It was one of the most effective advertising campaigns in recent history. It featured a tall, thin, kind of gangly looking fellow. He’s wearing black, horned-rimmed glasses and looks like he might be an accountant or computer geek. He’s got a cell phone in his hand and a serious look on his face. And everywhere he goes, no matter how remote or strange a place, he’s got one thing to say.
“Can you hear me now?”
What was the ad? It was VERIZON. Why was it so successful an ad that they kept running it and running it and running it some more? Because it made VERIZON a lot of money. And why is that? Because Americans are OBSESSED with being “connected.”  Whether it’s by cell phones; email; social networking sites – people, it seems, can’t go even a few minutes without connecting. Sometimes it’s about business, other times it’s all about pleasure, but staying connected is key.
That gets me wondering about another connection – our connection with God. The reality is that staying connected with God, for a lot a people, doesn’t seem to be nearly as important as staying connected with their friends on Facebook or Instagram. If it was, preachers would boast about having millions of millions of members in their churches – but we know that isn’t true.
So on Sunday as we finish the first segment of our series Breakthrough Stewardship…Investing in Relationships we will talk some about “staying connected” with God. In one of His most famous sayings, Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  On Sunday we will explore this powerful passage and discover ways we can keep our connection strong.