The King and Queen of Connection Events: Jimmy and Rebecca Kissmer
Jimmy and Rebecca joined Hoboken Grace in December 2016, just before Christmas. They’d recently moved to the area, leaving behind family and friends on Long Island, and decided, “Ok, now we have to stay here on Sunday and find a home church.”
“We specifically sought out a church that had dinner groups,” said Rebecca. “We had small groups when we were both in college. I went back to church on Long Island, which had the energy and had the modern-ness of the church we were looking for, but it didn’t have that community aspect.”
“We typed in ‘community church’ in Google Maps, we came to Hoboken Grace, and were like, this is it. This is absolutely where we want to be.”
Rebecca and Jimmy spent no time worrying about fitting in. They had their hearts set on connection and being a part of the community. Connection events quickly became a part of their everyday life.
“We jumped in here,” said Rebecca. “It’s worth the awkwardness of the first few times or two to jump in and meet people that are part of your community, that are part of your family. You’ll start seeing faces you recognize and it won’t be awkward anymore.”
James says he liked that connection events provided an unstructured opportunity to interact with people.
“I like that we have church on Sunday where we see people and there’s time for worship, time for the sermon, time for hanging out with people,” James said.” With dinner groups there will be time for catching up and time for diving into what we’ve heard from the previous week, but connection events are a break from that and a time that we get to — in a very unstructured way — come together and enjoy each other and to build each other up.”
Rebecca, a self-proclaimed introvert, notes, “I tend to stick with the people I know. If you start talking to a new person and then you see them on Sunday, you can meet a lot of people this way who aren’t just in your small group.”
In fact, it was a connection event that brought Jimmy and Rebecca into the lives of Elizabeth and Esteban. “We met them at the pizza crawl,” Rebecca said. “They’re a really good couple friend now, and Elizabeth is in my dinner group.”
“We’re actually moving to Charlotte in a few months and they’re from Charlotte. And so we were just trading – I know the good stuff up here and you know the good stuff down there. And we have an offer to have dinner with their parents when we get down there.”
As for advice that they might offer to others about getting plugged in, James states emphatically, “Jump in. Just jump in. I think that God has been working on my heart in a way – I’ve heard growing up about having your heart break for people who don’t know who Jesus is, and that was kind of a cliché for many years of my life and only recently has that become more real.”
“I don’t want people to know this because I feel obliged to tell them about it. I want people to know this because of the immense peace and joy that comes with it. I can almost say the same about dinner groups and connection events. I just wish that for anyone who doesn’t know what they’re like, for you to just jump in and see it first-hand.”
Rebecca and Jimmy will be moving soon , but as they put it, “Until we go, we’re here and we’re going to continue to be engaged. At some point we made the decision that we know we’re not going to be here forever, but while we’re here, we’re here. We’re going to be too much energy. We know it.”
Once in Charlotte, they will be looking for a church that has connection events. But, if they can’t find that they say, “we’ll bring that there.
We need to do life together.”
See upcoming connection events in the app, on FB, or here.