Community Groups Week of April 23rd

Community Groups Week of April 23rd

Announcements :

* "FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA" -  Community Group serving Opportunity - On May 20th ALL community groups will be serving at "Feeding South Florida" - Review handout for details. SIGN UP TODAY!! 

* STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and high-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  

Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 1 Leader video:

 

Main Text:   2 Kings 5:1-12

Sermon Title: Identity, Part 1: Identity Inventory

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:   2 Kings 5:1-12

  • What are the different ways Naaman tried to display his significance?

  • How do people do the same types of things today?

  • How does our attitude change when our resources, our wisdom, or our status have little relevance to our identity? 

  • How do we wrap our identity in the superficial, in the temporary? 

  • If you are honest with yourself, which of those categories do you most find your significance in?

  • This past week, what was something you tried to "prove" about yourself? In other words, "I hope people see me as _________?"

  • Why do you think you tend to do that?

  • *** What does God say about our identity? How does God define us? ***

    • Leaders: Push people to see themselves as God seems them! See below: 

      • I belong to God- 1 Cor. 6:20

      • Citizen of Heaven- Phil. 3:20

      • Adopted as God's child - Eph. 1:5

      • Redeemed and forgiven - Col. 1:14

      • Hidden with Christ in God - Col. 3:3

      • Complete in Christ- Col. 2:10

Theme/Quote:

  • He had everything you could want out of his life. Wealth? He had boatloads. Connections? He rubbed shoulders with the most significant people of the time. Power? He was a war hero, that now had armies at his command. He even made a splash in the fashion world. There was one major problem... he had leprosy. But the sickness in his heart was actually worse than the disease on his skin. Despite all he had, he spent his life trying to prove his significance and find his identity. But God took this man on a journey to brokenness. And when he got there he found restoration he could have only hoped to be possible. Let us introduce you to a man named Naaman.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Group Break

    Community Groups Break

    Hey Everyone, 

    I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all of you for a great 1st quarter of the year. I'm especially excited by how you made serving a priority of your group life. So many of you sent pictures and shared some of the great serving projects you were a part of ... and there are some happening in the next 2 weeks! Well done leaders!! 

    Last, I wanted to share some important details of the upcoming Community Groups quarter with you. I am very excited as the Lord continues to provide direction and clarity as we grow to impact the community around us.

    Please note some important dates:

    •  Community Group Leader Training:  Wed. April 19th

    • "Next Steps" classSun. April 23rd

    • Community Groups Opening:  Week of April 23rd

    • Community Groups Close: Last day June 3rd   (6 week season)

    I look forward to sharing with you soon the new groups that are being added, our focus on outreach and some great people jumping in to serve by leading. As always, please don't hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns. I'm so excited for our upcoming quarter!

    You Are Loved,

    Pastor Frank

    Community Group Week of March 26th

    Community Groups Week of March 26th

    Announcements :

    • Serve this Easter:

      • Another way you can be mobilized is to serve with us on Easter Sunday. Ask about one of the many of serving opportunities we have available.

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 6 Leader video:

    Click here for video: 

    Main Text:   Luke 18:9-14

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 3:  Religion vs. Gospel

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • One of the greatest challenges facing us all is an overestimation of who we are and an underestimation of who God is.

    • Both Christians and non-Christians often struggle with faith, or conversations with others about our faith, because they don't have a firm grasp of the core message that Jesus declared by His words and His life. Both groups may struggle because there is a fundamental lack of understanding on what Jesus message is. It is something completely and utterly different from what the culture thinks.

    • The Gospel is the remedy here. The message of Jesus is simply and profoundly that God, out of His grace, has done something for us! We work and live like we must do “something” to be accepted by God, that God is more pleased with us the more we perform for Him. That is performance based religion, not the gospel.

    • God loves us with an everlasting love, He peruses man with His grace and love, that’s what the gospel declares. Jesus came and died for sinners because God loves sinners and wants them to trust in Him. Religion says, “Look what I have done for you!” but the Gospel says, “Look, I have come for you!”

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:  Luke 18: 9-14

    • What are some ways in which we act like we should be accepted because of what we have done rather than what Jesus has done for us?

    • If the message of Jesus is not more “religion,” how is it different?

    • What does it mean to be “justified by faith?”

    • Can you explain how your self-worth, identity and hope doesn't come from religion it comes from the Gospel?

    • Read verse 9. Why do the self-righteous treat others with contempt?

    • The sin of self-righteousness is described by Christ as exalting oneself. What does Christ say is the opposite of that?  ( Leader see verse 14)

    • What does it mean to humble oneself before God? How did Christ humble himself before God? (Leader see Php 2:8)

    • Leader REFLECT on this with your group:   (READ in advance)  

      The lesson is that obedience to rules or "the law" as a means of obtaining salvation is religion; it is self-righteousness. Ultimately it is oppressive since deep down we know our self-righteousness is insufficient. It breeds self-loathing and contempt of others.
      On the other hand, humble obedience as a response to the free gift of salvation brings appreciation and joy as we lean on the Gospel for our identity, not our own works. 

      Remember - Religion asks, "How good are you?" The Gospel asks, "How good is Christ?"

    Theme/Quote:

    • You know, Christians and non-Christians alike have heard of Jesus. Many know some facts and even some stories, but do they really get the message that Jesus brought with Him? It’s amazing to see how easy it is to think we are in “control,” and overestimate just about everything about ourselves. But Jesus has a unique message that strikes at the heart of who we think we are and what we think we can do. Jesus teaches a parable comparing the approaches of two very different men, to God. Therein lies the true picture of the heart that God shows grace to and the one that He resists. That picture comes to vivid life in the Gospel. It is the Gospel that puts in proper perspective the position of man and the position of God. It is the Gospel that displays man in desperate need of God, and God desiring to give grace to man. You see, religion says, “Look what I have done for you!” but the Gospel says, “Look, I have come for you!” The Gospel is the remedy to self-righteousness and shows us a picture of God’s work for us!      

