Representing the Kingdom of Jesus

The core value of love
Five Facts About an Ambassador of Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:14, 18-21

Ken spoke about Winston Churchill chastising the behavior of Princess Margaret that her behavior was not being representative of the English Crown and Monarchy. That her status meant she stood for something that was beyond herself and thus she needed to carry herself accordingly.

We are Ambassadors for Jesus, and this means that we are invested and designed to be Ambassadors for Christ.

  1. What does it mean to be a nation’s ambassador?
  2. How should we behave with the understanding that we are Ambassadors of Christ?
  3. How do people in secular society look at the actions of Christians? How can our behavior either lead people to Christ or lead them astray?
  4. What are consequences for a believer to not live as an Ambassador for Christ?
  5. Being an ambassador means making our focus on God, but how do we sometimes twist that to make life all about us?

Disciplined (2 Corinthians 5:14)

  1. “Disciplined” means exhibiting a controlled form of behavior or way of working. How does being disciplined take continued effort?
  2. What are the benefits of being disciplined by the Holy Spirit?
  3. Disciplined action speaks powerfully in outward appearance (actions speak louder than words). But humans are inconsistent. How can being disciplined still involve an internal struggle?
  4. When one looks a secular activity and applies the word disciplined, a person must practice and work hard to reach the desired goal. A disciplined offensive line must put in hours of practice to move together as a team. A disciplined basketball player not only excels at the fundamentals of the game but must understand their position on the team. How does this apply to being disciplined as an Ambassador for Christ? What are things you can work on to become more disciplined, fruitful, and effective?
  5. What are some ways that we can be more Christ-driven? Why do we sometimes want to “take the wheel” instead of letting Jesus direct our actions?
  6. What are the benefits of being controlled by Christ?

Active (2 Corinthians 5:18)

The verb “reconciled” and the fact that we are “being given the ministry of reconciliation” implies that we are to be active.

  1. There are two actions here, 1) the action by which we are reconciled through Christ and 2) the gift of the ministry of reconciliation. How should we view our ministry as a gift?
  2. To “reconcile” means to “restore friendly relations,” and “cause to coexist in harmony.” How has Christ reconciled us to God?
  3. We must be active as Christians, but how does being an active Christian refer to a way of life (rather than a simple concept of doing some work or behavior)?
  4. In what ways does a person’s actions tell others about your character, commitments, or what is important to you?
  5. What are the consequences of not being active? If we look at antonyms, they are not pretty. (i.e. inoperative, unworking, unmovable, dormant, idle, disinterested, indifferent, lazy, sluggish, etc.…) How can we connect this truth to our Christian walk?

Messenger (2 Corinthians 5:19)

  1. God no longer holds our past sins against us after we are saved (justification). Why is it so important to share this good news with others? We share coupons, information on sales or discounts, reviews of movies or places to eat, but what about how to receive salvation? How can our priorities get out of whack?
  2. Sometimes we make being a messenger overly complicated, but like a billboard on the highway, how can something so simple be so impactful?
  3. How should we view the conviction of the Holy Spirit with our being a messenger? What role are we actually playing? Being a messenger puts us in the position of being a middle man. How is this significant? What is the message and how does this message make us “the middle man?”

Representative (2 Corinthians 5:20)

  1. What is the difference between seeing yourself as a representative of God’s law versus a representative of God’s heart?
  2. How can we mirror God’s heart to someone else? What are some real-life examples?
  3. Look at the use of the word “beg.” How does this help show the urgency of the need to share the message of Jesus?
  4. Ken said, “We have a burden for people who have not met Jesus.” How does that statement affect you?
  5. A representative refers to speaking on behalf of someone else. In the time of Paul, to reject the envoy was simply to reject the one who sent him. How does this speak to the concept of success, failure, and simple obedience? (The representative delivers the message, but in the end, it is up to the receiver on how to respond).
  6. Why do we feel pressure when being a representative? How can we relate this to obedience? How is it so much simpler to be obedient than making this about us being successful or worrying about failure? (There is a saying, “don’t shoot the messenger.” They are rejecting the message sender, not the message deliverer).

Approved (2 Corinthians 5:21)

  1. How amazing does it feel to hear the words “approved” as we go through life? Who has a good “Atta-boy” story? How does this pale in comparison to the fact we are approved to God because of Jesus?
  2. Righteousness is the opposite of condemnation. Why does this make approval so important? What happens to people without God’s approval?
  3. When we reflect on what Christ has done for us and paving the way for our approval, why is it so significant to never lose the wonder of God and the desire to share this good news with others?

Three Ways to Live Life on Mission

The core value of love
Three ways to see your life as a life on mission with Jesus

Communion, it is about proclaiming Christ until he comes again. It is as if Jesus is saying that he wants us to be on mission with him while he is gone.

Forbes Magazine: Companies in the USA should not be so focused on making employees happy, but a connection to a larger mission. Violin makers illustration: Are they always happy? No, but they live and breath violins; success does not are come when they are happy, but by embracing a deep sense of mission. How much more important is the mission of the church? This must become our identity.

  1. Let’s make the obvious comparison: as a church, shall we focus on being happy at church, or focus on the mission we have been given?
  2. Why do we run into so many people who believe the church is about them and their happiness?
  3. How can we begin to make an attitudinal change for the Kingdom’s sake? What barriers and obstacles will we face?

Romans 5:5 – you have the greatest resource. Believers are not lacking in resources because of God’s love.

You have received the love of God. God is love, which is a theological fact. Must move toward, God is love to ME. This brings to me a capacity to serve, forgive, and love. Freely given to us, then freely give to others.

  1. When did you first become aware of the love of God for you? Perhaps you knew about God and even professed faith in him, but when did God become a real person to you?
  2. When was a time in your life that you doubted the love of God? What was happening in your life to feel that way?
  3. How does the love of Jesus lead us toward life change?
  4. Why is the change from an inward focus to an outward focus so difficult?
  5. What are some things that we often give away for free? Have you ever received something for free that turned out to be very expensive?
  6. How does the gift of the Holy Spirit change everything?

You have been built up by God’s love. Development of faith causes growth. Joy is a part of the Christian life. There will be a time when we are perfected in Christ, this brings hope. There is also suffering and hardship, but we are never without hope. Adversity is not what he intends, but this affliction produces character, which is what God intends. Hope does not put us to shame, it does not disappoint.

