Big Idea: God’s vision for the Church is an organic community organized around the person and work of Jesus Christ that transcends all personal and social barriers. The church in America has largely rejected this vision. We are a segmented and divided church, but we can and must strive to recover God’s vision, for our good and for His glory.
I. God’s vision of the church
A. A new unified organism organized around the person of Christ
B. Deconstructing social barriers
C. Interdependence through gifts
II. What we have done
A. We have elevated affinity over unity, the part over the whole.
B. We have created churches around the divisions.
C. We have promoted independence over interdependence.
III. A call to repentance
A. The future needs a face. The past needs a face.
B. We need to humble ourselves by submitting our generational preferences to others.
C. Be blessed by the generations.
1) Have you ever had an experience where you really thought you needed something you didn’t? If so, please share that with the group. Why did you think you had to have it? Have you ever had the opposite experience where you didn’t think you needed something that you really did need? How did you come to realize that? Did someone help you figure that out or did you come to that on your own?
2) What is the most important thing about church? How do you decide that?
3) Would you characterize yourself as more dependent on others or independent from others? What is good about being independent? What is not so good about that? What is both good and bad about dependence? What is the healthy balance between independence and dependence?
4) Have you ever seen a church that actually had diverse groups all represented? If so, please tell about your experience there.
Is it true that church is the most segregated reality in America? Do churches tend to have a more dominant group as far education and income level, and why? What have you noticed about Calvary in this regard?
5) If the church is divided, what plays the largest role dividing the church – the age gap, politics, race, economic status, or some other factor?
What would the church in America have to do to close the gap between our present reality and the church as articulated in I Corinthians 12:13?
6) Which gift of the Spirit is the most important? Why didn’t God give all of us all of the gifts? Why didn’t some people get no gifts?
7) Can you share of a time when you were blessed by the next generation in surprising ways?
What are you willing to do to help the church be more like what Christ intended?