Storytime| Week 3 - Daniel and the Lion's Den

Daniel was a truly virtuous man. He displayed character and integrity as a leader in the civic/political arena while working for pagan rulers. His life can teach us a lot about how to live on mission when our circumstances and surroundings aren't ideal. He also teaches us a lot about how to stand firm in our faith in the midst of a Godless world.

Storytime| Week 1 - Noah

The story of Noah's Ark is arguably the most popular Old Testament children's story. But in reality, it's a stark reminder of God's judgment on mankind because of sin and wickedness. However, the good news of the story is that God provides Salvation for those who are faithful. The same is true today. One day, God will once again bring judgement on the world. Jesus is our Ark, our means of salvation.

This Week's Action Step: 

Read the whole story of Noah

Songs from Today

  • This Is Amazing Grace by Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham

  • Do It Again by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, and Steven Furtick

  • So Will I (100 Billion X) by Benjamin Hastings, Joel Houston, and Michael Fatkin

  • O Praise The Name (Anástasis) by Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher, and Marty Sampson

  • Cornerstone by William Batchelder Bradbury, Eric Liljero, Reuben Morgan, Edward Mote, and Jonas Myrin

Culture Making| Week 4 - The Nuclear Family

Flourishing family cultures structure space and time. Families that are faithful to the way of Christ are expanding families that open up to the family of God, to the lost, to the least.

This Week's Action Step: 

List the things you do as a family and how much time you spend doing them.                  Ask, "What are the things we're doing doing to us?"

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

  1. What specific things have made creating a flourishing, Christ-following culture in your family difficult?
  2. Regardless your thoughts on whether males are meant to be the spiritual leaders of families, why is it important that both spouses be engaged, intentional, and assertive in creating healthy family cultures?
  3. Discuss this quote: “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
  4. I suggested that we’ve tended to think of family discipleship primarily in terms of teaching our children to think the right things as opposed to creating healthy rituals and rhythms for our families.
  5. Along those lines, I said “Telling our children their faith is really important won’t do them any good so long as their athletic, educational, or social accomplishments function as the center of gravity for our family’s life.” Agree or disagree?
  6. How can you structure your family’s space around creativity instead of consumption, around engagement instead of distraction?
  7. “Find the room where your family spends the most time and ruthlessly eliminate things that ask little of you and develop little in you.”
  8. Does your family have a rhythm of work and rest or toil and leisure?
  9. I talked about the idolatry of the family: We tell ourselves that our immediate family is really our only priority; that we don’t really owe anything to anybody else; that we don’t really have any other relational responsibilities. And tragically enough, this obsessive focus on the immediate family has often created toxic cultures in our families, shutting them up in suffocating environments where an unbearable weight is placed on our immediate family.
  10. Are their ways you’ve fallen into the idolatry of the family?
  11. How can you cultivate a family culture that is close but also open?

Songs from Today

  • The Lion And The Lamb by Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, and Leeland Mooring 

  • Spirit Of The Lord

  • Death Arrested by Adam Kersh, Brandon Coker, Heath Balltzglier, and Paul Taylor

  • Living Hope by Brian Johnson and Phil Wickham

  • Build My Life by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kable, Matt Redman, and Pat Barrett

  • Doxology by David Crowder and Thomas Ken

 

Culture Making| Week 3 - Creating Culture in Your Personal Life

In Gal. 5 the Apostle Paul describes two cultures that are constantly at war within every person. He calls them the flesh and the Spirit. Which culture wins out in our lives depends on the environment we create in our lives. The right environment isn't created simply by knowledge, it is created by spiritual habits. Habits help us feed the culture we want to win out.

This Week's Action Step: 

Begin to change the culture (environment) of your life this week... start a new spiritual habit.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

  • 1.  If you could use one word to describe the current culture/environment of your life what would it be?  (Busy? Anxious? Crazy? Tired? Fun? Etc…)

    2.  In Galatians 5:19-23 the Apostle Paul describes two very different cultures.  At the end of his list of the fruit of the Spirit he says, “…against such things there is no law.”  What does Paul mean by this?  How might understanding this help us live in a lot more freedom?

    3.  One of the ways that cultures are created in our lives is through the practice of certain rhythms or habits.  Habits can be good, bad, annoying, or just plain funny.  That being said, what are some of your regular habits?  (If you’re married, your spouse can help answer this with you).  