  1. How does faith causes a Christian to grow?
  2. What are a few things that we can do to exercise our faith?
  3. If someone who claims to be saved does not have a joyful spirit, how can the body of Christ guide this person toward growth? How or why does serving others lead to joy?
  4. Who has a story abo0ut when Christ brought hope during a difficult time in your life?
  5. How has adversity brought growth in your life?
  6. How have we misused the word “hope?” Why do we often neglect the certainty of hope in favor of something we might call, “a wish?”

You have been supernaturally filled with God’s love. This comes through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). The Spirit makes us alive by the same power of the resurrection (Romans 8:11). This love is always at our disposal. You have been loved well by the God of the universe.

  1. What does it mean to you that we are supernaturally filled to capacity? How does that influence that way we love others?
  2. How would your life change if you really embraced the fact that God’s power can literally live through you?
  3. Who has a story about a time when God supernaturally came through when you thought all hope was lost?
  4. We usually see resources as limited, how does this differ from what Ken talked about on Sunday?

Fordham Seminary study: “Why did Muslims convert to Christianity?” Two of the nine points… 1) the love found in Christian marriages, and 2) the unconditional love from God.

1 John 3:16 – you have the greatest motivation. This is such a clear example of how we are supposed to love others…

We know love by this

He laid down his life for us… (experiential). In Greek, literal translation, “for us, the life of him, was laid down.” The emphasis is on US. “Laid down his life,” it was not taken from him. The motivation is love, he gave of himself. Galatians 2:20. John 13:15.

We should lay down our lives for the brethren. (Operational). Not just for existing brethren but for prospective brethren.

  1. In what ways does the church exist for those who are not yet members?
  2. What are some ways that we erect barriers that prevents the next generation from feeling at home in our church?
  3. The Bible says that we are to look out for the interests in others (Philippians 2:1-4). When was a time that you saw this lifestyle in action?
  4. The greatest love is laying down our life for others, but how can we move past “laying down our life” in only the physical sense?
  5. How are you making time for other people, in order to serve them?
  6. How often does selfishness take us away from serving others?

Marie Fisher was 13 in that Amish school that day, “Shoot me first.” I lay my life down for others. Even caught the gunman off guard, and asked for a prayer. Nickel Mines Community in Pennsylvania (October 2, 2006).

Ephesians 4:1 – you have the greatest platform. The platform at the church is not the best place to make an impact. Paul writes with urgency.

Consider the urgency. Speaking as an apostle, but he was a prisoner, making the most of his situation. This jail is my calling and urgency. Don’t miss the moment, wherever God has placed you.

  1. When was a time in your life that you used your circumstances as an excuse for not living life on mission?
  2. In what ways was Paul blessed, and a blessing to others, by being a prisoner?
  3. How often do we say that our lives would be so much more fruitful if only our circumstance were different?
  4. In the first century, people identified with Jesus (saying, I am for Jesus), why are we shy about letting people know this fact about us at the very beginning?

Consider your missional proximity. Wherever you walk, wherever you are living, do your calling. Where your feet are planted, people are watching and listening.

  1. What are some ways that you keep your mission in front of you throughout the day?
  2. Since there is no impact without proximity, how close are you to those in need of ministry or service?
  3. What is missional proximity? John Hobbs has a great illustration here… “If you take a full can of coke and hold it out in front of you at full arms length for as long as you can, what happens? While the can does not weigh a whole lot, you will get very tired. If you take the can and keep it close to you, you can carry it all day without issue.” How is God’s mission for us like that? (The further you are from people, the harder it is, but the closer you are to people, the easier it is.)

Consider your calling. This verse is a hinge verse, all this is written for what I am telling you now. Walk close to your opportunity, to your people, and to God.

  1. When was the first time you understood that God’s calling is not just for missionaries and pastors?
  2. How do you see yourself as called? To what is God calling you?
  3. How can you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord? What needs to change in your life for that to happen?

The Zulu people in Kwazulu-Natal province, greet one another in their language with a phrase meaning “I see,” and the reply is, “I’m here,” like “I don’t exist until you see me.” When you see that person, it’s like you’re bringing them into existence.

Who would God have us to see so they can know the living God?

Faith Indicated by a Life that Ministers

The Core Value of FAITH: Indicated by a Life that Ministers
Ephesians 4:11-13

Early in Ephesians 4, Paul uses adult language to now in Ephesians 4:14, he tells them to not be childlike. In this passage, there is a major theme of Christian growth.

Growth patterns, Ken’s illustration of his kids being at both ends, with a first grader and two in college.” The tooth fairy can’t visit this time because tuition and rent are due.” It is tragic when living things don’t grow and mature. A haunting question is, does all of Jesus affect all of me?

  1. Name a time when you realized that you were not growing spiritually, and what did you do to make a change?
  2. What are some actions or disciplines that have been effective in your spiritual growth?
  3. How is it possible to approach someone who lacks maturity and encourage them to begin the journey?

The Plan – Ephesians 4:7-11, Jesus is the conquering warrior who gives gifts to his people, for the church to be mature and fulfilled. This is our spiritual framework for the church, to be mature rather than childlike.

“. . . for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body” (Ephesians 4:12)

  1. What is God’s purpose in giving gifts to his people?
  2. Why is it important that each part “do its part” for the body?
  3. Who has a story about your experience with spiritual gifts discovery?
  4. From a gifts inventory you have taken, name your top 2-3 gifts. How do they fit? Has this knowledge of your gifts ever caused you to step out in faith toward a new ministry?

The EQUIPPING of the saints – gifts are first, the gift of leadership, then this giftedness directs us toward service and influence, for the church to behave as God intends it to be. The word equip can mean mending and restoring, but also laying a foundation, and also to be trained and prepared for service. Along with the term is the idea of completion and fullness.

  1. In what ways has the church trained you for ministry?
  2. What training do you feel is still needed in the church? In your life? In your ministry?

The smartphone illustration: “Dad, you’re not using enough of your phone, it can do so much more than you’re using it for.” God has designed us for so much more. Operating at the highest level to accomplish what he has intended. Who mentored you earlier in life? They were investing in you, building your foundation, preparing you for service. The saints is the subject, you who are born again. Research: churches that grow the most are those who expected the most of its membership. At time we see it is getting done, so we fold our arms and sit back. We are not trying to get a quota, but get more involved.

  1. What are the expectations of church membership at King’s Grant?
  2. Why are expectations notoriously low in modern American culture?
  3. Would raising expectations for membership result in more people running out the back door?
  4. Why is the 20-80 rule true? (20% of the people do 80% of the ministry)
  5. How does the word “saint” describe you? How has the word “saint” been hijacked in our society? Why do we prefer the phrase, “sinner saved by grace?”

