Find Freedom
  3. Discover Purpose
  4. Make a Difference
Inside of Connect Church Worship Moment

HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN


Sin breaks our close relationship with God. It causes us to fear God and try to live our lives outside of His will.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 6:23

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
ROMANS 5:8

For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity - the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
1 TIMOTHY 2:5-6

God has already done His part to restore our relationship to Him. He took the initiative. Now He waits for each of us to individually accept what He has done for us.
  1. that God has not been first place in your life, and ask Him to forgive your sins.
But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 JOHN 1:9

  1. that Jesus died to pay for your sins and that He rose from the dead and is alive today.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
ROMANS 10:9-10

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
ACTS 4:12

For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:14

  1. God’s free gift of salvation. Don’t try to earn it.
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
EPHESIANS 2:8-9

Our relationship with God is not restored by anything we do, but on the basis of what Jesus already did for us!
  1. Jesus Christ to come into your life and be the Lord of your life.
To all who received Him, He gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust Him to save them. All those who believe this are reborn! - not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan - but from the will of God.”
JOHN 1:12-13 TLB

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
REVELATION 3:20

YOU CAN TAKE THESE STEPS BY PRAYING A SIMPLE PRAYER OF COMMITMENT TO GOD:

Dear Jesus, thank You for creating me and for loving me even when I’ve ignored You and gone my own way. I realize I need You in my life, and I’m sorry for my sins. I ask You to forgive me. Thank You for dying on the cross for me. As much as I know how, i want to follow You from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept Your free gift of salvation. Please help me to grow now as a Christian.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
ROMANS 10:13

Connect Church Baptism

WATER BAPTISM

We practice baptism by immersion in water, which is the way Jesus was baptized and the way the Bible teaches.
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized Him in the Jordan River.
MARK 1:9-10

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
MATTHEW 28:19

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
MATTHEW 10:32-33

BY BEING WATER BAPTISED, YOU ARE:

  1. Following the set by Christ
  2. Demonstrating your
  3. Declaring your commitment

Water baptism declares what has happened

OUR VISION AT CONNECT CHURCH


1. Know God


We consider reaching people who do not know God personally one of our greatest responsibilities. Our Sunday services are primarily geared toward those who do not have a genuine relationship with God.

Our Sunday services focus on four values:

  1. We believe church should be enjoyable.
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’
PSALM 122:1 NKJV

  1. We believe church should be a place where people experience God’s presence.
But...when some unbelievers or ordinary people come in, they will be convinced of their sin by what they hear. They will be judged by all they hear, their secret thoughts will be brought into the open, and they will bow down and worship God, confessing, ‘Truly God is here among you!’
1 CORINTHIANS 14:24-25 GNT

  1. We believe church should be a place where people learn how the Bible applies to their daily lives.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles,
the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ..
EPHESIANS 4:11-12

  1. We believe church should be a place where people can accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

HOW TO SHARE CHRIST WITH OTHERS:

Go out into the country...and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.
LUKE 14:23 TLB

As we continue to reach people far from God, every one of us can do our part by following these four principles:
  1. Accept the personal
  2. Build a personal
  3. Share your personal
  4. Give a personal

2. Find Freedom


We believe life change happens in the context of relationships. Small Groups have one simple purpose: to bring people together. God created us to live in community with others, and it is only then that we can experience the full life He intends for us.

SMALL GROUPS PROVIDE THREE THINGS:

  1. A place to with others.
Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:22 TLB

We were not made to do life alone. God created us for community, and Small Groups provide a place for you to connect with others, share life, and grow in faith together.
  1. A place to each other.
We know what love is because Jesus gave His life for us. This is why we must give our lives for each other.
1 JOHN 3:16 NLT

When we do life together, our problems become smaller as God uses others to bring support and encouragement to our lives. Small Groups become a place where others don’t just know your name but care about what is happening in your life and want to support you in your spiritual journey.
  1. A place to together.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
PROVERBS 27:17

We believe every person is created with God-given potential to make a difference in the world. Small Groups are a place you can grow with others to become more like Jesus and reach the potential God has put inside you.
Small Groups
HOW SMALL GROUPS WORK:
A small group is an intentional gathering of people who meet regularly. Since God designed us for relationships, we believe it is through the connections made in small groups that God will help us grow.
People form groups around the same stage in life as well as mutual interests. Small Groups are also where we pray for and support each other.
Small groups meet every week in locations all around our city, and with many groups to choose from, we believe there is a group out there for you.
Three things you should know about small groups:
  1. Our groups are based on “stage of life” & interest.
  2. We want people to gather based on mutual interests or stage of life. From youth to adult groups, we have a group for you! Life flows in seasons, and we want to make it easy for you to be in the right small group for you in each season. You are encouraged to try several groups in order to find one that fits you best! These are just some of our categories:
    • Pre-Teens (11-14)
    • Youth
    • Young Adults
    • Young Couples
    • Young Families
    • Families
    • Women’s Groups
    • Men’s Groups
  1. You can join a group.
  2. We would love for you to get connected in a small group. Our groups meet in two semesters a year:
    • Winter/Spring - January through April
    • Fall - September through November
    To find the right group, simply visit connect417.com/groups to sign up or visit the Welcome Center.
  3. You can lead a group.
  4. We believe everyone has areas of strength and gifting that can benefit others, and leading a small group is a great way to make meaningful connections. If you are a passionate & loving person, leading a group is for you! You’ll discover that it’s easier than you think.
    To learn more, attend a Small Group Leader training.

