Communication vs. Connection

We serve a God who is close and personal, yet His children can struggle with connecting and developing relationships with others. In Session 4 of the 101: Foundation’s course, we walk you through how intimate and personal God is. God desires more than just communication with His children, He desires connection. God wants to know our hearts, our thoughts, and our desires. If we are created in the image of God, then we too desire connection and relationship. In today’s post, I want to break down the difference between communicating vs. connecting with other believers. Yes, you read that right. This is not a play on words, but it will be a post that may challenge how you interact with the body of Christ. 

What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between communication and connection? You are probably thinking they are synonyms, but I promise they are not.  Communication is sharing basic needs, facts, and information about yourself. Connection is a step beyond that. Connection requires intentionality and vulnerability. Connection requires depth and allowing ourselves to join our hearts and our minds with another person. We live in a culture where we communicate more than we connect. This ideology has even crept its way into the body of Christ.  

The Enemies Role

The enemy wants Christians to settle with just communicating with one another. The enemy wants Christians to believe that small chit-chat before/after church service, social media updates, and a few text messages here and there is a real connection.  There is nothing inherently wrong with these things. But these are means to just communicate with one another. No real connection can happen through social media or 5–10-minute small talk on Sundays. The devil knows that when Christians gather to truly connect outside of social media and the four walls of the Church, we are stronger, better, and able to defeat any temptation, stronghold, or attack that he can throw at us.  

A Deeper Look

I want to point out the life of Jesus and a moment in the apostle Paul’s life that reveals how believers are to live and interact with each other.  

Jesus, the Son of God shared His life with the disciples. Jesus had His twelve, and then He had His inner circle, Peter, James, and John. The disciples knew and experienced the best and worst moments of Jesus’s life. Jesus did more than just communicate the Kingdom of God to the disciples. He lived His life with the disciples. The disciples knew Jesus’s personality, His heart, His humanity, and His divinity. They knew Jesus as a friend, and because of this we see that Jesus did more than communicate with the disciples, He connected with them.  

In Acts 20:17-38, Paul was leaving the church in Ephesus to continue his ministry journey. The audience sees that Paul did more than just communicate and build a church in Ephesus, he built connections and relationships with the people in Ephesus. At the end of Paul’s farewell speech, “There were many tears shed by everyone. They embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving most of all his statement that they would never see his face again…” (Acts 20:37-38). This moment hurt Paul and the leaders of the church in Ephesus because there was a connection between them. This was a group of believers who were seeing their apostle, pastor, and more importantly, friend depart from them.  

The life of Jesus and the apostle Paul reveal how Christians are to do life with one another. Jesus and Paul did not just settle with communicating the Gospel, they chose to live out the Gospel by being in a relationship and connection with the people around them.  

Your Personal Encouragement

Before I end this post, I want to mention a few verses that state the connection/relationship that Christians should have with one another: 

“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” – James 5:16

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” – Galatians 6:2

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” – Romans 12: 10

These verses reveal that our connection with other believers requires a little bit more than small talk at church, it requires a phone call, a lunch date, and even a time to gather at each other’s homes.   

God did not create the body of Christ to merely communicate with one another. As a Christian, you are called to connect, and that can only be done by stepping outside of your comfort zone, being led by the Holy Spirit, and allowing discernment to be what protects you through the process.  

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness. 

Get the phone number  

Plan a gathering  

Allow your heart to share and be vulnerable  

Have fun (it’s not as complicated as you think) 

Shay Griffin

Shay is a biblical studies intern. Her focus