LAKE FOREST, Calif. --- Rick Warren, pastor of
Saddleback Church led one of the general sessions during the Feb. 19-21 NEXT
conference at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
Warren is author of the best-selling books, The Purpose Driven Church
and The Purpose Driven Life. He is a self-proclaimed big believer in
small groups and attributes much of Saddleback’s health, growth and development
to small groups. He said the spiritual connections – vertical (believer to God)
and horizontal (believer to believer) – lead to personal and church health and
He outlined 10 reasons why people need to be spiritually connected to
1. Connections are the essence of life. Each person’s body
has to connect muscle to bone to nerves for it to work.
2. We were created for connections. The pain of loneliness
proves this. Love God and love each other – that’s the Cliffs Notes of the
3. Love is the ultimate connection. The No. 1
secret of church growth is not marketing or advertising, it’s love. If your
church genuinely loves others, you’ll have to lock the doors to keep people out.
4. Connections help us understand life. The more you
understand connections, how things fit together, the better you understand
5. Connections empower us. Power flows through
6. Connections keep us growing. Knowing the
right thing to do is rarely enough. To keep doing it over the long term you need
7. Connections help us balance our lives.
Memory is our connection to the past; awareness is our connection to the
8. Connections increase our confidence. We gain
confidence knowing that others are going with us through this journey called
9. Connections make us more productive. The
better connected we are to God and others, the greater the impact on our
10. Connections must be learned. Connecting is
neither natural nor automatic. That’s why God sent Jesus.
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