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)