Making Connections...It's a God Thing!

We heard a remarkable story at a staff meeting recently, and asked if we could use it on our small group leader website and newsletter.  What follows is the story of how one family (the Renauds) connected to McLane Church through a small group...and what God is doing in their lives.  The story is told by Chris Norris, the leader of that small group.

Nick Renaud teaches with my wife.  He and I started getting coffee together once a week nearly two years ago. Nick has an excellent sense of humor so I always enjoyed his company. As expected, I was a bit curious how God would use this relationship.

Fast forward a year or so and Nick and I realize that we have a common acquaintance in Doug Bierer. Doug rescued the Renaud's kitchen so Nick is a big fan of Doug's, as am I, since the Bierers are a part of our small group.

This past summer, I accidentally double booked myself and told Nick I'd catch a SeaWolves game with him -- and had also arranged a small group men's night out on Doug's boat. It would appear that God finally opened a window of opportunity for me to connect Nick with some guys from McLane and our small group and hoped they'd hit it off. So I invited Nick out with us on Doug's boat.

To no surprise, Nick, Doug, Steve Shallenberger and I had a great time out on the "Fish n Ski" that night. Immediately following this night out on Lake Erie, at coffee one morning, Nick said he had so much fun with the guys and wanted to try our church. He said that he and his wife Deanna had been looking for stability and a place for their daughter Claire to learn more about Jesus. Again, God at work. The Sunday that they decided to try McLane was the Sunday that Joel Natalie mentioned our emphasis on PowerZone. The Renauds were very encouraged by this and it proved to seal the deal for them.

Since then, the Renauds are regular attenders of the 9am service, Nick is plugged into PZ, Deanna is volunteering as a sermon transcriber (so Paul can blog and tweet content from sermons) and they are a part of our small group (which now stands at 10 people and 8 kids!!!)

God is awesome.

Thanks, Chris, for sharing this great story.  If you are hosting/leading a group and have a story that you think would be interesting to other group leaders, send it to us by email (