    4.  Do you have any spiritual habits?  If so, what are they?  How have they helped create the right culture/environment in your life?  

    5.  Are there some new/different spiritual habits you would like to implement in you life?  What’s holding you back or preventing you from starting those?  

    6.  The goal is that spiritual habits move from discipline to delight.  They may be uncomfortable at first, but after a while they just become second nature and part of the overall rhythm of your life.  Can you give an example of a discipline that has become a delight for you?  

Songs from Today

One Thing Remains by Christa Black, Brian Johnson, and Jeremy Riddle

Spirit Move by Amanda Cook and Kalley Heiligenthal

Spirit Of The Lord

Yes And Amen by Anthony Brown, Chris McClarney, and Nate Moore

Death Arrested by Adam Kersh, Brandon Coker, Heath Balltzglier, and Paul Taylor

 

Culture Making| Week 2 - How to Change the World

In order to create healthy cultures out in the world, in our jobs, neighborhoods, schools, and business, we have to think and live local, and think and live slow. When we do, we create things that will last into the infinite future of God's new world.

This Week's Action Step: 

 Be the culture you want to create. Look for tangible ways to live out these values this week. 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

  • Having read Isaiah 60 and its vision of heaven, what do you make of the fact that heaven is described in such earthly terms?
  • If God’s mission is the renovation of the earth and not the destruction of the earth, how might that affect the way you think about your responsibilities and priorities during your time on earth?
  • Discuss this quote:
    • “The point of the resurrection is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die. God will raise it to new life. What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…You’re not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You’re not restoring a great painting that’s about to be thrown in a fire. You’re not planting roses that are about to be dug up…No, what you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future.”
  • I said you can’t change the world, but you can change your world, and in order to do that you need to think/live local and think/live slow.
  • Living local can be hard because we get caught daydreaming about living other lives in other places, thinking some other place would make us significant, some other job would make us happy, some other spouse would make us whole. And so the challenge was to be where your feet are.
  • Do you struggle to be where your feet are, and if so, what can you do to help you be more present in your actual life?
  • I also said that the key to creating healthy cultures in our world is living slow instead of fast.
  • Destruction happens fast, but creation happens slow. Agree or disagree?
  • What is a cultural space in our community where you/we think God might be asking you to create something healthier? What are some specific ways you/we can do that?
  • Your job, your company, little league, neighborhood, etc.

Songs from Today

Glory To Glory by Lauren Evans, Rick Seibold, and William Matthews

It Is Well by Horatio Gates Spafford, Kristene DiMarco, and Philip Paul Bliss

Living Hope by Brian Johnson and Phil Wickham

Great Are You Lord by Steve Cook and Vikki Cook

So Will I (100 Billion X) by Benjamin Hastings, Joel Houston, and Michael Fatkin

 

Culture Making| Week 1

Throughout history Christians have taken many different postures toward the culture around them. In this series we'll examine the various postures that Christians have taken to the cultures in which they live and discuss how ultimately we should be people who create/make culture... specifically being a people who embody the kingdom of God (a new culture) to the world around us.

This Week's Action Step: 

Be the culture you want to create. Look for tangible ways to live out these values this week.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

John 15:18-19, John 17:15-18, Acts 17:16-34

1.  Read John 15:18-19.  What does Jesus mean when he says, “… the world hates you?”  Can you think of examples where Christians are hated by the world?  Have you ever felt hated by the world?

2.  Read John 17:15-18.  Since Jesus has clearly “sent us into the world,” how are we to rightly be IN the world but not OF it?  What does that mean?

3.  Of the typical postures towards culture that were discussed in the sermon (Condemning, Critiquing, Copying, and Consuming), which one(s) do you tend to take most naturally?  Can you give examples of when you have taken one (or several) of these postures towards culture?  

4.  What are some ways we (the church) can move beyond these typical postures and actually begin to create culture?

5.  Go through our church’s 7 values (Prayerful, Hospitable, Relational, Generous, Authentic, Excellent, Simple).  Which one(s) of these come more naturally to you?  In other words which ones are easier for you to live out?  Which one(s) are more difficult?