The WORKS of Service – Chuck Swindoll, many churches approach ministry by hiring some to do the heavy lifting, the real work. This is being disobedient to Ephesians 4. We must move from member to minister. The professionals have one job, to equip saints for the work of service.

  1. Our church resides in an area of up-and-outs rather than down-and-outs. When something needs to be done, we are used to hiring someone to get the job done. How can we motivate our white-collar professionals to roll up their blue-collar sleeves?
  2. How does a person discover what ministry in which to be involved?
  3. Why are some ministries done with a certain ease and effectiveness while others are not enjoyable to fruitful?
  4. What skill or ability would you like to master for the kingdom’s sake?
  5. What is the most effective way to help people move from member (M1) to minister (M2)?

How? Seek to meet needs, discover spiritual gift, unleashed them to use that gift. Then, understand the calling to serve, it is for Christ and his kingdom. Thirdly, understand the idea of service and ministry, in general or in a specific area. Doors will open and expand his kingdom. We are freed to minister as God sees fit. William Booth, his loss of sight was irreversible, “I served God and his people with my eyes, now I must discover how to serve God and others without my eyes.”

  1. When it comes to ministry, why do we often see our limitations rather than the opportunities?
  2. Name a rime when you were involved in ministry way over your head and God came through to provide a meaningful and effective time of service.

The BUILDING up of the Church – this is the favorite part. Spurgeon, “this is the question of first importance, to utilize myself for the benefit of the rest of the members of the church, not for myself, but to be most profitable for others in the church.” When we realize we are equipped, and live that way, the body will be built up. We can look mature by the way we behave, and the opposite is true. When reminded of our identity, and our behavior will change. People who love Jesus do the opposite of what you just did.

  1. How have you seen this truth in action? “We look mature or immature by the way we behave.”
  2. How do you understand your identity in Christ?
  3. Who are you bringing with you, discipling toward maturity?
  4. What is your responsibility in building up the church?
  5. In what ways do people self-sideline themselves by their own admission that they are not equipped? How does God’s Word refute our tendency to sit on the sidelines rather than get in the game?

The Goal: – “…until we all reach UNITY in the FAITH and in the KNOWLEDGE of God’s Son, GROWING into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” (Ephesians 4:13)

Faith indicates all the foundational teachings of your faith. Sometimes we drift from one another because of different convictions and opinions. Incidentals cannot wreck our unity. Opinions cannot divide us. Ken mentioned these concentric circles – truth, convictions, opinions. Keep Christ and his mission at the center. Marry the mission but only date the methods.

  1. What is God’s prescription for unity in the church?
  2. Why do we tend to avoid change?
  3. What is wrong with a desire to make it better each week?
  4. How have personal preferences caused division is a local church? Who has a story?
  5. What quality would you like to develop in your character?

There are gaps to be filled, step into the gap. You are designed to create, do, overcome, work, accomplish something for Christ. You are demonstrating the power of God for the glory of God.

Experiential knowledge. Finally growing, measured by Christ’s fullness. Where am I right now? There is a specific way we are called to be the body of Christ.

Ken ended with same great questions:

  1. Am I allowing unimportant or unnecessary things to separate me from other believers?
  2. Am I truly moved by obligation, or the fact I am in the church only because of what Christ has done for me?
  3. What do you feel is something at which you are good?
  4. Are you willing to be used by God in the way he has designed you?

Faith Indicated by a Life that Grows

FAITH – INDICATED BY A LIFE THAT GROWS – 11:00
Ephesians 2:21

We are a community of faith. Our identity is more than a location at 873 Little Neck Road. Many people claim to be peoples of faith. Hebrews 11:1, faith is the assurance (confidence) of things hoped for and the conviction (assurance) of things not seen. Biblical faith becomes the result of someone believing in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9, we are saved by grace through faith. Acts 16:31, believe on the name of Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

  1. How do you describe faith to someone who does not have faith in Jesus?
  2. I’ve heard it said that faith is believing in something that you know isn’t true. How would you respond to this definition?
  3. Name some way that your faith has made a difference in your life, perhaps during a time of struggle or when you were crushed by an unusual burden.
  4. Tell us about the time that you came to faith in Jesus. Who is ready to tell their story?

Faith connects the brokenness of life with the reality of God’s transforming power. Hebrews 11 is full of such men and women of faith. They experienced God and their journey was transformed by faith. Faith takes brokenness and transforms, changes, and grows the person of faith.

  1. In what ways were you broken prior to coming to faith in Christ? How has Jesus made a difference in your life? Who do you know who needs to be mended in their relationship to God and to the Christian community?
  2. How does the word “journey” bring to mind the continual growth needed in this life?
  3. Since all living things grow, what conclusions might we make for those who choose not to grow in their faith?
  4. Since faith is a journey, look over your life to recall the times where God guided toward something, and your obedience made a world of difference.

Luke 17:5, Lord, increase our faith. 1 Timothy 4:15, be diligent in matters of faith so others will see your growth. Ephesians 2:21, it is God’s intent that his people grow in faith, increasing in spirituality. The church is not a building and program, this is far from reality. Church is a people of faith. We are bound together with or without a structure or a program. We are supposed to grow and represent Christ and his kingdom in the world around us.

  1. Which of Ken’s statements spoke the loudest to you?
    1. The church is not a building or a program, it is a people of faith.
    2. We are bound to one another with or without church programs.
    3. We are supposed to grow and represent Christ and his kingdom all around us.
  2. Which do you find most difficult to embrace?
  3. What church programming has significantly impacted your spiritual growth? Why was this activity more effective to you than others?

The Reality of the Whole (three values this truth expresses). Our Fitbit culture, the device tracks many habits, but the device does make it happen, you must have the desire already for it to benefit you. The whole is fitted for growth. There may be programs that allow for growth but if I don’t see the value in it and utilize these opportunities, it will do me little good. I must value the fact of growth in my own life.

  1. How did Ken’s Fitbit illustration speak to you? (organized church programs are of little good if there is no desire for growth)
  2. Name some reasons that people sitting on the sidelines don’t sense a desire to grow in their faith.
  3. How does “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” often feel like leading people connected to the church?
  4. What excuses used to keep you trapped in spiritual complacency?