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 19th

    Community Groups Week of March 19th

    Announcements :

    MISSIONS :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    • STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and hight-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  /  PRICE: $219.00 before April 1st.  

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 6 Leader video:

    Click Here for video: 

    Main Text:   John 4: 7-26

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 2:  Love vs. Truth

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:   John 4: 7-26

    • When have you been in a circumstance that you felt like you had to chose between love and truth? Have you ever kept them at odd's? 

    • How does Jesus' compassion impact the woman at the well? How does it impact you?

    • Jesus, lovingly, is revealing how this woman is trying to satisfy a longing ... what is the longing of your heart that Jesus wants to satisfy? 

    • Compare how Jesus' treats this woman with the Apostle Pauls words in Ephesians 4:15. (Leader: Jesus was acting out (Doing!) what Paul was teaching..)

    • What does it look like to speak the truth with love vs. without love?

    • Which is more your tendency to be loving without the truth or be truthful without love?

    • What is one situation in your life right now that requires love and truth? How are you going to handle it?
    • If truth and love go hand in hand why do we so often separate them? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • There are two good friends that for some reason people always think are fighting. Some even think these two are enemies that can never be reconciled. But they are not really at odds at all. In fact, they love being together, always drawing the best out of each other. They are miserable when they are apart. You would never want one without the other. Who are these two friends? Love and Truth. Some people more naturally lean to the side of love leaving out truth. And some people lean more to the side of truth leaving out love. But truth and love are inseparable friends, attached at the hip. They should always go arm in arm.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 12th

    Community Groups Week of March 12th

    Announcements :

    MISSIONS :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    • STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and hight-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  /  PRICE: $219.00 before April 1st.  

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click Here for Video!

    Main Text:   John 8: 2-11

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 1:  Tolerance vs. Grace

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read: John 8: 2-11

    * How would you describe what being judgemental looks like?

    * Are there relationships in your life that just seem like a "test?" Meaning - perhaps family members that seem to test your faith. How do you approach them? Speak to them? 

    * What is the difference between tolerance and grace? 

    * How should grace overlay all of our discussions and interactions with others, particularly with those we may disagree with? What would that look like in your daily life? 

    * Who is someone that you need to have more grace towards? 

    * How does GRACE shift our focus off of "me" or "you" and onto Jesus? 

    * Going forward, how will you handle those difficult relationships/ moments differently? 

    Theme/Quote:

    How would you describe being judgmental? Would you say that it is defined by these qualities - love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness? Probably not. In fact those seem like the opposite of being judgmental. What is interesting is that the Bible says those are five qualities that will increasingly mark a true Christian. So if the attributes of a Christian are supposed to be unmistakably different than those of a judgmental person, why do Christians so often come across as judgmental? The modern mind’s reaction to judgmentalism is tolerance. Tolerance accepts virtually everything, while judgmentalism condemns much. But those are not the only two options. There is a third option. An option that is truly unique to Jesus. It is so profound in its power that it transformed the world. Many Christians miss it. Most of the world doesn’t understand it. But it is central to Jesus teachings. It is GRACE.

     

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 5th

    Community Groups Week of March 5th

     

    Announcements :

    Missions/Outreach :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    Donuts at 9 AM Service: That's right!!  Starting NEXT Sunday we will be serving KRISPY KREME doughnuts at the 9AM service. ... Oh, YES, this is to bribe more people to come to the 9 am service! See you then ...

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video!

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 4:  Return on Investment

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    Have you ever wondered if your giving really matters that much? Perhaps you have thought, "But what about my needs ... I can't really give anything special!" Here's the great thing about giving; not only have we been uniquely resourced to impact for good with our generosity but God Himself has promised to respond to our generosity in ways that will astound us! God wants to ignite something in you! You see, by uniquely positioning you to do good for God's kingdom, God has provided an opportunity for you to leverage your life for something that matters immensely. This generosity muscle that God wants to grow in His children serves to further the Kingdom, as well as, to teach us joy, contentment, and a life that's ultimately satisfying. God wants us to be a part of changing the world around us, and a heart of generosity is at the front end of that. As our generosity grows, our joy grows! As our generosity grows our contentment grows! As our generosity grows our lives provide a greater impact now and for an eternity in heaven! Go ahead, test God ... Go for it ... He has blessings for you that you cannot imagine! (Mal. 3: 7-10 , Luke 6:38) 

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:  1 Timothy 6:17-19

    • What does God say happens when we are generous? How does it (generosity) impact our future?   (LEADER: Matt. 6:20 , Matt. 19: 27-19 , 2 Cor. 9:6) 

    • According to the Bible, what is the investment logic behind generosity?

    • How does the view of eternity in heaven motivate our generosity here on earth?    (LEADER: True Believers home - Phil. 3:20) 

    • Of all you’ve heard in the Activate series, what is motivating you to be generous the most?

    • How has God promised to respond to our generosity (our faithful giving)? (Luke 6:38 , Malachi 3: 7-10)

    • "Leverage your life for something better!" What does that mean? How does that build contentment?  

    • How can your commitment to the work of the Lord grow today? Where do you need to dig-in and ACTIVATE your life for something better? 

    • What does Generosity/ Giving helps teach us (our families)?  (LEADER: Joy, contentment) 

    • What is going to be your next step?

    Theme/Quote:

    * Expect the unexpected when you study the Bible. Most would probably think the scripture teaches that we need to enjoy our earthly treasures less. But surprise, God actually says that he wants to teach us how to enjoy the blessings He’s given us. First, He teaches us that contentment with what we have, not the constant craving for more, is key to enjoying what we’ve been given. But more than that, the Bible tells us that it is truly more of a blessing to have the privilege of giving, than just receiving. When we are generous and get to love someone, it produces a vibrant joy inside of us. But if that wasn’t enough, God has even more in store for us when we learn to be generous. When we give, He gives back!