6.  What practical steps can you take to grow in the values that you struggle with the most?  

Songs from Today

Your Love Awakens Me by Chris Quilala and Phil Wickham

Tremble by Andres Figueroa, Hank Bentley, Mariah McManus, and Mia Fieldes

Living Hope by Brian Johnson and Phil Wickham

What A Beautiful Name by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood

Jesus We Love You by Hannah McClure, Kalley Heiligenthal, and 

Dear Church| Week 7 - Philadelphia

Jesus' letter to the church in Philadelphia contained no criticism, just encouragement. This church was faithfully following Jesus and holding onto the word of God. As a result, the church in Philadelphia lasted longer than all of the other seven churches. This is certainly a church we should look to learn from and imitate.

This Week's Action Step: 

For the church in Philadelphia to receive this letter from Jesus had to be a great encouragement. Be like Jesus this week and encourage someone.

Small Group

 

Small Group Questions:

Revelation 3:7-13

1.  In Rev. 3:7 Jesus refers to having a key that can open and shut (presumably a door of some kind).  Then in verse 8 he also mentions “an open door that no one is able to shut.”  What does this “door” refer to?  What does Jesus mean when he says, “no one is able to shut it?”

2.  One of the things that Jesus is most impressed with about the church in Philadelphia is their faith.  Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Then Hebrews 12:2  tells us that Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith.”  What are some ways that Jesus grows, stretches, or prefects our faith?  How has God specifically grown, stretched, or perfected your faith over the years?

3.  In verse 10 Jesus mentions the church’s “patient endurance.”  One thing we’ve talked a lot about focusing on this year at the Vista is “patient discipleship.”  Why is patience so important when it comes to spiritual growth?  What could be some of the problems with trying to rush the process or hurry it along too quickly?

4.  In verse 11 Jesus mentions a crown.  What does this crown refer to?  How might someone (or even Satan) try and "seize your crown?”

5.  This letter must have been incredibly encouraging for the church in Philadelphia to receive.  We all need encouragement from time to time.  Take some time as you wrap up your group and encourage one another.  You can do this by simply going around and letting those who want to share words of encouragement about how the group has blessed them, or you could have note cards available and have members of the group write short notes of encouragement to everyone in the group.  However you want to do it is fine, just take some time and encourage each other.  

Songs from Today

Glory To Glory by Lauren Evans, Rick Seibold, and William Matthews

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser

Sons And Daughters by Brett Stanfill

Jesus We Love You by Hannah McClure, Kalley Heiligenthal, and Paul McClure

Dear Church| Week 6 - Sardis

Jesus calls the church in Sardis a "dead church." They are sort of going through the motions of religious activity, but they don't have any real faith and therefore no real life. This raises the question for us... how does this happen? How does a church go from life to death? It doesn't happen overnight. So, what are the things we need to watch out for so that we can avoid becoming like the church in Sardis?

This Week's Action Step: 

Who are you making room for? Commit to regularly pray for, and look for opportunities to invite, the person(s) you wrote on your notecard.

Small Group

 

Small Group Questions:

“Dear Church” - (part VI) - The church in Sardis

Revelation 3:1-6

1.  In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a dead or dying church?  In other words, how do you recognize if a church is dead or dying... because apparently the church in Sardis was unaware they were dead?

2.  In your opinion what are the characteristics of a church that’s alive?  What do you look for in a healthy church?

3.  In Rev. 3:2 Jesus says to the church in Sardis, “I have not found your works complete.”  What do you think he means by that?  How might this apply to churches today?  What kinds of “works” might Jesus find incomplete?

4.  Change is necessary in a healthy organization.  Are you someone that has a hard time with change?  Why is change often so hard for people to accept both personally and/or corporately?  

5.  Remembering moments of positive change can help us be more willing to accept moments of future change.  With that in mind, can you think of a change that was hard for you to accept, either personally or corporately, but in hindsight it turned out to be a really good thing?  

6.  How can we avoid becoming consumers in a church rather than contributors?  What steps can/do you personally take to avoid simply becoming a church consumer?

Songs from Today

This Is Amazing Grace by Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham

Heroes by Amanda Cook, Jason Ingram, and Paul Mabury

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman

It Is Well by Horatio Gates Spafford, Kristene DiMarco, and Philip Paul Bliss

Give Me Faith by Mack Brock, Chris Brown, London Gatch, and Wade Joye

Dear Church| Week 5 - Thyatira

Apparently, in Thyatira, there was a woman who was actively living in sin and leading others to follow her into sin. Jesus sharply criticizes the church for tolerating this woman. Basically, the church was .turning a blind eye and ignoring what she was doing. This brings up two very important topics for the church... 1. tolerance and 2. discipline. How tolerant should we be and what does discipline look like for those living in unrepentant sin?

