Main Idea: The church is not a building; it is people who trust in Christ. However, like a building, things start to fall apart when they are not connected to each other and do not support each other.
Discussion Starter: When you grew up, how did you define “church?”
Introduction: When mother birds want their children to learn to fly, they often start by being a good example, and chucking themselves out of the nest and spreading their wings. They swoop and come back to the nest, over and over. If the little bird doesn’t at least try, then the mother bird starts putting lots of sharp sticks in the nest until the little bird is so uncomfortable that it would rather jump out of the nest than stay in it. All this works out for the little bird’s benefit, though, because it learns to fly. Can you think of a time that God let your life become very uncomfortable so that you would have to trust in him to handle the situation? Share with the group a time that you can think of – it doesn’t have to be profound.
Primary Scriptures: Hebrews 10:23-25, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:20-22, 1 Peter 2:5
- In Hebrews 10:24, the text says we should “consider one another” (or ‘observe’ one another) so we can know how to provoke each other to love and good works. Share with the group a time that you got provoked to either love or good works. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Everyone is different, and people may know someone a lot like you in another part of their lives. What you share could help someone a lot.
- When other people shared their answers to question 1, were you surprised? Did everyone get provoked by the kind of thing you thought would provoke them?
- A little further down in Hebrews 10:25, the text says that believers should be even more active in our care for each other “as you see the day approaching.” This is definitely talking about “the day of the Lord” that is referenced all over the Bible. How does Jesus future return make you feel? Does it make you feel more comfortable, or fearful? What does thinking about Jesus’ return make you want to do, if anything?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Corinthians 6:16 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.
Getting to know you: The Bible says, in 1 Peter 2:5, that believers are each like bricks that make up the spiritual house that God inhabits. Who relies on you? On whom do you rely? Do people in your group actually rely on each other or just make small talk once a week? And…what is it like for other people when you put pressure on others?
Getting to know them: How have you needed support lately? If everyone goes around and shares that first, you can answer another important question: How can you support at least one other person here?
Getting to know God: Why would God want us to have such an interconnection with other believers? Why would He bother making us go through that step? What happens when we are physically alone, like believers in some parts of the world?
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: As you probably noticed from your group’s discussion, there are a lot of ways to provoke people to love and good works. Try to find at least one person in your group that you can provoke to at least a little bit more love this week before you leave – and let them do the same to you. (It can be more than one, of course!)
Engaging in Community and the World: Are there any other believers in your community? It doesn’t matter where (or if) they go to a building on Sundays. Talk with them. Try to see if anything you learned from your discussion might be used to provoke them at all (in a good way!).
Engaging in the World: What would you do if everyone in your group, and everyone in your community was properly “provoked?” What would you do to reach the world? Maybe this is the time to try something new.
Expand God’s Kingdom
What is the best realization you’ve had about God lately? It can be anything at all — just something that makes you say “Wow He really is amazing.” Can you think of how to share that one thought with someone, whether a fellow believer or not? Maybe a believer could use your realization as an encouragement, or maybe God can use that thought to nudge an unbeliever who is far away from him just a little bit closer.
Discussion Question #3:
Paul talked about Christ’s love comforting him, and in that sense, he was comforted. But he also talked about how terrified he was of that coming day. (Hebrews 10:31, 2 Corinthians 5:11.) He knows that God will judge His people, and it will be rough going. But he knows that in the end he will be saved. So there should be some level of tension in this question.
If your group is all smiles and nods and “Oh I just feel great about it,” ask about why Paul was so afraid of it. And if your group is a bit distraught because they are all-too-aware of God’s promise to discipline his own kids (like Hebrews 12:6 discusses), remind them how God will never leave them nor forsake those who call on Him, either.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.