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Feb. 26th

    Community Groups Week of February 26th.

     Announcements :

    Missions/Outreach :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

      • This year we’ll be going Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.

      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office  and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-18

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 3:  Compulsive Generosity

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    When we come to the realization that it is God who has provided us with all of our resources (intellectual, relational, financial, etc..) we must conclude that He has resourced us for a purpose. That's, kind of, the hard facts. Moreover, joyful & authentic generosity with those resources ultimately comes down to a condition of the heart. Little doubt that we have each been impacted by joyful giving. In those moments, those times, we are displaying the kind of compelling and contagious giving that can fuel our Christian lives. Not only do we become the kind of generous person God desires but we become the kind of people others want to be around. A heart that has been changed by the gospel is a heart that can and should display this contagious generosity! God has shown us profound generosity in freely giving us Christ. It's that same kind of generosity we are to have with others.     

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     1 Timothy 6: 17-18

    • As you reflect, what has given you joy to give? Why has that impacted you? 

    • What does generosity have to do with the gospel? 

    • What is difficult about generosity?

    • God has given us resources to enjoy! How do we do that in a way that honors Him? 

    • Who is someone you know that is truly generous?

    • What is contagious about their demeanor?

    • What has God reminded you of this week in order to use your life for something that matters? 

    • How are you uniquely positioned to use your resources for good? What are ways to do that? 

    • If generosity is a "heart issue," what does it say about our hearts when we are not generous or unwilling to be so?

    • Are you READY for opportunities to be generous? What does that look like?  

    Theme/Quote:

    • Everyone has suffered through an interaction with a truly selfish person. There is no conversation that they are unable to bring the focal point back to themselves. There are no victories for others that they are truly happy about. It is more than frustrating. It is repellent. It’s hard to enjoy being around someone like that. But the reality is, that person is probably not enjoying their life either. But on the other hand each of us have probably been around a truly giving person. Not someone who is generous to manipulate or to get something in return. There is just a generous spirit about them. They are truly interested in others. They freely share what is theirs for the pure joy of it. Those types of people are attractive and magnetic. They are not just a joy to be around, their genuine joy is contagious. Those individuals have found the joy of a generous life.


    • Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

       

    Community Groups Week of February 19th

    Community Groups Week of February 19th

    Announcements : 

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as, THIS SUNDAY Feb. 26th, we will be celebrating baptisms. Baptisms after every service. We encourage you to come and encourage those whose lives have been impacted by the gospel. 

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:6-10

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 2:  The Freedom of                                                                   Contentment

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

     

    I have pursued a lot of things in my life. Often times this pursuit of worldly things has brought difficulty and has resulted in more want, then more pursuit. Sadly, this cycle of "it" never being enough is the pattern of this world. We not only spend our time, energy and resources on this pursuit but we assign value and influence to these things that they really do not have. When our hearts get a hold of wealth, worldly material and the like, it can be a blessing or a great danger ... but it certainly does not last. In fact, to pursue these things is to love these things, and to love them is a trap, a mirage, and draws us in. King Solomon wrote that whoever loves wealth never has enough of it!  What we pursue we assign we have assigned value to, and pursuing these things, like wealth and materialism, only serves to foster and build discontentment, because they don't hold that value. 

    Yet, when we pursue the things of God, and God Himself, these "things" are put in their proper place and we can then enjoy the good things in the way that God intended us to. God is saying "Stop Chasing!" To be content, truly content, we "choose," not "chase!" In choosing, we will avoid traps and find great gain. May God's word weigh on us to stop striving and start thanking Him for what we do have instead of chasing what we don't. 

     

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     1 Timothy 6: 6- 10

    • As you consider the Apostle Pauls instructions, what would you say is the point of "Godliness with contentment?"

    • How is materialism a trap?  (Leaders get them to think how money, wealth, materialism can enslave a person.)

    • If contentment is "freedom from want," what does that say about our "wants?"

    • What are some ways we use money to bolster our self-worth and define our identity?

    • Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What are things that are easy for you to spend your treasure on?

    • "Contentment is not something you chase, it's something you choose." So what are you choosing, what are you chasing? 

    • Consider this, is what you are pursuing (chasing) and collecting impacting your daily life or your eternal one? 

    • How is contentment freeing?

    • How do we find this "contentment?" What are practical things we can do to find and hold contentment in our lives?

    • What are you thankful for right now? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • It’s 9 pm. You are sitting on the couch, winding down from the day in front of the television. You were minding your own business when a commercial came on that changed everything. It must have been the close-up camera angles on the melted cheese. In slow motion, the thick strands of mozzarella endlessly trail from the piping hot slice to the rest of the pizza. Somehow now you can even smell the crusty dough wafting from your TV. They know what they are doing. And what did you ever do to them? You weren’t even hungry. But now life cannot go on without the satiation of this craving they’ve induced. In a thousand different ways, through a thousand different mediums this same scenario plays out. It demonstrates one thing: our culture knows how to obliterate contentment. But what we know from the Bible is that God gave us everything to enjoy. The challenge is we don’t know how to enjoy it.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of February 12th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”. Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..

    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as we prepare for baptism celebration Sunday on February 26th. Baptisms after every service. 

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 3 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Sermon Title:   Activate, Part 1: Ignition

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    • What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “the rich in this present age”?

    • What are the biggest obstacles in our culture, to leveraging our financial resources to do good?

    • What is the biggest obstacle in your life, to leveraging your financial resources to do good?

    • Why should we not be prideful about our wealth? 

    • How have you set your hopes on the uncertain things of this world, like wealth? Are there any others? 

    • In this study of Paul's instructions to Timothy, how have you been reminded that God has provided your resources?

    • What was a time when you believed that "you" were the one who has gotten you where you are?

    • How are you managing the resources God has given you?

    • How can you change your thinking to see the great opportunity God has given you to leverage your resources for good?

