Sun, Oct 12, 2014

Connecting in Community

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  1. Understanding our situation
    1. Many are struggling to find community.
    2. “State of the Union” on community at Calvary — Report on project status
  2. Biblical Response
    1. Why I care about this (Jeremiah 10:21; 23:2)
    2. The “one anothers” (John 13:33-34; Romans 12:10, 16; 15:5. Galatians 5:13, 6:2)
      Affinity mapping the "one anothers":
      1. Care and compassion
        love, care for, be kind and tenderhearted, comfort each other, serve with love
      2. Encouraging and building up
        love, encourage one another, build up, speak truth to one another, motivate one another, spur each other on
      3. Doing life together
        love, be devoted, eat / break bread with, greet, bear one another’s burdens, demonstrate hospitality, weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice
      4. Forgiving and living in reconciled relationship
        love, be of one mind, forgive one another, consider one another more important, always seek the good of one another
    3. Life-on-life growth
      1. Jesus’ initial invitation to salvation – “Follow me.” (Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34)
      2. I Corinthians 11:1 – “Follow me as I follow Christ.” II Timothy 1:13, 2:2 – “Follow the pattern.”
    4. Our goal and model
  3. Application
    1. When asked, please participate in a conversation about community.
    2. Be flexible. Take a fresh look at this.
    3. Where and how will you obey God’s command to engage in the “one anothers”?


Discussion Questions:

1) Fill out the questionnaire on community. What is your overall level of community here at Calvary (or at your church if Calvary is not your church home)? Has that number been higher or lower in the past? Which way is it trending? Why do you think it is trending the way that it is? Community — do you have it? Do you want it?
2) Why do you suppose God commanded the "one anothers"? Do Christians understand the "one anothers" to be recommendations, best practices, or commands? How have you understood the "one anothers"?
3) Of the four areas of "one another," which do you experience most? Which of the four do you experience least? Have you had really good experiences in one of these areas? Have you had hard and painful experiences in one of these areas?
4) Does venue matter when it comes to the "one anothers"? Can you share life with one another if you spend time together only at the church building? For example, can you have a deep experience with one another yet never be in one another's homes?
Why do you suppose hospitality is both a command and a qualification for leadership?
How does privacy fit with hospitality?
If you are visiting from out of town, do you prefer to stay with friends and relatives or in a hotel?
Is this purely a matter of preference or does the Word of God speak to this?
5) What do you think about the idea that you are to follow Jesus by following others? Does that put the other person in too high a place? Was it arrogant of Paul to say, "Follow me as I follow Christ"? Do you tend to think of discipleship as a life-on-life process or as a set of materials or classes to "go through"?
6) Have you had a profound experience of passing on what you received? Are you willing to share your experience? This could be either someone else pouring into you or you pouring into another.
7) Is there a form of community that has always worked for you (e.g., small groups, adult Bible Fellowship / Mini-congregations, etc.)? Is Calvary mistaken in offering more than one option? What is the down side to offering many options? What is the down side to offering too few?
Is the way a person experiences community subjective, or is it more or less determined by how God has wired each of us?
8) What are Christians to do who are too busy for community but also realize they need it? What advice would you give to a friend in that situation?

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