Pastor Appreciation – Discussion Guide

Main Idea: 

The members of the church should be growing the church by making more disciples. (It’s every Christ follower’s responsibility, not just the pastor’s!)

Discussion Starter: 

Little kids pretend to be animals that they see, like cats or dogs. And strangely, animals will imitate other animals if they grow up around them (like cats who bark because they were raised around dogs, or dogs that hop like bunnies because they were raised around bunnies). There is even a park in Japan where the deer have learned that when they bow like people, they are more likely to be fed! Can you share a fun or memorable example of imitation that you’ve seen? (Or maybe even just one you heard of!)

Introduction: 

This week, Pastor Chris talked about Colossians 1:28, where Paul goes from talking about you and to talking about we. He says that we talk about Christ — not just Paul, but all those who trust in Jesus. This week, we’re going to talk about how we communicate what we believe about Jesus, not just with our words, but with every part of our lives.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 

Colossians 1:28

1 Corinthians 11:1

2 Corinthians 5:10-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. In Colossians 1:27-28, God’s word talks about how God wants to reveal something that was hidden for thousands of years: Christ is living in us (believers), giving the hope of glory! So the question is, “What is it that is being revealed by your life?” Is it the unsearchable riches of Christ? Or is it the season finale of that new Netflix show?
  2. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul tells his readers to follow him in following Christ. So if you were to win someone to Christ right this minute, and they were to follow your personal example exactly…how excited would you be? How do you think that would affect church discipleship over the course of a year?
  3. In a flock of sheep, how do you get more sheep? Is it the shepherd that makes more sheep, or is it the sheep that make more sheep? Discuss this Biblical metaphor for the church as it pertains to the pastor (pastor just means shepherd) and the rest of the congregation (the sheep). How does that pertain to discipleship?
  4. In Colossians 1:28, Paul says that we (believers) are supposed to be warning everyone. Not just unbelievers, but everyone. In 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, Paul talks about a terror (see the NKJV or KJV) that causes him to warn people. If Paul describes this knowledge as terror, what is his terror about? And why does he, of all people, have such a fear?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read the Primary Scriptures above and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passages.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Earlier in the passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he says that “Christ is the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). Other passages also talk about how all believers (collectively, “the church”) are part of the body of Christ (for example, Romans 12:5, and 1 Corinthains 12:27).

There are no useless parts of your body. (Even your appendix has purpose; it’s part of your immune system–like a tonsil for your tummy.) Your eyebrows and your liver both have a function. They do very different things, though, and are connected in different ways to the rest of the body. 

Why do you think God chose the metaphor of a body to describe the relationship of believers to one another, and to Himself? How do those in your small group bring different gifts to the body of Christ? What sorts of things might your small group be able to do if it worked together?

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:

Are you thankful for those at Faith Promise who teach the Word of God to you? Just a simple “Thank you” or “Hey, that one time you really helped me” would mean a lot. And what better time than Pastor Appreciation Month?

Engaging in Community:

The Bible says that God wants to reveal Christ in us — to everyone. If Jesus were to walk through your neighborhood, what sort of example can you see from the Bible that would show you what He would do? It might have a tremendous impact on your community if you or your family were to try to follow Jesus’ example.

Engaging the World:

Not everyone can go to the darkest, most dangerous parts of the world to tell others about Jesus. But we can certainly support them! Consider sponsoring a missionary. They definitely do not get tired of being reminded that there are those at home who are praying for them. Email missions@faithpromise.org to find out how you can support a Faith Promise missionary.

Expand God’s Kingdom

What sort of support do you think would have helped Paul the most while he was doing his pastoral work? Can you imagine how much more Paul could have done if he had gotten certain kinds of help?

Do you think it would help if you were able to do a modern-day version of that for your local group of Christ-followers?

Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same.

Try to read all the scriptures ahead of time, spend time in prayer, and study to understand them. This might be a tremendously important week for someone in your group, and you might be the one person they will listen to.

And don’t forget God’s promises when you talk to others (especially Isaiah 55:11): the power is in the seed, not in the sower. 

For some of the discussion questions, remember that there may be some people who (wrongly!) think that maybe they aren’t meant to make other disciples, or that they have nothing to contribute. You may need to remind them that all of us are equally members of the body of Christ—we might all have different roles, but every part does something. (1 Corinthians 12:12-18).

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