    • Have you purchased the "Treasure Principle" yet? Why not? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • Imagine for a second that you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a brand new sports car, but are so afraid of scratching the paint that you never take it out of the the garage. What if you inherited a priceless work of art, but all of your life it sat collecting dust in your attic. What a waste. There’s no question it is a tragedy to have access to a tremendous resource, but leave it unutilized. One of the biggest sources of regret in life is wasting an opportunity. What if we are each on the cusp of being able to be a part of something great. The only question is will we tap into the opportunity we have. In this series, we intend to ACTIVATE something inside of you. We believe God has called each of us to be catalysts transforming the world around us. There is something that may be lying dormant in your life right now that we want to fire up. Don’t miss this series as we ignite the world changer in each of us.

     Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Feb. 5th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”. Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..

    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as we prepare for baptism celebration Sunday on February 26th. Baptisms after every service. 

    • Student Ministry Parent Meetings:  We’re going to be having the most important parent meetings we will have in Student Ministry all year in a few days. We’re going to be sharing details about student camp, a mission trip opportunity to the Bahamas, and also giving you a chance to connect to your student's tribe leaders. MS Parent Meetings: Sunday, 2/12 immediately following the 10:30am and 12:00pm services and HS Parent Meeting: Wednesday, 2/22 from 6:30-7:15pm.

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 3 Leader video:

    Click here for video

     

    Main Text:   Psalm 88

    Sermon Title:   Struggling with God

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 88

    • What was your reaction when you saw how blunt this Psalm writer was with God?

    • How did you respond to God when you have felt overwhelmed, overcome and overburdened by darkness?

    • At a moment of raw fear, have you thought, "God, why have you forgotten me?" How long before you turned to God?  

    • Why do you think Christians are sometimes afraid to admit that they are struggling with God?

    • Is there something in this season that you have been wrestling with God about? If not now, has there been something in the past?

    • What are some practical things we can do when we are struggling with God?

    • How does a mature Christian respond to God in their anger, doubt and fear? 

    • Name some of the promises of God that you cling to in times of struggle. 

      •  (Leader: for example, Psalm 84:11, Phil. 4:19, James 1:5, 1 Cor. 10:13)

    • Is it ok (safe) to get angry with God? 

      • (Leader - Remind your ppl of the 3 points):

      • God is secure enough to handle our doubts. 

      • God is gracious enough to handle your anger. 

      • God is loving enough to handle your questions. 

    Theme/Quote:

    • What happens when someone is angry at God? According to the Bible, God is so Holy that if we even saw a glimpse of Him, we would immediately die. We can’t handle His terrifyingly awesome glory. But let’s have a moment of truth. Has there ever been a time when you have questioned Him? Maybe deep down you are really struggling with God because of something He allowed in your life. It could be something recently or something a long time ago. But it is a serious offense to doubt God and question, God. Right? So often we just swallow those feelings and try to ignore them. We certainly wouldn’t admit them to anyone else. We are supposed to be stable, consistent, faith-filled people. How could we ever admit that we are wrestling? If you’ve never read Psalm 88, you may be surprised how the Bible directs us to handle ourselves when we are struggling with God.

    •  Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of Jan. 29th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”.
        • Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..
    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 
    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 2 Leader video:

    Week 2 blog video

    Main Text:   Psalm 1:1-6

    Sermon Title: Renovate, Part 4: Location, Location, Location

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • God's word is foundational to a life that wants to grow and thrive. The Psalmist writes that the tree which is planted near the stream of water is the one that thrives. The tree, because of its proximity to the source (the water), is flourishing and prospering. The source causes what is connected to it to prosper. The desert is a desolate barren wilderness where almost nothing grows and certainly nothing thrives. Yet, there can be an oasis in the desert where rich foliage blossoms. The difference maker is the source that's being connected too. In our lives being connected to the source, God's word, is what allows us to thrive and grow as believers. In Psalm 1 the tree prospers because it is has been planted by the water, which nourishes and feeds it to grow in its environment.
    • When we are connected to God's word where we have been planted we too will flourish. God has planted us in a community of faith. As a community, as we remain connected to God's word we will grow. That's what we have been designed for, to be in community! We have no ability to walk this Christian road isolated or cut- off from the community we have been planted in. For growth and spiritual health devote yourself to regularly meet with, engage and be a part of the community of faith where God has placed you. To thrive don't just show up to church, be a part of the church!   

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 1:1-6

    • Why do you think the author of Psalm 1 selected the metaphor of a tree by a stream?
    • How does the scripture nourish our lives?
    • How does your connection to the scriptures impact where you've been planted? 
    • What would it ideally look like for you and your family to be planted closer to the streams of God’s Word?
    • We are designed to be in community together (Heb. 10:24). Are you devoted to regularly meet, encourage and grow with the community of faith that you have been planted in? 
    • What was a time when someone in the church, who spoke into your life, impacted you?
    • When was the last time you read the scriptures and God gripped you by His greatness, challenged you by His holiness or drove you to see His mercies?
    • What comes to mind right now, as you consider the need for a community to be anchored in God's word and how that has changed you?
    • Can a Christian live a growing and thriving life of faith without the community of faith?  
    • What does it look like to be a greater part of the community of faith?
      • (Leader: serving, groups, etc..)
    • What is one step you can take this week to make that happen?