The church is a spiritual house (a living organism more than an organization). 1 Peter 2:5, living stones being fitted together forming a spiritual house. Part of a larger living entity. Jesus is the fulfillment of what the temple used to do, offer sacrifices. Hebrews 13:5, Romans 12:1, Philippians 4:19.

  1. In what ways is a spiritual house living and growing?
  2. Ken talked about Jesus removing the need for the temple. How do you understand this reality, and how might you explain it to others?
  3. In what ways do you see yourself as a living sacrifice? What prevents you from being “all in?”

You are a living stone in the spiritual house. Ephesians 2:22, you also being built up, fitted together, emphatic in Greek, meaning to pause and reflect.

  1. How does the imagery of the church as a building bring clarity to your understanding of the church?
  2. How can those who are growing in Christ assist those in our community who do not yet sense the urgency toward spiritual growth?

As a living stone, God’s will is that your life would help build up the church. Each stone builds up the house. You have a role and a part. You are vital. Imagine a jigsaw puzzle with two pieces missing. You can see the picture, but it is incomplete. God is not satisfied with only some of his children growing and being fitted together.

  1. Since we are each a living stone in this spiritual building, how does this fact amplify the reality of spiritual giftedness in the community?
  2. In what ways is the illustration of the jigsaw puzzle a great picture of a “good enough” church? Why do we tend to slip into complacency? Why do some people we tend to believe that “good enough” is acceptable to God?

The Reality of “fitted together for growth” (two expressions of growth).

  1. Personal growth. The tense of the verse indicates passive action, by God’s activity you grow, not your own activity. Am I farther down the road of grow than before? Is God working in my life? No one buys a new car to just keep in in the driveway to sit in. The church is meant to move, not be static. The church is not meant to be comfortable. I am a part of the church by participation. What a blessing it is to see others grow in their faith.
    1. How does the fact that Ken mentioned the verb here (being fitted together) is passive (action that is done to us) free you from a lot of self-effort?
    2. In what ways did the new car illustration bring clarity to your understanding spiritual growth in your life?
    3. Ken mentioned that the church is not meant to be comfortable. Is there anything wrong with being comfortable? Is he talking about “air conditioning and padded seats” comfortable or something different?
    4. In what ways does “being satisfied” prevent us for moving toward the lost, our guests, our mission, experimenting with new ministries, or even increasing the quality of what we do? What would happen if ALL our people asked this question every week, “How can we make it better?”
  2. Missional growth. We are “becoming growth,” missional growth, proclamation of the gospel around the world.
    1. Ken mention missional growth was continual movement that is growing and expanding. In what areas are you expanding your involvement in the kingdom work of Christ?
    2. In what ways do we lose focus on God’s bigger picture in favor of a limited view like tunnel vision.

The Reality of a Holy Temple (two applications of this identity). As a whole, we are fitted together, to become a holy temple.

  1. Privilege. Back in the day, temples were gathering places for devotion to certain gods. The location was the special place. Now, we are the location, that special place, what a special privilege.
  2. Ken talked about the Roman temples being special place, the focus was on the location of the structure. Describe the awesomeness of each believer being that special location as the residence of God.
  3. As the temple of the Holy Spirit, how is inaction or disobedience the only way for us not to be involved in God’s mission for the church.
  4. Responsibility. Jesus fulfilled every function of the temple, he said, “it is finished.” This demonstrates God’s mission in the world to reconcile the world to himself. This announcement is now our responsibility.
  5. How can you describe M3 to someone else? Do you yet have a grasp on what that means?
  6. Describe your responsibility in pointing people to Jesus. What are some ways that you can point people to Jesus?

If all of this is true, then the church is not a program for people to watch, but a gathering of people to worship.

Ministry is for everyone, it is the identity of the church, not just for the clergy. “How many people are on your staff?” “Several hundred” because the church is all of us. Value is always placed on people, not programs and buildings.

  1. Are you at the place where you understand that every member is a minister? What about every member is a missionary?
  2. Which of Ken’s three statements is toughest for you?
    1. The church is not a program to watch but a gathering for worship.
    2. Ministry identity is for the congregation and not just the clergy.
    3. Value is always placed on people, not the buildings or programs.
  3. What is the difference between a community living inwardly versus a community living outwardly? Why is reaching our so scary for a congregation?

The Ordination of Emily Gilliam and Bob Bademian – 8:30

(Feel free to overlook this section and skip to the 11:00 notes/questions below)

Cultural dynamics in answering a phone call. Ways to answer God’s call, Zachariah, prove who you are, Moses, you have the wrong guy, Gideon, I am the least, Isaiah, here am I send me.

Os Guinness, “We focus on the call but need to remember the caller, the one who bids us to go forth for him.” We must know that one thing to which God has called us.

If you are weak in the call, overwhelmed, discouraged, then hold tight. How can we be faithful to the call? We are all called, not just for these two today. 2 Peter 1:3

Power, divine power, God’s power, we don’t do this in our strength, explosive power, supernatural and overwhelming, recognize our power-less, remember the caller, transferring work of Jesus, Mark 5:30, woman who touched him, power left him, Romans 1:16, the power of the gospel.

Provision, he does not guide where he will not provide, he does not give surplus, but gives what we need when we need it, everything is provided, all things, life and godliness is one thought, not compartmentalized, living for a godly purpose, living the life, in my workplace, family, God will provide, untainted by man’s limitations,

Purpose, this points us back to God, to magnify his glory, called by his own glory and excellence, demonstrates God’s character, 1 Timothy 3:8-11, dignity represents character, God’s character, reflecting that character, a good reputation is how we reflect his character,

How to Guarantee Healthy Community

The Core Value of Community
Seven Relational Principles that Guarantee a Healthy Community
Romans 12:9-21

Community is meaningful belonging to one another. Our focus is on One, on Jesus. What is it about our community that stands out among other communities?

We have basic needs: food and shelter, sense of purpose, a sense of community. We need relationships. Carnegie institute, when employees fail at work, 90% is due to failed relationships at work. We must prioritize the heath of relationships.

Relationships are vital for our Christian growth and faith walk. God wants to be known, 1 Peter 3:18, Jesus died to bring us to God. We have the opportunity for relationships with God and with one another. John 15:12, love one another.

How to make the difference between good and evil, these are the bookends Romans 12:9 and Romans 12:21. How will we relate to each other?