This Week's Action Step: 

Identify someone in your life who loves you enough to always tell you the truth. Take them to coffee or lunch this week and thank them for their friendship.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

Dear Church (part V) - Thyatira

Revelation 2:18-29 & Matthew 18:15-20

1.  In Rev. 2:20 Jesus calls out the church in Thyatira for “tolerating” the woman Jezabel.  What does “tolerance” mean?  Do you consider yourself a tolerant person?  Why or why not?

2.  Should Christians be tolerant people?  How tolerant… should there be limits to our tolerance?  Should our tolerance of non-Christians be different than our tolerance of believers in the church?

3.  In Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus lays out a pattern for how church discipline should be practiced toward those who are living in sin.  Have you ever followed this pattern in order to help correct someone who was in sin?  Has someone else ever followed this pattern in order to help correct you?  How did it go?

4.  Why do you think it’s important that discipline/correction happen in the context of community… among friends who love and care about us?  What are the dangers of it not happening in that context?  

5.  In Matt. 18:17 Jesus says that if someone refuses to listen to the church, “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”  What does he mean by that?  

Songs from Today

At Your Name by Tim Hughes and Phil Wickham

Death Arrested by Adam Kersh, Brandon Coker, Heath Balltzglier, and Paul Taylor

Great Are You Lord by Steve Cook and Vikki Cook

Do It Again by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, and Steven Furtick

Cornerstone by William Batchelder Bradbury, Eric Liljero, Reuben Morgan, Edward Mote, and Jonas Myrin

Dear Church| Week 4 The Church in Pergamum

Many in the church in Pergamum were faithful in spite of persecution. However, Jesus calls them out because there are some who are being led astray by false teachings. These particular false teachings were teaching people that they could basically live their lives however they wanted (including sexual sin) and be fine. Jesus instructs them to repent. How we live our lives matters to God.

This Week's Action Step: 

Spend some time this week evaluating every area of your life. Where do you have a hard time allowing Jesus to be Lord?

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

“Dear Church”  (Part 4) - The church in Pergamum

Text: Revelation 2:12-17 & Acts 6:1-7

1.  Twice in verse 13 Jesus says that the place they live (Pergamum) is a place where “Satan’s throne is,” or “Satan Dwells.”  What does he mean by this?  Are there certain places/locations where Satan’s opposition is more prevalent or stronger?  Have you ever been to or seen such a place?

2.  In verses 14-15 it is clear that some in the church are being led astray by false teachings.  How are people in our day also “lead astray?”  What are some practical things we can do to avoid being led astray?

3.  The two heresies mentioned in Rev. 2:14-15 basically taught the same thing… that you can believe in God/Jesus but continue to follow and practice all of the sensual desires of your heart.  In other words, how you live your life doesn’t really matter just as long as you believe in God/Jesus.  What’s the problem with this way of thinking?  If salvation is by grace alone (as we believe it is) and not based on works, then why can’t we just live however we want?

4.  Part of the reason some of the believers in Pergamum were so easily led astray is because the culture of the city made them feel like it was normal.  Obviously, our culture today makes a lot of sin seem normal as well.  The question is… is our identity found in Christ or in culture?  How can we check, or gage this?  

5.  In Acts 6:1 the text refers to all the believers as “disciples.”  What does/should this teach us about what it really means to be a Christian?

6.  In Rev. 2:17 Jesus declares that those who overcome/conquer will receive some rewards.  Specifically he mentions “hidden manna,” “a white stone,” and “a new name.”  What do these rewards refer to and what do they mean for us?

Songs from Today

Faithful To The End by Brian Johnson, Hannah McClure, Joel Taylor, and Paul McClure

Reckless Love by Caleb Culver, Cory Asbury, and Ran Jackson

Good Good Father

Do It Again by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, and Steven Furtick

Build My Life by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kable, Matt Redman, and Pat Barrett

Dear Church| Deliver Us From Safe

What can we learn from a church that is nothing like us? A church that was small, poor, powerless, and persecuted? We can learn how to live bravely in a scary world.