    Theme/Quote:

    • What if you decided to get into the business of flipping houses. So, you buy a fixer-upper, that needs a ton of work. You gut the whole thing. You put in a lot of hours and a lot of money. And at the end of all the renovation, the house looks beautiful. You are ready to sell. But there’s one major problem: the location is abysmal. The realtor informs you that it is pretty much hopeless to get someone to buy this house. He reminds you of the old saying: location, location, location. It doesn’t matter how much renovation you attempt, if you are in a bad location, it’s pretty much a waste. Psalm 1 says something similar about our spiritual lives. If you want to thrive, you need to be situated in a place where God’s word is constantly present.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Group Week of 01.22.17

    Announcements :  

    • WELCOME to opening week of our COMMUNITY GROUP !!
    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”.
      • Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm...which is only 10 days away!
    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.
    • Men's Group:  Join our Men's group on Monday nights on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

     

    Main Text:   Psalm 1:1-6

    Sermon Title:  Renovate, Part 3: DIY

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • When it comes to a renovation project, there are a few reasons you may not DIY (Do It Yourself). 1) You may not have time. 2) You may not know how. 3) You simply may not care, and just leave it broken. But the same can be also true for our spiritual lives.
    • There is a component that of our spiritual growth that is DIY. God is overseeing our spiritual development and maturity, but we have a part to play as well. Psalm 1 is a helpful guide.
    • It says that we will be blessed if we know how to engage our Bible. First, it says we need to delight in the Bible. We are to shift our thinking about it. It is for us.  It is for our benefit. It will transform our lives for the better.
    • Second, it says we are to meditate on the Bible. This word literally means “to mutter.” Have you ever seen someone so deep in thought that they are actually talking to themselves under their breath without realizing it. They haven’t gone crazy, they are just processing something that deeply. That is what we are supposed to do in our lives as well. We are simply supposed to read the Bible and check off a box on our daily To Do list. We are supposed to think about it and process it. We are supposed to marinate in the Bible or steep in it. We are supposed to chew on it.
    • Lastly it says, we are to meditate on it day and night. We should shift our expectations on how the Bible works. It’s not something we pull out in an emergency. It is something that is supposed to be a regular part of our lives.
    • Here are three things we can do in response to this passage:
      1. Calendar Your Bible - schedule time every day.
      2. Read Your Bible - maybe pick a simple place to start like: Mark, Proverbs, or James.
      3. Chew Your Bible - have a journal ready. Jot down a thought you want to chew on that day.

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 1:1-6

    • If there was one situation in your life right now that you desperately need wisdom for, what would it be?
    • How are we supposed to use the Bible, according to Psalm 1?
    • When have we spent time meditating on God's word? Do we "chew" on what God says?
    • What happens when the bible saturates your life? 
    • What would our life look like, how would it be shaped if the rhythm of our lives was impacted by the bible? How would you be changed? 
    • When is the best time during the day for you to read and study the Bible?
    • What are you going to do this week to engage the Bible more deeply and consistently? How will you make more space for God's word in your life? 
    • How do we respond to Psalm 1?  
      • (For the Leader)  
      • Calendar your bible!
      • Read your bible!
      • Chew on your bible!

    Theme/Quote:

    • Analyzing a big decision and not knowing what to do can be exasperating. If you’ve been in that situation, maybe you’ve gotten to a place where you just wish someone could come alongside of you and tell you what the right decision is. What if we could have a life coach that always knew the right answer. What if they always could perfectly direct us. The Bible claims to be that for us. It says that we will thrive if we anchor our lives to it. Maybe you’ve heard that before but it’s not worked for you. Where in the Bible does it tell me if I should date this person or take this job? It’s hard to find that page in the Bible. But maybe the problem is we don’t know how to use the Bible. Don’t worry. Think of Psalm 1 as the user's manual. You may be one step away from full access to inexhaustible wisdom and insight.

     

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Happy New Year !

    Hey Everyone,

    I hope you and your families enjoyed the celebration of Christmas and that your year has gotten off to a great start. Ours sure has! We have hit the ground running!
    I just wanted to update you on a couple of details and share a quick reminder or two. Our first big important date is Friday Jan. 20th. We are meeting for our first "Community Group Leader training" mtg. at 7pm in the "Fuge" the youth room on campus. Please make any arrangements necessary to join us that evening.
    * Second, please note I have updated all of your groups in "InFellowship" with the new start and end dates for quarter #1 (Jan. 22- April 1).
    * Third, should you have any adjustments in the meeting details of your group please be sure to communicate that to me by this Saturday (1/7) so that we can produce accurate promotional materials. If I don't hear from you I will assume your details remain unchanged.
    Ok guys ... get ready  .... we launch again in just over 2 weeks!

     "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."

    ... Paul 

    (1 Cor. 15:58, NLT)

    You Are Loved,

    Pastor Frank

    Community Groups Week of Nov. 20th

    Announcements :  

    • We just ended our COMMUNITY GROUP quarter  for 2016! ts been a great 9 weeks together!! Now, the Community Groups will take a break over the Thanksgiving & Christmas season ... and we will launch again on JAN. 22nd, 2017Looking forward to getting together and touching base over the holidays!
    • CHRISTMAS  ....Christmas is coming... 
      • We are exactly 33 days away from the 1st Christmas service here at West Pines. We will have 5 Christmas services !!
      • Check the website for service details.

    ** Very Important :

    JOIN US ... Community Group Leader Christmas Party!!

    Food, Fun, more Food!

    Fri. Dec. 16th 

    7pm- 9pm

    Church Campus

    Dress Casual

    No childcare provided

     

    Happy Thanksgiving !

    "Know that the Lord, he is God!     It is he who made us, and we are his;     we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

     Enter his gates with thanksgiving,     and his courts with praise!     Give thanks to him; bless his name!"

    Psalm 100: 3-4

    Community Groups Week of Nov. 12th

    Announcements :  

    • THIS IS THE LAST COMMUNITY GROUP MTG. of the quarter: Its been a great 9 weeks together!! Now, the Community Groups will take a break over the Thanksgiving & Christmas season ... and we will launch again on JAN. 22nd, 2017Looking forward to getting together and touching base over the holidays!
    • CHRISTMAS  ....Christmas is coming... 
      • We are exactly 40 days away from the 1st Christmas service here at West Pines. Check the website for service details.