3. Discover Purpose


Growth Track exists to help you discover and develop your purpose and live the full life God created for you. Growth Track is made up of four steps, which guide you through next steps in your journey to Know God, Know Your Church, Discover Your Design, and Join the Team.
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding...
HEBREWS 6:1

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
JOHN 10:10

  1. Week One -
  2. Discover the spiritual journey God has for each of us. Learn more about CONNECTCHURCH, our history and our heart. Find out how to connect with us.
  3. Week Two -
  4. Discover your personality and your gifts and see how they indicate your purpose in life and your best fit in ministry.
  5. Week Three -
  6. Plug in to the opportunities available at CONNECTCHURCH to live out your purpose and serve others by using your gifts.

4. Make a Difference


All of us were created by God to make a difference in the world around us. God has a place for you where your unique abilities and passions can impact the lives of others. We believe your life will never make sense until you find, develop, and fulfill your purpose.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
EPHESIANS 2:10

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
ACTS 20:24
Now God gives us many kinds of special abilities...and there are different kinds of service to God [ministry]...All of you together are the one Body of Christ and each of you is a separate and necessary part of it.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4–5, 27 TLB

At CONNECTCHURCH:

We believe there is no great or small ministry. Every ministry is vital to the life of the Church. There aren’t two groups of people, congregation and clergy. Everyone has something they can do to impact the lives of others in the Kingdom of God. From our perspective, every member of CONNECTCHURCH is a minister, every person is gifted in some area, and every task is important. Discover what you do well, and take steps to use your gifts to make a difference.
You can start by joining the Connect Team at Week 3 of the Growth Track!
Pastor Peter Speaking

CONNECT CHURCH GOVERNMENT


Believers who invest their heart, time, effort and finances in the building of a local church deserve to have confidence in church leadership. People are looking for leaders to conduct themselves with integrity and respect when making decisions that affect their lives.

Our church government is made up of three groups of Elders:

  1. Led by
  2. The Lead Pastor serves the congregation and is responsible for the development of the spiritual life of the church, relying on the help of the COO and Executive Pastor for day to day operation.
  3. Protected by
  4. This board consists of five members of the congregation appointed by the Lead Pastor to oversee the finances and direct the provision of the facilities needed by the church. They provide counsel to the Lead Pastor regarding the major financial commitments of the church. The Trustees serve in a non staff role.
  5. Strengthened by
  6. Team Leaders of CONNECTCHURCH are a vital part of church structure and government. We encourage them to bring ideas & develop new leaders.
    We believe Team Leaders are more effective when they are directly involved in growing & implementing the CONNECTCHURCH vision in their teams.

Church Finances


One-tenth...belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to Him as holy.
LEVITICUS 27:30

On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.
1 CORINTHIANS 16:2
  1. Tithe
  2. Offerings
  3. Gift of giving
At CONNECTCHURCH, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s Body, the church, as the Bible teaches. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard for giving, so as a church we practice the same principle. We give 10% of our church budget to a number of different causes such as church planting and development in local, national, and international missions!
Many people love to give to God but need to have confidence in the methods and purposes used by organizations to which they give. Therefore, there are a great number of people willing to give if they can see honesty, integrity and genuine spiritual values reflected in the lifestyles of their church leaders.
We consider giving tithes and offerings as an act of worship to Jesus Christ and an expression of the relationship between the individual giver and the Lord. That is why we don’t have people fill out pledge cards or make faith promises. Funds are not ‘income only,’ they are worship, and must not be considered a business transaction, but an expression of gratitude toward God.
Group of Men

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER:

  1. Complete Growth Track
  2. Sign a Membership Commitment
  3. Attend services regularly
  4. Financially support the church

CONNECTCHURCH Membership Commitment

Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and being in agreement with the values and ideas presented in Growth Track, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the CONNECTCHURCH family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
  1. I will protect the unity of my church:
    • By acting in love toward other members.
    • By refusing to gossip.
    • By following the leaders.
    So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
    ROMANS 14:19

    May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
    ROMANS 15:5

    You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
    1 PETER 1:22

    Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
    EPHESIANS 4:29

    Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
    HEBREWS 13:17

  2. I will share the responsibility of my church:
    • By praying for its growth and health.
    • By inviting the unchurched to attend.
    • By warmly welcoming those who visit.
    ...to the church...we always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.
    1 THESSALONIANS 1:1-2

    So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.’
    LUKE 14:23

    Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
    ROMANS 15:7

  3. I will strive to serve the ministry of my church:
    • By discovering my gifts and talents.
    • By being equipped to serve by my pastors.
    • By developing a servant’s heart.
    God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
    1 PETER 4:10

    Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ
    EPHESIANS 4:11-12

    Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others...You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had...He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave... He appeared in human form....
    PHILIPPIANS 2:4-5, 7

  4. I will support the testimony of my church:
    • By attending church and small groups faithfully.
    • By living a godly life.
    • By giving regularly.
    All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer.
    ACTS 2:42

    And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another..
    HEBREWS 10:25

    Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ..
    PHILIPPIANS 1:27

 

NextSTEPS


  1. Give your heart to Jesus to be saved.
  2. You can use the salvation prayer on as a guide.
  3. Declare your relationship with Jesus publicly.
  4. Water baptism is the example Jesus set, and we follow this example to publicly share our new life in Him.
  5. Complete all Three Weeks of Growth Track
    • Week One - Know God, Know Your Church
    • Week Two - Discover Your Design
    • Week Three - Join the Team
  6. Become a member of CONNECTCHURCH.
  7. Membership at CONNECTCHURCH is not about adding your name to a roster; it’s about connecting with the people and the vision of the church
  8. Join a Small Group.
  9. Sign up online at connect417.com/groups or in our Connect Center.