Tuesday, May 5, 2020

God Gave Us a Hunger for Deeper Connections


God Gave Us a Hunger for Deeper Connections
Amberly Neese guides women on the search for authentic community

The pursuit of what the world perceives as the “perfect life” leaves us feeling depleted, disappointed, dissatisfied, and disconnected. If we would be open and honest with those around us, we would discover we are not the only ones tired of being lonely and left out at work, home, church, and online. God created each and every one of us with a hunger for true community, deeper connection with him, and friendships that are greater than “likes” on social media.

As she was touring the nation, speaker and comedian Amberly Neese found this sense of loneliness and disconnect to be present for women across the board—single or married, rich or poor, with or without children. That is the reason she set out to write The Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive. In this four-week study, Neese provides biblical and practical help for cultivating meaningful relationships that glorify God through an examination of the many “one another” scriptures throughout the New Testament. She groups more than fifty of them into themes in order to lead readers on an exploration of how to:

  • Find One Another
  • Fellowship with One Another
  • Forgive One Another
  • Fortify One Another

In her trademark style, Neese combines Bible study with delightful humor to create a refreshing and engaging experience that will encourage and equip women to pursue deeper relationships and true belonging by loving and serving one another. She describes The Belonging Project as an exploration of the New Testament as it pertains to biblical community. “God has designed us to live in mutually beneficial relationships and has given us the blueprints to do so in his Word. The study is designed to encourage, empower, and equip participants to thrive in the community to which God has called them,” she shares.


Each of the four weeks has five daily lessons for readers to do on their own. Each day starts with a “one another” verse which sets the tone for the day, includes a scripture focus and questions for reflection, and ends with a call to action. The lessons are designed to be completed in about 20 minutes. Then once a week, participants come together as a group to have a time of fellowship, discuss what they are learning, and pray together. The leader helps included in the book offer discussion questions, activities, prayer prompts, and notes for the weekly video segments (available separately).

To come together as a biblical community, there is preparation to do going in, and continued work to be done after the study. “To find one’s tribe, we should first pray about it and ask God specifically for people we can grow, serve others, and be willing to step outside of our comfort zone with,” encourages Neese. “We need to make sure, however, that we also are willing to be vulnerable, humble, and a safe place for others. Biblical community is not for sissies. We are a broken people, and even when made holy by the blood of Jesus, we sometimes make broken choices. We speak unkindly, we act unfairly, we give grace unequally. Community with other believers can be challenging and can take a lot of faith, but it is a gift and it is worth the hard work.”

Having women in our lives to help us grow in our capacity to love, serve, and forgive is always important, regardless of what is going on in our lives and our world around us. However, now, more than ever, we’ve become keenly aware of the need to pursue and build an authentic tribe. “Social distancing has made us painfully aware of the pangs of loneliness and disconnection. Zoom parties and drive-by encouragement are wonderful, but they are no substitution for sitting knee-to-knee with a friend, sharing our hearts. The time away from others has helped us see the need for others in our life. Biblical community is more important than ever as we rebuild from the quarantine.”

The Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive
A Bible Study of the “One Another” Sayings in the New Testament
By Amberly Neese

Available May 5, 2020 from Abingdon Women

Paperback ISBN: 9781501898754 / $16.99
eBook ISBN: 9781501898761 / $16.99
DVD ISBN: 9781501898778 / $44.99



About the author

Amberly Neese is a speaker, humorist, and encourager with a passion for “GRINspiring” others. As a featured speaker for the Aspire Women’s Events and the main host/comedienne for Marriage Date Night, two popular Christian events that tour nationally, she enjoys touching the hearts and minds and funny bones of people all over the country. The Bible says that laughter is good medicine, and she has found it’s also like glue—helping the truths of God’s Word to “stick.” Neese loves to remind women of the power and hope found in Scripture. Through a flair for storytelling and a love for Jesus, she candidly opens up her story alongside God’s Word to encourage others in their walk with Him. She is also the author of the women’s Bible study, The Belonging Project.

With a master’s degree from Biola University, Neese serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. She and her husband, Scott, have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.

For more information, visit her website www.amberlyneese.com. She is also active on Facebook (@Amberly Neese – Comedian/Speaker), Twitter (@amberlyneese), and Instagram (@amberlyneese).


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