This Week's Action Step: 

Pray for bravery instead of safety. 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

Do you think the world is becoming a more dangerous place?

Why?

o Were/Are you surprised to learn the world is actually becoming a much safer place?

• Why do you think we think the world is becoming more dangerous although it’s actually becoming safer?

• If mass media makes us feel like the world is a scarier place than it really is, what are some practical ways we can stay aware of what’s going on in the world without taking in too much mass media?

• “As our world has become safer, we’ve become more accustomed to safety, and as we’ve become more accustomed to safety we’ve also started to feel more entitled to safety. We think Jesus is obligated to keep us safe.”

o Discuss. Do you agree or disagree?

• Do you think you’re too concerned with your or your family’s safety? Are there ways your hyper-concern for safety might be hindering your ability to be brave and faithful to Christ?

• In Revelation 2:10, Jesus tells the church at Smyrna to not be afraid, even though they were going to suffer. He didn’t tell them to not be afraid because he would deliver them from suffering, or because the world was such a safe place.

Is your courage rooted in Jesus’s victory over sin and death, or is your “courage” rooted in your ability to control your environment and stay safe?

Songs from Today

The Lion And The Lamb by Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, and Leeland Mooring

Give Me Faith by Mack Brock, Chris Brown, London Gatch, and Wade Joye

All The Poor And Powerless by Leslie Jordan and David Leonard

I Will Exalt by Amanda Falk

Take Courage by Jeremy Riddle, Joel Taylor, and Kristene DiMarco

Dear Church| Week 2 Ephesus

The church in Ephesus was doing some really great things and they are commended by Jesus for what they are doing well. However, Jesus tells them that they have abandoned their love for Him. Ephesus shows us that it is possible to have a church that looks good on the outside, but has no real love and affection for Jesus.

This Week's Action Step: 

Think about what really grows/stirs your affection for Jesus and spend some extra time this week doing more of that.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  Read Rev. 2:2-3.  Discuss the things that the church in Ephesus was doing well/right.  What’s good about this church?

2.  In verse 4 Jesus only has one thing against the Ephesian church, but it’s a big one… they have lost their love and affection for Him.  Why is it so important that our works/service/ministry be rooted in a love for Jesus?  What is the danger if it’s not?

3.  In verse 5 Jesus tells them what to do about it… specifically three things.  1. Remember from where you have fallen.  2. Repent.  3. Do the works you did at first.  In your spiritual journey have you ever felt God leading you through a similar pattern to draw you back to himself (remember a time or season where you felt really close to him, repent, and do something you’ve done before)?  

4.  What does Jesus mean at the end of verse 5 when he says, “If you don’t repent… I will come to you and remove your lampstand.”?

5.  The main goal of the Christian life is not to avoid sin, it is to love Jesus.  What disciplines do you practice that help you grow and maintain your love and affection for Jesus?  

Songs from Today

Only King Forever by Mack Brock, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Death Arrested by Adam Kersh, Brandon Coker, Heath Balltzglier, and Paul Taylor

This I Believe by Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser

Rising Sun by Leslie Jordan, Kyle Lee, and David Leonard

Dear Church| Intro

Despite all her flaws, the church is still the Bride of Christ. Jesus loves the church, died for the church, protects the church, and purifies the church. To rightly love Jesus means to love what Jesus loves... that means we should love the church as well.

This Week's Action Step: 

Write down, or discuss with friends and family, what you love about your church and then spend time praying for your church this week.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  The author of the book of Revelation is identified as the apostle John.  What all do we know about John’s life?

2.  Why do you think John chooses to introduce himself in verse 9 as “your brother and partner in tribulation…” rather than stating his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ (as was more common)?  Any significance to that?

3.  John sees Jesus in his glorified state rather than his incarnate state.  In other words, John sees Jesus not as a humble, marginalized, Galilean peasant, but as a glorious Sovereign King and ruler of all.  Why is that important?  Why might this view of Jesus be particularly encouraging to John and the church in the midst of trials and tribulations?  

4.  Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I love Jesus, I just don’t care for the church?” Why is that problematic?  What causes some people, including some people who claim to be Christians, to despise the church?  What can you say/do to help change their opinions of the church?