  1. Brotherly Love – Romans 12:10… this love should be expressed everywhere, not just family. The word is “philadelphia,” a devoted love, a tender affection, like parent to a child. Check out Galatians 5:22-23 regarding the fruit of the spirit.
  2. Honor – Romans 10-11… esteem others, as the recipients of honor, take advantage of the opportunity to value someone, James 2:1, allow no favoritism, love without favoritism, like the baseball with a signature, showing favoritism, don’t play with THIS one, this one has a higher value, we are made in God’s image, have value, we have his signature on the back.
  3. Long-suffering – Romans 12… relationships require perseverance, relationship are not always fun, some people push our buttons, “it’s your fault they get to you,” be patient with others, Colossians 3:13, bear up with one another especially those who criticize. Be tenderhearted and forgiving, Ephesians 4:32.
  4. Hospitality – Romans 13… love like a brother, like a parent, now love others like you love a stranger? Openness, welcoming others, value of a home that is open to others. Shows love and care for everyone, hearts are open, Proverbs 3:27, if it is in you to do good, do good. Don’t withhold love, a sin of omission. Silence can be a sign of being hurt. Guard your heart but don’t withhold love.
  5. Selflessness – Romans 14-15… bless those who persecute you, or come against you, rejoice with others’ good fortune, not complaining that you would like to be blessed like that, what about me? That is not right, it is what can I do for you? The Law of Christ in Galatians 6, bearing one another. Rowing team in 1936, moving as one to accomplish the task.
  6. Humility – Romans 16… the word MIND is used three times, think of others as you would think of yourself, greatly esteem others, pastor Paul teaching the church. Writing to the church, in Philippians 2:1-4, have the same mind as Christ and then the same attitude as in Christ Jesus as in Philippians 2:5-8.
  7. Self-sacrifice – Romans 17-20… go the extra mile to love others, but not to be treated as a doormat, how can we love our enemies, four expressions…
    1. Romans 12:17 – live above reproach, we have no license to lessen our pursuit of God.
    2. Romans 12:18 – as much as it is dependent on you, be at peace with all men
    3. Romans 12:19 – leave vengeance to God, we do not plan revenge, God will take care of it
    4. Romans 12:20 – feed your enemy when he is hungry, these coals on the head is not literal, but ceremonial language of repentance, of God’s forgiveness and relationships.

Overwhelmed? Where do we go with all this? Grab one and go with it. We need God’s help. This message is preaching to the church, not to the world.

The Illustration of Officer Stephen McDonald – Central Park, altercation about a bicycle, shot, in hospital, paralyzed, Ken quoted the officer before his death, that, God was in charge, to use me, he needed my YES, will you love the boy who shot you? The best way to love him was to forgive him. YES, I have loved and forgiven him. The officer died last year.

Be tenderhearted, forgiving, God has forgiven you. Are you on a journey to forgive someone? Let Jesus guide you to that place. It may take a while, so let Jesus guide you.

For us to do any of this… I need to receive ALL of the love GOD has for us. Not just some of his love. Receive Christ today, or renew your relationship with Christ today.

Have you drifted from God? Come back and trust him.


Questions for Wednesday Life Groups:

Community:

  1. What is the difference between community in Christian groups versus secular society? What is different and what is similar?
  2. We all have a basic need of being in relationship with other people. Why do we sometimes struggle to be vulnerable and open with others?
  3. What are the benefits of being open and vulnerable in community? Why do we care so much about what others see and sometimes overlook the fact that God sees everything? Do we live as though Jesus is in the room with us? How does community help us live responsibly?

Brotherly Love:

  1. What are some examples of brotherly love that you have experienced? What does this say about how Christians are supposed to love one another?
  2. How does forgiveness draw us closer to God? How does forgiveness pull us further away from the world?
  3. How does an outward focus on others relate to our Spiritual growth? How does an inward focus hold us back?
  4. How does “brotherly love” describe how God wants us to view others? What do you think of when we say “brotherly” love? How does this compare to our relationship with, and love for, God?

Honor:

  1. What is the connection between honor and value?
  2. How is it possible to love without favoritism?
  3. The definition of honor has a few key points 1. To hold in high esteem or respect 2. A privilege 3. To fulfil or keep an agreement. Tie this into the Christian life. What can we learn about Jesus, or how can we relate to Jesus, when we look at this definition of honor?

Long-suffering:

  1. How does the concept of practicing long-suffering change us? What are the benefits to self when we are patient despite our troubles, especially when they are caused by others?
  2. What is the opposite of long suffering? (impatient, quarrelsome, disobedient, defiant, worry free, and unconcerned are just a few of the antonyms) What do these antonyms show about the importance of long-suffering?
  3. Why is patience so important in our Christian walk? What are the dangers of acting rashly or when we rush to action/judgement? What does patience allow in terms of listening and being guided by the Spirit?

Hospitality:

  1. How has the concept of hospitality become either more or less prevalent in our society today? Why?
  2. How has the concept of hospitality become harder to practice in society today? Or has it become easier? Why?
  3. What are some ways we can show hospitality? Who do you know that effectively demonstrates Christian hospitality?
  4. People say, “you get more from giving than receiving.” How is this true? Do you agree? Who has a story? Name some real-life examples.

Selflessness: (Read Galatians 6:1-10)

  1. As brothers and sisters in Christ, what responsibilities do we have for one another?
  2. What are the differences between the Christian concept of selflessness compared to the secular view?
  3. What is the relationship between selflessness and happiness? Or selflessness and fulfillment?
  4. How does Galatians 6:5 relate to Galatians 6:2? Explain how there is no contradiction. (burden in verse 2 refers to weight, heaviness, trouble, while the word for load in verse 5 is not a crushing burden but rather a small individual portion or pack).
  5. How does being selfless benefit you more than being selfish? Where does being selfish get you? (Galatians 6:7-9)
  6. Where in your life do you need to sow to please the Spirit rather than sowing to your sinful nature?
  7. How does being selfless play into what God asks us to do to share Him with others? What are the benefits to treating well those who are inside the family of believers and why would this be important for those who are not yet saved, and why does it make such a difference? (Galatians 6:10)

Humility:

  1. What is the connection between humility and thankfulness?
  2. What does a life of humility show to others? How does being humble represent our understanding of Jesus and his love?
  3. What is the connection between humility and selflessness?

