We all fall into habits. 

When something new enters my life, I usually have a period of a few days where I establish some learnings on how to use it. And within those first 48 to 72 hours, I form patterns that soon become indicative of how I’ll interact with whatever I’m using.  For example, I bought this laptop back in August, and it is my first Mac.  Initially, everything seemed new.  But for the most part, I figured out how to use it in the first 72 hours.  It was like I made little deals on what keystroke shortcuts I’d use, what features I’d open, and what I’d never bother to figure out.

In those first few days, I didn’t explore every feature or probably even 90% of what this baby can do.  I just figured out how to use it for what I needed it to do, explored a few bells and whistles, and left it alone.  And what I did in those first few days set the pattern for my use of this thing since then.  Even though I totally love my Mac (I’m a raving fan!), I’ve explored two raindrops worth of ocean so far.

The same is true of how I’d explore a new cell phone…set patterns in new relationships….even how I’m approaching the new patterns of how to preach at Connexus with video and very steeply raked seating…in the first few days of using something new, I set a pattern that I pretty much follow without much deviation from thereon in.

Think about your own patterns.  Do you see a trend like that?

The pattern may be natural, but what it leaves me with is probably using a small percentage of the power of whatever I’m dealing with, like this laptop.  I think the same thing is true of so much in life, including my spiritual life.  Have I fallen into a place where I’m discovering .1% of God, only because my approach to God was set years ago and hasn’t varied much?  What would I do differently if I really explored Him, really got to know Him differently and fully?

What about your relationship with God?  Have you fallen into patterns that you know limit you to exploring a fraction of God?  Just asking.  But I think I’d like to chew on that personally for a few days.

By the way, later this week, I’m going to sit down with a fellow staffer and she’s going to teach me how to use some software I’ve always ignored over all these years of computing.  That should be fun.

And maybe…maybe…I’ll even talk to God about exploring Him far more creatively and fully too.


  1. Carey Nieuwhof on January 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks Al…great thoughts! I appreciate them and we'll give them some thought.

  2. Allen Forget on January 3, 2008 at 9:27 am

    It may be worthwhile (and maybe you are already doing this) to consider ensuring that all people, both new to Connexus and already familiar with Connexus, know who these people are.

    Some ideas would be to have them be very visible at the start of the services through introductions. (you pretty much have to do this every service too as a true seeker service looks to use every opportunity to connect with everyone) You could ensure visibility through big, bright name tags or even snappy looking Connexus staff shirts. These people need to be available before and after every service to speak with people as well.I dunno. I guess the goal is to ensure that these campus leaders are available, visible and accessible to everyone who wants to connect.

  3. Carey Nieuwhof on January 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Hey Joanne…thanks for the comments and for the feedback.

    Nadine Russell is our acting campus director for Orillia. If you haven't met Nadine, let me assure you that you'll love her. She is in Orillia almost every weekend and is responsible for the Orillia site. Matt Fox is there most weekends too, so Orillia has a couple of familiar faces and wonderful staffers as leaders. Rob and Rose Meeder are Orillia's regular hosts each weekend. So between Nadine, Matt, Rob and Rose, you've got four very amazing people who are spiritually very much in tune and who know how to support, encourage and direct people appropriately.

    Our plan is to hire a full time campus pastor or director for our sites (we may even hire one for Barrie down the road, as I am sort of the lead for "all" sites). While pastoral care is done primarily through community groups at Connexus (hope you are in one or will be soon!), we acknowledge that people like to have a face with the place. As budget and expansion allow, we'll be adding full time campus pastors.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Joanne on January 2, 2008 at 10:28 am

    We so enjoyed the Christmas Eve service down in Barrie – a wonderful way to start the Holy festivities. But seeing Pastor Carey made me realize what I've been missing in Orillia. Truthfully, I feel a bit lost there – there is a sense of being a flock without a shepherd. I feel a bit like we're floating, no leader, no figurehead. It's fine to believe in God and not be able to see Him or His Son, but I feel that a church needs a leader, even just someone to begin and end the service, a familiar face, someone to shake hands with, connect with, send us off into the week with a blessing. This is not to say that I'm not enjoying the sermons on-screen, because I am, they are as thought-provoking and challenging as ever, but I miss having a pastor. Just a thought, any chance of Orillia having someone to be our shepherd, in the flesh?

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