15 May 16
Series - Discipleship - The Life of Being an Apprentice
Biblically Measured/Engaged – Part 2: Biblically Measured Together
This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching in this series is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
[This is a continuing TB from last week (see TB 304 for details]
1) OBSTACLES TO LIVING IN COMMUNITY (BEING THE CHURCH)
Read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31
How does our culture (outside the church) re-enforce the mentality of “I don’t need you!” (v.21) within the church?
How do we need each other (according to the text)? Again, be practical and specific.
Discuss some of the following statements addressing these two points:
- Give practical examples of what this looks like in the church
- Discuss how we can put on the character of Christ (and give a relevant scripture) and what this would practically/behaviourally look like.
If everybody wants to be in the right, or even if only one person wants to be in the right, it is impossible to live in community. That is egotism or self-love. Touchiness, like opinionatedness, is another form of self-love.
We must seek what brings us together, what is the same for us all. We must think of others with hearts filled with love. If only we could come to the point where we recognize ourselves as being all in the same situation, all in the same state! The actual equality of all men, the similarity of their situations, is quite amazing. When that is clear to us, much of our opinionatedness, our wanting to be in the right, and our touchiness falls away. But that is not yet all. That does not remove the obstacles.
These are all obstacles: touchiness, opinionatedness, self-love, self-centeredness. To have a higher opinion of oneself than of others is a deadly poison. Whoever still does this is completely incapable of community.
We are inclined to see the shortcomings of others far out of proportion and forget that we ourselves are weak human beings. We should not always try to improve on what another does wrong. We must become reconciled to men's imperfection.
We human beings can recognize light only in contrast to shadow and darkness. We can grasp the Cause only through an awareness of its opposite and of its adversaries, for we are not gods but men. Why do torches give us so much joy? Because they are lit in the night and we become an illuminated circle in the dark. It is the dark background that makes the shining circle of our common life visible at all and allows it to speak to our hearts.
2) READ MATT 5:13-16.
The church is called to be a light to the world. The salt of the earth. We have heard the saying that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Then why wouldn’t it take the CHURCH (all of us together) to light the world?
How does our understanding of our interdependence (from 1 Corinthians 12) inform how we are salt?
Why is it necessary that the church be the light TOGETHER?
1. Discuss how being biblically measured individuals affects community
a. In relationships (marriage, family, roommates)
b. In career or work
c. Reflect on how this ties into Mark & Rhonda’s discussion on conflict and the Matthew 18 approach. Why is this so necessary to practice in the church? What happens when it is not practiced well?
2. How does keeping God’s word as the church (being a biblically measured church) keep us “salty”? What is important for a church to keep its light? How would this inform our:
a. Sunday times together (praise, prayer, hearing the Word)
b. Community Life (life groups, mentorship, accountability)
c. Stewardship of our time, talents & resources
Close in Prayer - use the discussion to pray for Bethel to be a church that is salt and light in
Amanda Van Halteren