Big Idea: God designed the household to operate with symmetry, order and beauty. When the household is operating in God’s design it becomes a beautiful and powerful engine for multiplying influence and advancing God’s purposes in this world within the household of God, the church.
I. God’s design for the household
A. Background on the idea of household
1. Delegated authority
2. Human channels for God’s love
3. Love starts it all.
4. Household is family + others who are folded into loving community.
B. The church as the household of God (I Timothy 3:15, 4-5)
C. God’s design for household
1. Men loving their wives as Christ loves the church
2. Wives honoring, respecting, and obeying their husbands
3. Shared partnership in passing on intergenerational faith
4. Children are called to obey.
5. Others too.
II. Examples of the missional use of household
A. Cornelius (10:24, 44-48; 11:14)
B. The Philippian Jailer (16:13-15, 30-34)
C. Aquila and Priscilla (18:1-3)
III. Vision for extending household today
A. “Go to” more than “come to”
B. Examples of home as mission
3. Foster care
5. Foreign exchange students
6. Adopting a single mom
7. Adopting college students
8. Finding neighborhood kids hungry for relationships
9. Using our children’s activities as a natural platform for intentional relationships
1) When you were growing up, did your home feel safe? Was it a reality that you wanted to run to or away from? Did others run to your home or from it? Why do you suppose that reality was the way it was? Did you ever experience a home where everyone felt welcomed, valued, and safe? Did others notice this too? What effect did this safe place have on those that gathered there?
2) Which do think is the more dynamic agent of change: control or influence? How do you respond when people are trying to control you? Can you name a positive influence in you life? Who were/are they? What was the nature of the relationship? Is it possible to have a significant capacity to make positive change where one has influence but not control?
3) How do safe places stay safe? What happens when a safe place attracts people who are not safe? Given the extent of evil in the world, is it reasonable to hope that a safe place will remain safe forever without protecting that safety?
4) How do you feel God’s love? When you feel most loved by God, what is happening? Do you ever struggle with the love of God being an abstract concept?
Have you ever felt the love of God through the presence or ministry of another person?
5) Does the idea of roles within God’s design seem offensive or degrading to you? Have you ever experienced healthy Biblical male leadership that earnestly desired to love others sacrificially?
What happens when God’s plan is rejected? Does the fact that God’s design is rejected mean that His people should no longer strive for it?
6) Does the fact that cultures rapidly shift change God’s design? Should the overarching principles of household order be scrapped once a culture evolves to a new level?
7) When you think of church, do you primarily think in terms of place or a people? What are the implications of a “come to” mentality?
How do you think large centralized institutions will fare in the future of increasing antagonism toward Christianity? What are the benefits of embracing some decentralized forms of Christianity?
8) Of the ways listed in the outline, which seem most doable for you today? How can you multiply your influence through natural relationships and connecting points?