Self-sacrifice:

  1. Explain the concept of altruism (see below). How does this relate to self-sacrifice? How does this reveal God? How does altruism go against the natural order of things (self-survival, self-benefit, survival of the fittest) and at the same time, how does it show that God intelligently designed us? (Altruism = the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others; behavior that benefits another at its own expense.
  2. What does the Bible say is the greatest love of all? (John 15:13) What is the connection between love and self-sacrifice? How does John 3:16 relate to 1 John 3:16?
  3. Self-sacrifice is at the very heart of Christianity, let’s discuss why? (perhaps the example of Jesus)
  4. What are the benefits of outwardly-focused love? (connection, purpose, service, evangelism)

Additional Questions:

  1. What happens when you pay back evil for evil? Does the trouble ever end, or does it just repeat and continue?
  2. What is the difference between passivity and being at peace with all men?
  3. What does it mean to truly lose yourself, what is the significance?
  4. What is the significance of God’s judgement?
    1. Why is it a blessing that God will judge and be vengeful?
    2. From what does God’s judgment free us?
    3. If God was not this way, what would this mean negatively for us? (Gospel Project talked about this when looking at the flood, and the fact that God saved us from needing to be vigilantes. We know justice will be appropriately distributed in the end).
  5. Why feed our enemy? What does this mean for the long haul? What does this mean in terms of how we view people? Who is the enemy, and is it always who we think it is?
  6. Why is it difficult to bless those who persecute you? How are your actions and love more powerful in relation to this?
  7. People are (usually) logical creatures. How can demonstrating illogical action make the biggest impact to others who are not yet saved?
    1. Does it make sense the only perfect human, suffered, was humiliated, was inflicted with great physical and mental torment, was hung on a cross, and yet still showed only love for those who put Him there.
    2. Does it make sense that Stephen cried out for those who stoned him to not be charged for their sins?
    3. What about the story of Officer McDonald? He said God was in control? Why does this not fit the logic of secular life?
    4. Christianity shows its power in the illogical, yet the answer why is very logical. It is sort of like Jesus being the stone that makes men stumble and rock that makes them fall (Isaiah 8:14, Romans 9:32, 1 Peter 2:8). The Pharisees could not see the Messiah who was literally standing right in front of them.

Our M3 Sunday 2018

M2-M3 Sunday
September 30, 2018
Matthew 5:16, 9:36, Romans 5:5, Psalm 116:12

These are questions for the Life Groups on Wednesday October 3 at 6:00 pm.

One Sunday September 30, we had a special day of missions emphasis featuring six members with missions experiences to share. The main focus was to not so much talk about WHAT was done, but the WHY, the effect on the kingdom because they participated. Ken’s emphasis was…

Focus on the redemption of Christ for the need of mankind.

  1. How does your mission involvement teach you about being sensitive to the needs of others? How do you see the face of Jesus in those whom you serve?
  2. How does your mission involvement remind you of God’s mission to bring redemption to a broken world?
  3. How does your mission involvement help you to live life on mission every day? What would you say to others to encourage them to live life on mission with Jesus?

Student Guatemala Mission – Grayson Beemus, Keith Alexander, and Ken Pruitt

  1. Grayson mentioned that what she noticed most (besides the wonderful programs and ministry happening in Guatemala) was the way the Catalyst Resources International leaders trusted God in the face of limited funds, resources, and workers. They demonstrated the need for prayer for whatever they encountered, that God will provide, and so they need to trust in God.
    1. Someone tell a story about a time when they trusted God to make something happen when there was no way this could work out on its own (perhaps when God provided for you or your family in some miraculous way).
    2. Describe your prayer life; is it more of a first action or a last thought? Why? What needs to change? What will it take to make that change happen?
    3. Describe your personal plan for engaging in prayer. How do you remain strong in the midst of uncertainly?
    4. In what way does your trust in God encourage others to trust in God?
    5. Grayson mentioned trusting in God’s plan for her. When did you first realize that life was not just random events, but that God has a plan for his children? How difficult is it to embrace God’s plan?
  2. Keith Alexander mentioned how participating in missions has grown his love for God and the work that God has done in his own life, how it has been a blessing to experience these times. He stressed the importance of remaining connected to God every day.
    1. Who can name a moment in your life when God provided a missions or ministry event catalyst for your spiritual growth? Why does God use these experiences for OUR growth? Why do the mundane events in our lives not produce much growth? Or do they?
    2. Share a story about a time when you experienced Christ on a mission trip, more than just the work you were sent to do.
    3. How do you connect with God each day? What works for you? In a world full of distractions, how do you know when it is God’s voice speaking to you?
  3. Ken mention the importance of seeing the face of Christ in the people we encounter. What are some practical ways we can be reminded that we are serving Christ by serving others?

Virginia Voices International – Diana Turner

  1. Diana mentioned she committed herself to missions back when she was 16 years old. When was a time that you sensed God calling you to missions or to a particular ministry or task?
  2. She mentioned being limited by the lack of “missionary” skills, but God gave her the gift of singing. How has God gifted you, and how are you using that gift for his purpose for the world?
  3. When you are not allowed to talk about Christ in the public square, name some ways that you are able to demonstrate your love for God (how you “let your light shine before men…”)
  4. She mentioned people would not take a free bottle of water. Why do you think people are skeptical about something that is free? Who has a story of a free item not really being free?
  5. People in Canada are a lot like those in the USA, and we don’t see an immediate need we can meet; (although the country has a dark spiritual need). How are we able to make an impact on the up-and-out people around us, not just the down-and-out? How do we help people understand their need for a Savior?
  6. How can we make our actions of love more evangelistic?
  7. “Live Sent” – “We are to live as God has sent us, not as IF God has sent us. We KNOW that he has sent us.” When have you wrestled with this reality? Are you still wrestling with God about this?
  8. Ministries begin with an idea. What has God put on your heart that might turn into a ministry?

King’s Builders – Eddie Todd

  1. The Wonderful World of Disney reference was made in passing, but how committed are you to regularly gathering in God’s house for worship, even when there are so many other things to do and experience in our culture? Who has a story about church coming before sports, social, or entertainment functions? Are you still wrestling with church being a priority? How can we help families understand that church needs to be a higher priority than leisure and sports.
  2. Eddie talked about lacking giftedness in doing evangelism on the street, but he can do things with his hands and can have conversations with people. What are some of your limitations that God has allowed you to overcome for his kingdom’s sake? What still is a barrier for you?
  3. Eddie emphasize the fact that we are all given the Great Commission, and this opportunity serve in King’s Builders was God’s way of getting him involved in that commission. How is God opening your eyes to the opportunities around you to fulfill the Great Commission? Are there doors opening to you, yet you still need courage to walk through them?
  4. “You leave on King’s Builders as friends, you come back as family.” Talk about how the love of Christ and purpose of God binds us together. Who has a story? How does this reflect on the purpose of our Life Groups, (to share life together)?
  5. When it comes to results, we don’t always get to see the fruit of our mission work. How did the story of the man visiting the church construction site (in Green Bay) inspire you to see a bigger picture of God’s plan, one that is so much greater than our plans? (The team went to build a church, but God had a divine appointment with this man and his family). Is NOT seeing fruit in your efforts discouraging to you? How do you persevere when you see no immediate results?