5.  It’s easy to be critical of the church.  There’s plenty to be critical about.  But part of the action step this week was to discuss what you love about your church with friends or family.  As you wrap up your time together as a small group, take some time and do that.   Discuss what you love about your church.  

Songs from Today

Unstoppable God by Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Jesus We Love You by Hannah McClure, Kalley Heiligenthal, and Paul McClure

God I Look To You by Jenn Johnson

Ever Be by Bobby Strand, Chris Greely, Gabriel Wilson, and Kalley Heiligenthal

Come To The River

Dear Church-2018

Better Together

Following Jesus isn’t about access to secret knowledge, rigid rule keeping or white-knuckling your way through spiritual disciplines;  it’s about a deep communion with Christ and His people

This Week's Action Step: 

Have a good meal and good conversation with someone.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

Big ideas

We are a lonely generation. We tend to keep to ourselves instead of allowing our faith community to push us into deeper levels of faith. 

Paul states the way we can grow deepest is to be joined together in love-immersed in the community. 

When we do we will build a good life, because the good life is built on good relationships.

Questions

  •We live in a world that is more connected than ever, but also more lonely/isolated. 

Why do you think that is? 

Do you feel more lonely now or more connected?

•At its core, the Gospel is about relationships. Paul’s encouragement for us to grow in our faith is to have our “hearts joined together in love”- to be deeply connected to community.  

What does this mean to you? 

Do you see community as a primary way to grow in your faith?

•Many American Christians place a high value on individualism/independence rather than being a community. 

Why do you think that is? 

What can we do to combat that?

•Read Ecclesiates 4:9-10— 

Talk about a time you’ve been able to share a great moment with someone. 

Talk about a time you’ve helped/been helped by someone.

•Action

How can you as a group practice being more devoted to each other?— don’t theorize or be ambiguous, be specific, make a plan.

Songs from Today

The Lion And The Lamb - by Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, and Leeland Mooring

Death Arrested - by Adam Kersh, Brandon Coker, Heath Balltzglier, and Paul Taylor

Reckless Love - by Caleb Culver, Cory Asbury, and Ran Jackson

Hosanna - by Brooke Fraser

God With Us - by Jason Ingram and Leslie Jordan

Politics of Jesus| Preemptive Love

Jesus tells us to take a posture of anticipatory empathy instead of retaliatory violence. Jesus ends his Sermon on the Mount by telling us to take what he's say and do it.

This Week's Action Step: 

What’s something Jesus said to do that you’re not doing?

Do it.

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

Big Ideas

  • Jesus teaches the Golden Rule, meaning he teaches us to take a posture of anticipatory empathy instead of retaliatory violence.
  • What the world really needs Christians to do is take what Jesus said and do it.

Questions

  • We mentioned that Jesus didn’t make up the Golden Rule; it’s found in various ancient religions.
    • Does it bother you that Jesus uses ideas that are not original to him? Ideas that are found in other religions before Jesus said them?
  • I said that if we believe all humans are created in the image of God, and that God has always tried to make his truth known to all people, we should expect other religions to have some truth, and should celebrate it instead of feeling threatened by it.
    • Do you agree or disagree?
  • In teaching the Golden Rule, Jesus replaces a posture of retaliatory violence with a posture of anticipatory empathy.
    • Do you think that you tend to walk the world conditioned to retaliating defensively, or that you walk the world conditioned to anticipate with empathy?
    • What are some ways you like to be treated, and what are some ways you can treat SPECIFIC people in your life that way?
  • Jesus said the Golden Rule was the summation of all of Scripture.
    • How does it change the way you relate to the Bible to know that the goal of all Scripture is to turn you into somebody who treats others the way you would want others to treat you?
  • I said our biggest problem is not that we need more information; our biggest problem is that we don’t do what Jesus said.
    • Why do we think more information will solve our problems?
    • What is something that you know Jesus has told you to do that you’re not doing? Be specific.
    • Why aren’t you doing it? How can you do it?

Songs from Today

Spirit Move by Amanda Cook and Kalley Heiligenthal

Faithful To The End by Brian Johnson, Hannah McClure, Joel Taylor, and Paul McClure

Never Stop by Chris Franz and Mariah McManus

O Praise The Name (Anástasis) by Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher, and Marty Sampson

Yes And Amen by Anthony Brown, Chris McClarney, and Nate Moore