This post is adapted from Ps Phil's messages at the C3 Oxford Falls 10am and 6pm services on Sunday 11 February. Watch the messages here


“...from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16 (NKJV)

One of the secrets to thriving in the church is connection. We desperately need one another. Jesus demonstrates this by speaking so much about it in the New Testament and by how He lives.

How to get along with each other is perhaps one of the key aspects to life that we’re educated the least in. We tend to think it will just happen.

But it is our ability to relate to one another that will determine our ability to thrive in life.



Loneliness is now so prevalent in society and is a deep issue around the world. The UK has recently announced a new Minister for Loneliness. 25% of the households in Sydney are single occupants, which amounts to almost 1.25 million people. Certainly, people can live alone and not be lonely but it does depend on how they invest in relationships.

Loneliness has terrible consequences not just for us emotionally, but physically and mentally. Research has revealed that both heart disease and mental illness are higher amongst the lonely.

Even though we are more connected through technology than ever before we are struggling to achieve the deep heart connections that are so pivotal to a thriving life.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ shared the example of a community living in an Italian town named Rosetta. Heart disease had been wiped out and the only way its residents were dying was from old age. He discovered the community-shared meals together every day, three generations of family lived under the one roof and there were no fences separating houses.


Connection through Community

A sense of community helps us mentally, physically and spiritually. Once we receive Jesus, we receive all of His people too, ie, the church. The deepest connection we can have with people is our common connection with Jesus. God joins us with divine connections. When we meet people with a Jesus connection, there’s automatically a fit, a common experience based on a deep connection with Jesus.

We can only achieve what God designed us to do through deep connection with others who have a similar heart for Jesus.

The above verse in Ephesians talks about how we are ‘joined and knitted together.’ Let me explain this by illustration. We’re all familiar with the ball and socket joint in our shoulders. One of us is the ball, the other the socket. Initially, they fit perfectly.

However, over time stress may come to bear between the two creating friction. This could be caused by one of us letting down the other over something. However, the ligament that surrounds the joint holds us together. In addition, the ligament enables a certain amount of flex, enabling the relationship to bear under pressure without breaking.

In a relationship built upon a deep connection with Jesus the ‘ligaments will kick in to buffer the pressures at the joint.’


Love One Another

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV)

Jesus outlines that loving one another will enable us all to thrive. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was known to have a one-word mantra: “Others.” Let our lives be all about ‘others.’

I like to live with certain maxims in my life and one of those is ‘Let me help you.’

I don’t ask if I can help rather take the more positive step and offer to help. Whether it’s helping someone get their bags up into the overhead cabin on a plane or assisting someone hop off the bus, I find there’s an instant positive connection. It’s love in action in the simplest form.

This was how Jesus lived.

Love appreciates others.


Meeting People

Be enthusiastic about meeting other people. Be intentional about it.

How do people connect? A spirit level connection is the deepest form of connection. The only way this happens is if we do something spiritual together, for example, praying and/or reading the Word together. This is the essence of Connect Groups where we come together to meet at a spirit level.



Three Keys to Effective Relationships
  1. Spend time together
    • This needs to be focused time, not spent distracted by the phone or other conversations.
  2. Help people -> ‘Let me help you.’
  3. Communicate
    • Communication is the skill we’re least educated about
    • We have 2 ears and 1 mouth and that is the ratio we should use when we communicate, ie, twice as much listening as talking.
    • Take an interest in others. Everyone loves to talk about himself or herself but if we only talk about ourselves we don’t really connect.
    • When we communicate well, we walk in the light.


Let’s all seek healthy connections with fellow believers in the church so that we can thrive in life.

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