Love Your City – BBQ – Bob Simon

  1. Bob talked about getting this feeding ministry off the ground through sharing ideas with other ministry leaders (Jennifer with JCOC and the Carnivore event). Who inspires you to do more than you are currently doing? What compels you to serve Jesus and others?
  2. We don’t just feed people, we deliver food with as message, “We are from King’s Grant Baptist Church and we love you and Jesus loves you.” Name some ways that you can take a common event (like eating) and put in a good word for Jesus?
  3. “We don’t need to look far to find a need, physical or spiritual, they are all around us.” What is God showing you in your circle of influence. How can you meet that need? Who can you bring in to help you or help you organize a ministry?
  4. “Some cook, some deliver, some are better at talking about Jesus.” How do we see other ministries or events in life as team efforts to challenge people with the reality of the gospel?
  5. Bob mentioned this ministry is not asking people to come to us, but we go to the people. How can the church do a better job of getting outside the doors of the church into the community?
  6. “While we are not saved BY our good works, we are saved FOR good works. Find a way to use the talent God has given you!” How has God gifted you for the work of service? How are you seeking ways to employ your gift for God’s kingdom? When are you tempted to coast in your service life?
  7. Speaking of works, why are Americans and Christians in America confused about the role of good works in Christianity?

King’s Stitchers – Sandy Guthrie and Jane Dobbins

  1. Sandy mentioned partnering with two organizations: The Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Associational Baby Boutique. What organizations are already at work that have captured your heart? How are you involved in that ministry? How can you get people involved in what you are doing for the kingdom?
  2. This ministry involved some specific skills, so what are some skills that you possess for which an organization or ministry could be looking?
  3. How does a group like King’s Stitchers choose organizations with whom to partner?
  4. Each knitted item has a tag attached, mentioning the church, and that it was made with love and prayer. How difficult is it to find ways to put in a good word for Jesus as we serve our community? What obstacles have you overcome? What obstacles are still in the way for you to be bolder in your intentional witness?
  5. This ministry meets on Mondays at the church, but Sandy mentioned you can still be involved without meeting on Mondays. In what ways can decentralizing church ministries further the reach of the gospel and the influence of this church? (Home Bible study groups? Midweek worship for those who work on Sundays? Other ideas?)

M-Fuge – Conner Amet and Ryan Anderson

  1. Conner mentioned the track choices at M-fuge Philadelphia. Why and how should the church offer a variety of choices in programming and opportunities to serve? What about giftedness for different ministries? Do you ever feel that your gifts or abilities are not relevant to kingdom work?
  2. He mentioned the power of the event changing him. Tell us about a time that you were involved in something bigger than yourself, and by being a part of it, that event was life-changing.
  3. Ryan said that the students at M-fuge are “the hands and feet of Jesus” making an impact on that city. How are you being the hands and feet of Jesus? Into what areas of our city are you going and making an impact? (in Virginia Beach, school, the office, neighborhood)
  4. How does serving in missions, in something bigger than yourself, shape your mindset? What has been the biggest influence on your idea about what mission is? (A trip, an event, a speaker, this past Sunday at KGBC).
  5. In what way is being a missionary for all believers, not just for some “super-Christians?” How do we help people understand that living on mission is the expectation, and simply showing up at church is falling short of God’s purpose?
  6. While not saying it directly, Ryan and the other adult leaders are able to invest into the lives of so many teenagers. In what ways are you investing in the next generation? What needs do you see around you? What can you do to meet those needs?

Missions Challenge – Beth Anderson and Ken Pruitt

  1. Beth mentioned that we can look back at our services on Sunday, and all we have done over the past year, and feel pretty good about ourselves. Why is it not good to be satisfied with all we have done in the past?
  2. Beth challenged us to commit to whatever God have called us to do. Why do you think Christians have a difficult time committing to active and regular service? What is the danger in waiting until the next Operation Inasmuch or Winter Shelter to get involved in Christian service?
  3. We were challenged to live out missionally on campus, the apartment complex, the office, the grocery store, and even in our homes/families. Why is it preferred to live life on mission for a noble cause (like a trip or project) but so difficult to live it out in front of our own family? Mission Trip Syndrome: Why will we do ministry out of town but don’t do it in our own community? Is it possible to be effective on a mission trip when we are not practicing the same here at home?
  4. Ken emphasized that the church is not the church unless it is sent out. First, do you agree? Perhaps then, where do we fall short? Why do we fall short?
  5. If we really see the face of Jesus in those around us, why do we still fall short in serving others in the love of Christ? How well do you believe King’s Grant is living life on mission? How well are you doing at living a missional life?

Community. Faith. Love.

Community. Faith. Love.
Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 2:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

George Owen Walton, collection of nickels, deemed fake, when inherited, appraised and proven authentic, value of $1.3 million… we can miss the most important things in life if their value is missed. Here are three basic values of the church. Why we belong, believe, and behave.

1. We exist as a COMMUNITY. Romans 12:4-5

  • A. Community Defined: a unified group of individuals. Church is unified gathering of believers. In substance, it is membership. Expressed in membership. Movement of discipleship in the body. Who we are in the body.
  • B. Membership Rethought: a literal connection to the church spiritually (the Body of Christ). Describes commitment. Sam’s and Costco have memberships. Joining an organization has personal benefit. Ken’s American Airlines membership is solely for personal benefit. This idea conditions our entire culture. The church is never LIKE the body of Christ, it IS the body of Christ.
  • C. Church Revisited: membership for Jesus, as a part of the whole, functioning, characterized by love. We who are many are one. “So it is with Christ.” Not a man-made organization to remember our leaded. “The church expresses Jesus.” – Ray Steadman.

Membership for Jesus, we are saved, sins forgiven, made brand new in Christ. Jesus intends to lead the church, because he is the head.

As part of the whole, KGBC founders… “everyone had a job, asking, what can I do?”

Functioning, all parts are needed to function. This is an oxymoron, an “inactive church member.”

Characterized by love, always, for one another, for the head, for the lost. We are a community more than an organization. The bones of the ear, small, yet vital to hearing. Membership is not the goal… move from member to minister.