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 9 Leader video :

    [vimeo 189522816 width="640" height="360"]

    Main Text:  Luke 10:25-37

     Sermon Title: Love South Florida, Part 3:

                                   "Love for the Fatherless"

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • Jesus is asked by a lawyer what it looks like to perfectly follow the law. Jesus redirects him back to the law. The lawyer can effectively define the law. He essentially says love God and love your neighbor. Jesus tells him, that he is right. But then the lawyer asks him, “who is my neighbor?”
    • Luke gives us the sense of this conversation. The man is clearly trying to justify himself. Jesus then does what he typically does. He doesn’t lecture him. He tells him a story that cements the truth.
    • The story is of a man that gets attacked on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. He is robbed, beaten and left for dead. This is not uncommon on this particular stretch of road.
    • Jesus goes on to say that coincidentally, a priest comes by. But he doesn’t help the man. In fact, he goes to the other side of the street to avoid him. Then a Levite comes by and does the same thing. These are the professional ministers of the day.
    • Then of all things a Samaritan comes by. But this man has “compassion” on him. He heals his wounds, puts him on his donkey, puts him up in an inn and then pays the innkeeper to continue tending to him. He promises to return and check on him.
    • At the end of the story Jesus asks the lawyer who was “neighborly” to the man. The lawyer can’t bring himself to say the word “Samaritan” so he simply says “the one who showed him mercy.” Jesus says “go and do likewise.”
    • Compassion is a thing to “DO” not a thing to simply feel. In the New Testament you never read the word compassion without seeing an accompanying action.
    • This story that Jesus tells is to answer the question - who is our neighbor? The answer is: whoever God puts in our path.
    • As a church we are responsible to love dramatically. We are to love in deed not just in words. We are to care for the neediest, the least of these in our world. If Jesus came for us who are spiritually impoverished and desperate and made us whole, then we must do that with our “neighbors.”
    • Here is one need that is being put in our path - Foster Care. This is an all call for Foster Families.

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Luke 10:25-37

    • What stuck with you the most about this famous story by Jesus? (What are you still wrestling with?)
    • Why do you think the lawyer asked “and who is my neighbor?”
    • How does Jesus answer the question, "Who is our neighbor?"
    • What are the reasons you are tempted to pass by someone who has a need?
    • Read: 1 John 3:18 - Since compassion in the scriptures is always linked to action , how then, do our actions show compassion?  (Think ... Do my actions show this?)
    • What does "loving our neighbor" actually look like in my life?
    • The Gospel is Jesus trading places with us - How does this help us really understand the story of the good samaritan (Luke 10)?
    • Who is a hurting person in your path that you can show love to?
    • Could God be calling you to consider getting involved in foster care somehow?

    Theme/Quote:

    Have you ever had the opportunity to be a “good samaritan” but it falls at the worst time? It’s not that you don’t want to help, it’s just that right now is not a fit. But still, you believe in your heart you are a good samaritan… right? Interestingly, that is at the heart of Jesus’ story we call “The Good Samaritan.” Two other people passed by the hurting man because it was an inconvenient moment for them. The one who really understood what it was to love, readjusted his life to accommodate the hurting person. According to Jesus, love is not simply good intentions. Love is sacrificing for another. It is responding to whoever is in our path. So, who are the hurting ones in our way right now? Will we stop and respond and show love? What if it requires us to rearrange our lives? What if it takes great sacrifice? What if it is a child that needs a home?

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Nov. 6th

    Announcements :  

    • Love South Florida! : We're partnering with churches all over Broward County to do local missions and impact our community. Join us on Nov. 12th THIS SATURDAY - as we will be serving on campus and off campus with 300 volunteers that day. See Web site and/or  App for details...
    • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
      • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 8 Leader video :

    [vimeo 189522817 width="640" height="360"]

    Love South Florida

    Hi Everyone,

    It's finally here!! As you know, we are in a teaching series called LOVESFL, and what's so significant is that West Pines is part of a group of churches locking arms to do just that. Churches all over Broward county are not only teaching the same series but they will be serving the community in the same way on this Saturday! How fantastic is that!!  The people of God mobilized to serve and love on the community they live in ... impacting the culture with the gospel!

    So, in light of that, as mentioned last Sunday, regularly scheduled community groups are all postponed and meeting at one of the serving opportunities this Saturday. Our desire is to encourage maximum energy and effort in serving together this weekend.

    So, I would encourage you to do 2 things this week:  Pray & Watch!

    • Pray for your groups. Pray for God to prepare their hearts to serve with joy.
    • Watch. Watch for the GREAT things God will do when His people serve like His Son!

    And then on Sunday we'll celebrate together what God has done!

    You Are Loved,

    Pastor Frank

     

    Community Groups Week of Oct. 30th

    Announcements :  

    • Love South Florida! : We're partnering with churches all over Broward County to do local missions and impact our community. Join us on Nov. 12th as we will be serving on campus and off campus with 300 volunteers that day. See Web site and/or  App for details...
    • NEXT STEPS class:  Nov.6th at 12 noon in the Volunteer center. Come and find out more about West Pines ! Hope to see you there.
    • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
      • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 7 Leader video :  

    [vimeo 189528384 width="640" height="360"]

    Main Text:  Matthew 25: 31-46 

     Sermon Title: Love South Florida, Part 1:

                                   "What Love Looks Like"

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • Jesus tells a parable about His return. One day He will come back down to earth and sit on the throne. He will judge all of the human race. He says that He wills separate the sheep and the goats. The sheep are welcomed in. But the goats are sent to outer darkness. It is a metaphor for where each person will spend eternity.
    • In the parable He describes what the dividing line is. The sheep clothed and and fed and healed and served the needy. The goats did not.
    • So, is Jesus saying that if you help the needy you will make it into heaven? Absolutely not. That would violate the rest of scripture. Titus 3:5 tells us that we are saved not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His mercy. Ephesians 2:8-9 says we are saved by grace and through faith, not by our works. So then what is Jesus saying?
    • He is saying that serving the needy among us, is such a common attribute of His followers, that it could be a dividing line. It is so foundational to what it means to be a Christian, that it unavoidably flows out of our faith.
    • Does that mean that everyone who helps the poor is a Christian. That is not true either. Jesus is careful to word it “what you did for the least of these, you did for me.” Christians serve Jesus by serving the poor. It flows out of our commitment to Him.
    • We are taking a step forward towards that this month, by joining other churches in the Love South Florida initiative here in Broward county.

