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So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises! Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning. (Hebrews 10:23-25 TPT)

When I was a young girl I remember one of my favourite experiences was playing a game we called “Runny, Runny, Jump!” It only happened in very special moments when I gripped in one hand the hand of my Mom, while in the other hand I held tightly to my Dad's hand. Being now tethered on both sides, we would all say the magic words together “Runny, Runny” and then, as though propelled from a canon, I both jumped and flew through the air as we all sang “Jump!”

This year, what is propelling you forward? Have you felt the joy and freedom of both jumping and flying into your mission?

When God invited each of us to join in on His grand mission to make Himself known to the world, He fully intended the experience to be life-giving. His design was simple: collectively abide in Jesus. Its not unlike Runny, Runny, Jump actually. To most fully experience the joy and wonder of joining God on mission, we are to be connected, both to God and to one another. If we let go of either one of those hands we will not soar.

In God's design, the Church is the “one another” hand we need hold. This past year it has been particularly challenging to remain tethered to the Church. The pandemic has led some to pursue their faith on their own. But search the scriptures, and I don't believe you will find a call to live out your faith alone. In fact, the passage above reminds us that “we need each other!” We are to eagerly “encourage and urge each other onward.” We are to propel one another on in our mission.

So how then, in the midst of this weird and distant season are we to feel well connected to the Church in order that we may enjoy the life-giving benefits? Below is a list of 21 ideas to increase your connection with your church. This is not an attempt to make you busy – it is an attempt to help you tap into what I believe is life-giving connection. I encourage you to prayerfully consider the ideas, and then commit to acting upon the one or two you hear the Spirit inviting you to pursue.

21 ways to connect to your church in 2021:

    1. Write an email to your church board and let them know you are praying for them as they lead this year.
    2. Watch and engage in a weekly service online.
    3. Participate in a church prayer time or prayer chain.
    4. Send an encouragement note to a volunteer at your church.
    5. Follow your church on instagram and facebook. Read and respond to their posts.
    6. Talk with your friends about something you love about your church.
    7. Join a church small group through Zoom.
    8. Grab another church friend and go for a socially distanced walk around your church's neighbourhood. Pray, observe, dream, and encourage one another.
    9. Listen to your pastor's message and then send a follow up text to them to share something you found interesting.
    10. Drop off home baked goods at the doorstep of a household in your church that may enjoy some encouragement.
    11. Write a postcard to someone who lives alone in your church.
    12. Consider generously giving to financially support the mission of your church.
    13. Invite one or two of your friends to watch an online church service with you – text or chat about the service as you go. Increase the fun by dropping off a cinnamon bun at their door for them beforehand.
    14. Take advantage of the offers for prayer in your church community. Consistently.
    15. Consider participating in an online service – a song, a prayer, a testimony, a scripture reading, or some video editing.
    16. Visit the church website. Read what's up and what's new.
    17. Ask for advice from someone in your church.
    18. Let the text from the Sunday service be a source for your devotions during the week.
    19. Give thanks to God for your church.
    20. Pray for your church leaders.
    21. Talk with God about your church. Listen for where you are being invited to creatively encourage others.

I am praying for you this year – that you may feel connected to the God who loves you, and the Church that encourages you and cheers you on in mission. You are loved.