Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Touching Base! Part 202

Botox Church 2013, PART 6
Texting while following can be dangerous!

(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)

This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

This past weekend we talked about texting while following Christ. Texting is any distraction that can consume us and put us in the ditch. There is a reason why they have outlawed texting while driving a vehicle. Distractions can be dangerous to the people in the car and the people outside of the car. We need to focus in order to stay moving forward.

Likewise as I pursue Christ, texting while following Jesus can impair my growth and put me in the ditch. Before we jump into the text, as a group discuss the following statement:

“92% of Christ followers report they have experienced being stalled at some point in their spiritual journey.”

Talk about your experience of being stalled.
What did it (or does it) feel like?
What or who helped you get moving?
Finish this sentence: the most dangerous thing about being stalled in my walk with Christ is…”

Big Idea: Spiritual growth is not guaranteed!
Text: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3a
Question: What do we learn about spiritual growth from this text?

1. There are different stages (v.1)
Look at the verse and identify the stages Paul references.
Spiritual - one who is filled with, and governed by, the Spirit of God. See 2:16b for a succinct definition.
Worldly - one who is filled with, and governed by, the spirit of the world
Infants - babes, implied in this is the obvious opposite - adults.
What would you say is Paul’s tone in these verses, upbeat or disappointed? What are the clues to Paul’s mood in these verses?

Are you at where you should be?
If 5 is mature and 1 is a new believer what number would you assign yourself and why?
Are you disappointed with someone you love in terms of their spiritual growth?
If texting represents the distraction of growing spiritually, how would you identify that distraction? (sports, boyfriend, laziness, hobbies, etc.)
What has your conversation been like with them?

2. There are different types of food (v.2)
One thing is very clear: different stages require different types of food. Milk for the new believer, solid food for the growing believer. Based on a book the elders have been reading, there are 5 key factors that feed the believer. As I said a few weeks back, the word of God is the most essential, but there are other “food groups” that help us grow. Discuss the following as a group and how they have helped you grow. Especially take time to flesh out how service helps you grow. Think specifically about this aspect. Also discuss seasons where you have been distracted (texting) and not committed to some of these basic disciplines.

Five factors are most influential
  • Reflection on Scripture is the most powerful catalyst of spiritual growth.
  • Core Christian beliefs are crucial for those in the early stage of spiritual growth.
  • Personal spiritual practices are the building blocks of a Christ-Centered life.
  • Serving is the most catalytic experience offered by churches.
  • Spiritual community is vital.
3. Texting happens (v.1-3a)
Yes, I know what you are thinking, “this is obvious!” Texting (distractions) will challenge our forward movement. But what is obvious is not always so easily remedied. It can be a real battle to grow at times. Think of the Corinthians, they were being led astray by a new gospel, an overemphasis on tongues. What is interesting is that many were saying they were spiritual, and growing. Paul challenges that and says “you are still on milk”.

Botox Church often settles for a pseudo spirituality not rooted in Christ and His Word, but in culture and its wisdom. Thus we get a false sense of growth.

Notice what can contribute to being stalled out. The first word in v. 3:1 references not brother but “brothers”, referring to a group of believers, men and women who are all in the same boat. They are all worldly and stalled in their growth. As they looked around, there were others (not the entire church of Corinth of course) who had stalled out. In other words they were growing to the extent that their environment was challenging them to grow. Now along comes Paul, spurring them on.

Read Hebrews 10:24,25
The word “spur” means to provoke, irritate, stimulate. It is used in the most positive sense to benefit the recipient. How do you spur others on to growth? How does your small group spur others on to growth?

Take some time to pray for the spiritual growth of each in your group and all those who are part of Bethel. Our goal at Bethel is to help people grow, move and develop. Comfort is not our goal, discipleship is.

If interested in joining or starting a small group contact bethelcommunitygroups@gmail.com


Adapted from Dave Veerman, the senior editor of The Life Application Bible. He suggests you ask nine questions of the text:
  1. People: Who are the people in this passage and how are they like us today?
  2. Place: What is the setting and what are the similarities to our world?
  3. Plot: What is happening? Is there any conflict or tension? How would I have acted in that situation?
  4. Point: What was the intended message for the first people to hear this passage? What did God want them to learn or feel or do?
  5. Principles: What are the timeless truths?
  6. Present: How is this relevant in our world today?
  7. Parallels: Where does this truth apply to my life? At home, at work, at school, in church, in the neighborhood?
  8. Personal: What attitude, action, value, or belief needs to change in me?
  9. Plan: What would be my first step of action?

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