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:  Matthew 25: 31-46

    • What does the "Gospel" say about us (people)? What does it say about God?
    • Humanity is free to believe whatever it wants, but what is the biblical reality about judgement?
    • The passage speaks about eternal destinations - Heaven (the Kingdom) and Hell (eternal fire). What does this passage say about those who will spend eternity in heaven? What about those who will spend it in hell?
    • According to this passage what is the common attribute of a follower of Jesus that indicates he/she is a believer?
    • Is serving, helping, and loving the "least of these" a general depiction of our lives (does it mark our life)?  Should it?
    • Why is serving the “least of these” a natural outflow of a life impacted by the Gospel?
    • Lets talk "practical," what are some needs that you already see around you? 
    • How can this become part of the culture of our lives? Our families?
    • What are you and your family going to sign up to do this month?    

    Theme/Quote:

    • Have you ever known a family that all have a similar look about them? Maybe you can’t even put your finger on it, but it is unmistakable. You are convinced that if you lined up 50 people and mixed in members of that family, you could pick them out. Jesus uses a similar metaphor to describe his followers. In a parable Jesus tells how one day He will sit on a throne to judge humanity. He says he will separate those who are His followers from those who are not. He explains how there is one quality that His followers all have. This attribute is so commonplace that he can use it as the basis for identifying those who are His. Those who are saved by the grace of God will have an undeniable compulsion. The gospel plants a seed in us. Since Jesus sacrificed everything to save us who were spiritually poor, we cannot help but to sacrifice ourselves for the “least of these” among us.
    • Have you ever known a family that all have a similar look about them? Maybe you can’t even put your finger on it, but it is unmistakable. You are convinced that if you lined up 50 people and mixed in members of that family, you could pick them out. Jesus uses a similar metaphor to describe his followers. In a parable Jesus tells how one day He will sit on a throne to judge humanity. He says he will separate those who are His followers from those who are not. He explains how there is one quality that His followers all have. This attribute is so commonplace that he can use it as the basis for identifying those who are His. Those who are saved by the grace of God will have an undeniable compulsion. The gospel plants a seed in us. Since Jesus sacrificed everything to save us who were spiritually poor, we cannot help but to sacrifice ourselves for the “least of these” among us.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of Oct. 23rd

    Announcements :  

    • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
      • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!  
    • Love South Florida! : We're partnering with churches all over Broward County to do local missions and impact our community. Join us on Nov. 12th as we will be serving on campus and off campus that day. Details are coming...
    • NEXT STEPS class:  Nov.6th at 12 noon in the Volunteer center. Come and find out more about West Pines ! Hope to see you there.

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 6 Leader video :  

    [vimeo 188546246 width="640" height="360"]

    Main Text:    Daniel 6:1-17

    Sermon Title: Messy, Part 6: The Cost of A Catalytic Presence

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:    Daniel 6: 1-17

    • What are your expectations as you grow as a Christian and draw closer to Christ?
    • Consider your environment (family, work, friends)... how is it messy? Why has God placed you there?
    • When was a time that you faced suffering in order to do things God’s way?
    • Is the suffering, difficulty or struggle random? Is it meaningless? Explore that in your life.
    • What is something you are doing or not doing out of fear of discomfort?
    • In light of Jesus’ suffering, what should our perspective be regarding our own discomfort?
    • What does Christ say about His followers suffering? What does God promise in regards to struggle? Why?  (Hint: see 2 Tim. 3:12 , 1 Peter 4:12)
    • How does King Darius respond to Daniels deliverance? Why was that significant?
    • What did God do through Daniels suffering? What is God doing in and through your own suffering? 
    • Suffering can position our lives to bring more glory to God, and deepen our desire for God. How do you respond to that statement?
    • So, what do you do with your suffering?

    Theme/Quote:

    • If you had the option of avoiding discomfort, would you? I think if you stopped to think about it, you’d need more information. If the discomfort is senselessly breaking your arm, then the answer would be yes. If the discomfort is sitting in traffic on your way to pick up your loved one returning from a combat tour overseas, then the answer is no. Pain is endured when the allure of the joy on the other end of the pain is stronger. But interestingly, often we simply avoid pain and discomfort at all costs. That leads us to miss out on some of the best parts of life. Furthermore, we often think that following Jesus will automatically result in less discomfort. We believe that the closer we draw to God, the more he will make our path comfortable, more stable, and easier. In reality, Jesus promised the exact opposite. The path of following Jesus is difficult. But the joy on the other end, far outweighs the cost...

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of Oct. 16th

    Announcements :  

    • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
      • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!  
    • Student Ministry Update - If you have middle or high school students in your life then check out our Student Ministry. Here’s a few things we’ve got going on for your students...
        • Every Wednesday we open the doors to two schools near us and host Waffle Wednesday, where we simply serve the students waffles, love on them and get to know them.
        • We also have a special service just for students: High School meets on Wednesday nights at 7pm and Middle School meets on  Sunday mornings at 10:30am and 12:00pm.

