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Connect - Through the Church

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On Sunday, October 29, 2017, we began the service with a report from Ina York, our missionary in Cercadillo, in the Dominican Republic.  Gateway will be bringing two teams to help her ministry this summer.  

Ina talked about how God called her to Cercadillo, and how God is working in lives there.

Then Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series, "Connect."  This week he looked at how the church helps us connect.

For a light bulb to really be what it's meant to be, it must shed light.  In order to shed light, it must be connected to a power source and connected to a mechanism to turn it on.

For us, that mechanism to turn us on is a relationship network bigger than your family.  You need a church.

What is a church?

To answer this question, we looked at Jesus' words in Matthew 16:13-20.

Jesus is after lovers, not "likes."

Jesus asked what people think of him.  But then he said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."  He's making a big claim.

A church is a gathering of those who have been called by God.

The word means "called-out ones."  The church is not a building, not an institution, not an organization.

Jesus builds the church.

Jesus gave Peter the name "Rocky."  He's saying this is what it's all about.  It's not about Peter - Jesus builds the church.  

If you're connecting to this church, you're here because Jesus is drawing you here.

The church will be built.

Despite circumstances.  Churches in China and Africa right now are seeing explosive growth.  Persecution doesn't stop the church.

Fellow light bulbs, what do you need to do to strengthen your connection to the network?

Be forewarned, at Gateway we'll make it as hard as possible for you to sit and do nothing.  We want you to shine!

Connect!

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Yesterday, on Sunday, October 15, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen began a sermon series called "Connect."  He told us about a long-term Harvard study with a result that "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.  Period."  (Dr. Robert Waldinger)

Being rightly connected is the main thing.

We looked at several sections of Scripture:  Genesis 1 and 2 ("It is not good for man to be alone."); Matthew 22:34-40 ("All the law and the prophets hang on these." - Love God & love your neighbor.); John 13:34-35 (Everyone will know that you are his disciples if you love one another).

The pattern for our lives, the blueprint from which we were made is a community.  Even God lives in community, and we were made in His image.

What happens when we're rightly connected to others?

Improves our physical health.

Loneliness kills us.  In study after study, relationships help physical and mental health.

Improves our relationship with God.

Connecting with people helps our connection with God and vice versa.  It's all summarized by:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Plunges us into God's mission.

Connection gives our life purpose.

Church is a connection network.  Our gathering is only a crowd unless we connect.  We become a church to the degree we connect with one another.

What does being rightly connected look like?

It looks like love!

Your happiness and success are directly proportional to the degree of right connection in your life.

It's not about proximity, but about connection and involvement.

We need to grow in our ability to give and receive love.

We are going to be looking at how to love well.  That's what connection is all about.

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