[M1 – Member]

2. We exist as a community of FAITH. Ephesians 2:19-21 – Faith Grows and Becomes Ministry.

  • A. Member of God’s household. If the building did not exist, would the church still exist? YES. God dwells not in a house made with hands. Not a community of man, or social gathering, how does faith grow into ministry? All of us were once aliens, but now we are ALL included.
  • B. Founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Foundation of Jesus, then the apostles. 1 Corinthians 1:23, in the body by the same foundation of faith.
  • C. Growing into a holy temple in the Lord. We are a living and holy temple, bought with a price. We are a holy priesthood. Ministers to serve God. All are called to serve. 1 Peter 2:5. “Built up” is or means an activity that never stops. We never simply arrive at maturity.
  • D. Ministering in His name. The goal of church is not membership. We must move to ministers. Today’s church is better at producing members rather than ministers. Even when the tree reaches its optimal height, it continues to grow. Growing is not optional. We are never grown up this side of heaven.

[M2-Minister]

3. We exist as a community of faith to EXTEND the LOVE of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

For what? What is the goal? Ingrown is not good. The purpose is to extend the LOVE. Compels us, better, controls us. M3 represents our mission. 5:20 is the summary of the goal…

  • A. Changed. Jesus died to free you from sin. Love changes us transformation.
  • B. Called. Therefore, you are an ambassador, authorized to act and be on mission on behalf of the king or leader. Organized effort, or projects, but in any opportunity, you find to walk through the door of loving others for Jesus.

[M3 – Mission]

Mission Impossible, “Your mission, if you decide to accept it…” we do not have the option to negotiated mission of Jesus.


LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 26, 2018
Romans 12:4-5, Ephesians 2:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Welcome – Greeting / Get Going

  1. Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
  2. If you could literally be a single body part, what part would you be? Why?
  3. Who are the other body parts that you would need help from in order to function properly?

Word – Digging Deeper

  1. Ken began his message by saying, “Some of the most important things in life are missed because their value is not recognized.” Why do so many Americans (even those who believe in God) not see the value of active involvement in a local church?
  2. What do you think is the value of church membership?
  3. Since there are so many churches yet only one body of Christ, how can we break down barriers and create unity with other Christian groups? In what ways does unity stop when it intersects with doctrine? Does anyone have a story?
  4. Who can describe the Cooperative Program? What is the principle it represents? (We can do so much more together than we can as an individual congregation).
  5. In Gestalt Psychology, “the whole is something else [greater] than the sum of its parts.” How is a gathering of the church something else than a gathering of individual believers?
  6. How are friendships formed in real life? (common interests, common activities, common location, common school, common gender, common history) Since Jesus may be the only common factor in the life of individual believers, how are friendships formed in the church? Who has a story of knowing well different people in the church, yet those friends don’t even know each other?
  7. In what organizations have you benefited by having a membership? In church, how do you explain to non-members that “membership has its privileges?” (more than you can now vote in a meeting or teach in Sunday School) Or does membership have any privileges?
  8. Ken said that we are better at making members than we are at making ministers. What will it take for us to get better at making ministers? How can we “make people thirsty” for more?
  9. The church may be the only organization in the world that exists for those who are not yet members. Who can explain what this means? Does it make sense? In what ways do we confuse making membership all about us? Are we members for what we get out of it or what we give into it?
  10. What are practical examples of membership in our society? (every team has a roster, every school has an enrollment, every company has its payroll) So, why do people resist membership in a local Baptist church?
  11. If membership is a literal connection to a spiritual family, what does this imply? (in God’s family we are his children. In human terms, a child without a family is called an orphan. All orphans long to be welcomed into a family). So, why are we so casual or apathetic about being in God’s forever family?
  12. What are the responsibilities or expectations of being in a human family? (chores, respect, love, kindness, support, encouragement, school, exercise, eating, hygiene, bills) So, what is a parallel to your spiritual family, being a member of God’s household?
  13. The church is founded upon Christ. What is the purpose of our salvation? What does God ask of us?
  14. Sin can distract us from God’s mission. How does sin work against the mission of God? How does sin distract us from the corporate mission of God?
  15. Why is it difficult to understand that we are called to be a royal priesthood? What did those in the priesthood do? What are ways in which priests serve others?
  16. If the church is one body and Christ is the head, how does this relate to church leaders and the laity?
  17. Church leaders and pastors are called to equip the saints for the work of service. Why do most American Christians prefer the staff to do the work of ministry? Is this healthy?
  18. Why are spiritual gifts important? Name yours. How does knowing your gifts help you better serve?
  19. Name some ways that you serve Jesus through the church. What impacts have you made? What is something that you never thought about until now that you can do for God’s kingdom?
  20. We are called to sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17), why is it so difficult to address sin, in us and in others? What are the risks and benefits? Does accountability keep people from real connections?
  21. Membership naturally and logically moves toward a growing faith. How does being inactive in church relate to our faith? How does faith relate to love? How do these relate to obedience?
  22. In what ways to we often desire greater faith for self-improvement rather than to allow that faith to change us? (a tree is always growing even after it reaches optimal height) In what ways do you need to grow wider, not just taller? Ken mentioned, “ingrown is never good.” What does this mean to you?
  23. In what ways has God called you into his global purpose? When was a time when you told God you would be available later? What are the obstacles that keep you from being all in?
  24. Love controls us. How do we usually look at control in our lives? How can love empower us or the lack of love hold us back? Is love more powerful with an inward focus or an outward focus? Explain.
  25. What are the dangers of an inwardly-focused love (selfishness, conceitedness, tunnel vision)
  26. What are the benefits of an outwardly-focused love? (connection, purpose, service, evangelism)

Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation

  1. Of the three M’s – name the one we do best as a church. Which must we work on to be more obedient and fruitful? In what ways is the church stagnant? What areas seem to be fruitful?
  2. Where are you personally? What will it take to move toward the next level? What is holding you back? What do you fear? What do you lack?
  3. Do people grow faster in groups or as individuals? Is the church then essential to proper growth?

Witness – His Story / My Story

  1. Who helped you see the importance of obeying Christ, not just showing up at church?
  2. When was a time where you avoided church membership, and what did you learn from it?
  3. Name some ways that you can serve others? What are some KGBC ministries in which you can get involved? Where can you find more information? (kgbc.us/pathway)
  4. How can we be ambassadors for Christ? What does that mean? (evangelism is love going public)