Favorite flavor M&M? What unique flavor M&M would you most like to try? Which one would you stay far away from? (Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Popcorn, Sugar Cookie, Orange Vanilla Creme, Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie, Hazelnut Spread, Raspberry, Mint, Espresso, any others?)
What is the actual purpose of church? What does “church” mean? This week, Pastor Josh explored the early church as described in the Book of Acts as the ultimate example of how we should be doing church today, and how that doesn’t necessarily mean constructing bigger buildings but rather challenging each one of us to go out into our communities and bring the church to nonbelievers.
Acts 6: 1-7
This week we learned that roughly 60% of people are un/de/non-churched. Do you know someone close to you who falls into this category? Have you spoken to them and understand why they are still in this category? Why might others throughout the world land in this category?
We also learned that only about 8% of people could attend a church in person if they wanted to (due to space constraints). What are some reasons people choose not to attend a church when they are available near them?
What is the difference in your mind between “church” and “church community?” Are these two different ideas in your mind? What is the difference between a “congregation-minded church” and a “community-minded church”? What is the Acts church described in the Bible most like?
What are some activities you consider to be “normal” in the Christian life? Is disciple-making on that list? Have you actually ever done it?
Who personally helped you to pursue God? How did they do it? At what point in your life did they start talking to you about Christ and His promises for you?
In what ways do you live “remarkably” as a Christian? In what ways do you stand out from everyone else? Do you live your life so similarly to the secular world that no one would really know you are a Christian unless they knew you closely?
Read Ephesians 4:11-12. Jesus wants to send out regular people to make an impact, not just pastors. In what areas of your life do you see or feel a need for a gospel impact? Who do you see could benefit from the promises God has for them and the transforming love He wants to give? (e.g., nursing homes, co-workers, a particular age group or population group, sports teams, hobbyists, etc.)
Read Matthew 28:19-20. God wants us to be a part of making different outcomes in the lives of his people. While many of us feel underqualified and ill-equipped, Jesus promises we are not. How? Think about how you answered Question #7 above; what could those who came to your mind benefit from? What do they need? How could relationships be built with them? In what ways has God already qualified you to make a difference in the lives of the people He placed on your heart?
Send Out Question
What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
Jesus envisioned a church that actually makes a difference in the world. [Matthew 9:36] This week, think about what you already do and where you already go in the life God has created for you that you think would benefit from knowing Jesus better. Maybe it’s your Tuesday golf league or your Friday night Book Club. Maybe you have a desire to do yoga but struggle with the spiritualism that is talked about. Maybe you see a lack of practical knowledge when it comes to young drivers or maybe you always thought it would be neat if somehow the busy younger families in your neighborhood could meet the older, lonelier ones.
Write down that group and think about the different ways someone could make an impact in that group.
Maybe you’re picturing passing out sandwiches and chips along with crosses printed on golf balls during busy Saturday mornings. Maybe you can picture your Book Club reading a Christian-fiction novel and discussing it the following month. Maybe you’ve been looking for a Christian themed yoga class to invite friends to, or you have a friend with a large enough shop who could host a Saturday evening shop class followed by pizza and soda and a wholesome Christian movie played on a large sheet along the shop wall. Perhaps you and another family could agree to host a simple soup and bread dinner once a month and invite all the neighbors, open house style.
Next, start a list of who you could think of that might share or support this same vision. See if you can think of at least five different people.