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video :  

    [vimeo 182770895 width="640" height="360"]

    Main Text:    Daniel 5:1-12 

    Sermon Title: Messy, Part 5:  The Effect of Excellence

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • Nebuchadnezzar is gone and now his son is ruling. Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar since the beginning of his reign over forty years earlier. Daniel is no longer a young man. In fact he served an entire career.
    • Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, has a party one night. In this party, the wine is flowing. The king get’s the idea to bring out the vessels that were taken out of God’s temple in Jerusalem so many years ago. He takes these holy vessels and he and his guests drink out of them. If that’s not bad enough, he drinks to false gods.
    • At that moment a hand appears and begins writing on the wall a phrase that none of the king’s wisemen can interpret. The Queen remembers that Daniel can interpret things like this. She describes Daniel as having an “excellent spirit.”
    • Sure enough, Daniel comes out and interprets the phrase correctly. He tells the king that because of lack of humility before God, his kingdom will be given to the Persians. Despite the bad news the king honors Daniel and promotes him. He puts him as third in command. That very night the Persians take over the kingdom and kill Belshazzar.
    • The new king, Darius the Mede, keeps Daniel as one of the top three rulers in the entire kingdom. And then looks to promote him even higher because he also notes Daniel’s “spirit of excellence.”
    • Moments before the Babylonian kingdom comes to an end, God arranges it that Daniel is promoted. The new king, keeps Daniel in that role. And then once again sees his excellence.
    • Often we look at Bible characters and historical leaders we respect and see their lives as such adventures. It seems so unlike our experiences. Our lives are so monotonous. But think about Daniel’s life. In the course of a 40 year career with Nebuchadnezzar, we are told about 2 dreams he interpreted. 2 episodes, that’s it. So what did he do for the rest of his career? Committed himself to excellence. The Queen noted that he could explain riddles and solve problems. That he had knowledge and understanding.
    • We may feel like there is little opportunity to make an impact in our environment. There may be long stretches of monotony. We may feel unfulfilled. We may wonder when the adventure is going to start. But in the meantime there is something we can do - be committed to excellence.
    • Excellence leads to influence. Influence leads to a Gospel opportunity.
    • As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:    Daniel 5: 1- 12

    • How does God use Daniel’s excellence?
    • How can any task be turned into a way to worship God?
    • How have you seen someone’s commitment to excellence turn into an opportunity to influence?
    • Of these three which would you say you are facing the most right now: discouragement, boredom, feeling purposeless? Why?
    • Is there any area of your life which you are tempted to give less than your best?
    • What is leading you to feel that way?
    • READ: Colossians 3:23 3:17 and Romans 14:8. How do these verses challenge you?
    • How does it encourage you?
    • What are you going to do differently this week to commit to excellence?

    Theme/Quote:

    • Somewhere deep down, each of us wants to make an impact. God’s wired an impulse into our souls that is driven to have a positive influence. Sometimes when we see an extraordinary character in the Bible like Daniel, it is inspiring but also can be discouraging. We look at these incredible opportunities and adventures and wonder how our lives could compare to them. We see what God did through their incredible lives but feel so ordinary. Where do we even start? Daniel instructs us there too. There is something so simple, but more powerful than we realize. And we put it into operation starting tomorrow. Something we can commit to and then watch God work. God calls us to be committed to EXCELLENCE.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Oct. 9th

    Announcements :  

    • Spanish Translation:  Now available during 10:30 & 12 noon services.  
      • You can now invite friends or family members who speak spanish to join us on Sundays!  
    • Family Dedication:  Parents, save the date! We’re going to be having our Family Dedication on Sunday November 13 during all three services.
    • Baptism Celebration: Coming NEXT week-Sunday Oct. 16th after all services!! For anyone interested please call Pastor Frank with any Baptism questions! 

    ** Very Important : Please click on the link below for the week # 4 Leader video :  

    [vimeo 182770894 width="640" height="360"]

    Main Text:    Daniel 4:1-3, 19-37

    Sermon Title: Messy, Part 4: Love Scandalously 

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

      • King Nebuchadnezzar has another dream. And once again, Daniel is the only one who can interpret it. This time the dream is about the king himself. God is going to humble him. Daniel has to deliver the bad news. But what is so interesting about this passage, is watching Daniel’s demeanor throughout this story.
      • Daniel had every right to have lost all respect for Nebuchadnezzar. You could even imagine the king being the object of hate by many of the Jews. The king had conquered Jerusalem, taken them from their homes, and even destroyed the temple. He went so far as to take the holy vessels and furniture out of God’s house and put them in the temples of his idols! If that wasn’t bad enough Daniel had already almost been torn limb from limb by Nebuchadnezzar’s impulsivity. And in the previous chapter he had thrown Daniel’s three friends into the furnace in an unsuccessful attempt to execute them for not bowing to a statue of himself! Nebuchadnezzar is the enemy. You can imagine, that when God has a message of judgment coming to Nebuchadnezzar, that would be news to their ears.
      • But that is not Daniel’s heart. He shows love. He shows respect. When you read this story, we get the idea that Daniel is actually for Nebuchadnezzar. He delivers the news truthfully, but gently and graciously. Daniel shows love to him.
      • Many of us are in messy situations. As scripture says, we are in exile. We live in a context that is not built with our holiness in mind. But one of the things that we are supposed to do is to handle the lost among us with love.
      • But many times, Christians operate not with grace but with self-righteousness.
        1. This goes against what we believe theologically. God doesn’t require people to clean up their lives and then come to Him. He accepts them how they are first. And then transforms them. Do we expect “sinners” to act like those who are saved?
        2. This also goes against the model of Christ. He constantly showed love to those who were far from God. He ate with tax collectors. He protected the woman caught in adultery. We should demonstrate the same love.
    • We are not called to save people from their sin, but to point to the One who does!

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:    Daniel 4:1-3, 19-37

    • What were some of the ways that Daniel showed respect for the King?
    • From what we have learned about Nebuchadnezzar through this Daniel study, why do you think it may have been difficult for Daniel to show him that love?
    • What are some stories of Jesus showing love to some of the most lost people in their culture?
    • What are some ways that God been patient with you?
    • READ: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
    • Of that list, which do you think Christians tend to struggle with the most, to show toward the lost?
    • Which one do you struggle the most to show?
    • Who is someone in your life right now that is lost but needs your love?
    • What can you do this week to show them God’s love?

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.