What is Connect Four?
Connect Four is an attempt to help us connect with Jesus at home and at church on a regular basis throughout the year. The challenges in the Connect Four strategy are broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Here they are:
Connect with Jesus at home through his word daily.
This means that we should strive to read his word daily. This really isn’t that hard to do. If we want to grow towards maturity we must prioritize our time in scripture. Just give God one episode of your favorite show once per day and, instead of watching it, have a quiet time or listen to a chapter of the Bible in your Bible app.
Connect with Jesus at church through his people weekly.
This is extremely doable. Think about it. We should prioritize our church attendance anyway. So if we truly want to move towards maturity we should at least attend church once per week. That would equal four days per month and 52 days per year. Maybe you can’t make every Sunday, but Lakeside has more days than just Sunday for you to find a worship service and small group. Make spending time with other Christians a higher priority than sports or other things. It will be worth it in the end.
Connect with a mentor or accountability partner monthly.
Few things are more important than accountable relationships with people you can trust. People who love you and are willing to speak hard truths into your life are people worth hanging out with. Proverbs 27:6 says, “The wounds of a friend can be trusted, but the kisses of an enemy are many.” The question you need to ask is this: do I want a true friend or a bunch of enemies? Most people only want to have “friends” that tell them how awesome they are. But according to this verse, a true friend is willing to tell you what you need to hear, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. Accountability conversations look like this:
True Friend - “Do you want me to be your friend or your enemy?”
You - “I don’t want you to be my enemy! I want you to be my friend.”
True Friend - “Then what I am about to say might hurt you, but know who it is coming from. I am your friend…”
Then the accountability partner will tell the person they are talking to what they observe in his or her life that needs adjusting. Make sense?
Use the “Connect Four journal to help you with accountable relationships. There is a section for accountability relationships that explains what these relationships should look like and what to do when you meet together. The goal is to meet together monthly.
Connect with Jesus through extracurricular events yearly.
This is where it gets fun. Choose a Christian concert or conference to attend. Go with your small group. Attend camp or a mission trip. When we say “extracurricular event” all we mean is an event that is not part of our church's weekly schedule. Our church offers fun events throughout the year. Let these events be one of your extracurriculars. The reason we encourage this is so we don’t get stagnant and routine in our faith. We need times when we can get a “shot in the arm” of spirituality. This is why prioritizing extracurricular events throughout the year is so important.
What about your friends?
Connect four friends to Jesus along the way.
We will never grow to our full potential until we help others connect with Jesus too. This might look like inviting one of your friends to an event designed to help them meet Jesus. It might mean you take one of these friends to an extracurricular event with your small group. It really could be as simple as sitting at the lunch table sharing the verse of the day from your Bible app. However we choose to connect our friends to Jesus we need to be in constant prayer for them. Lee Strobel often says, “Before we talk to our friends about God we need to talk to God about our friends.”
Pick Up Your FREE C4 Journal at Lakeside Students!
If you would like more help with the Connect Four strategy you can pick up one of our C4 Journals that is designed to be a journal companion for your quiet time guides as you connect with God’s word daily. It also has a place for you to take sermon notes while you are connecting with God’s people at church weekly. It has accountability questions for you as you meet with your mentor or accountability partner monthly. It even has a list of extracurricular events throughout the year as well as four blanks on the bottom of each week’s page so you can write down the four names of friends you are praying will connect with Jesus throughout the year. This journal is just a simple tool to help put into practice the Connect Four strategy.
No matter how you choose to connect with Jesus, we encourage you to highly prioritize connecting with Jesus at home and at church on a regular and consistent basis. Remember what Jesus said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)