Community Group Questions 10/21/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181400]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • Community Groups
    • As you look around you on Sunday mornings I am sure you are wondering what all of these cool people do during the week
    • This morning, I am going to tell you
    • All the cool people here at West Pines are in a Community Group
    • If you are not in a group and you think you are cool, sorry, you are wrong
    • Pull out that insert and pick a group so you can be part of the cool crowd
  • Student Happenings
    • In your bulletin there are a couple of things that the students have coming up
    • One is call Phrightening Photos which is frightening to me so I am going to just let you read about it
    • The other is our first step to maximizing the new student space we have been talking about. This Friday our students will be spending their off day washing all of the teacher’s cars at Somerset Academy right down the street as a way to serve them and build a relationship that will hopefully help us reach the kids that go there. Pretty cool huh?

Sermon Title: Finding Your Sea Legs, Part 4: Aye Aye or I I

Main Text:  Titus 2:15-3:8

Topics:

  • In verse 15, Paul tells Titus to be a leader. He tells him to boldly declare truth, to encourage and exhort, and to be willing to correct. All these things he is supposed to do authoritatively.  He is also told to not let anyone disregard him. He is supposed to establish his leadership and not allow it to be dismissed.  This is what the call of leadership is. This is his commands to Timothy as a leader.
  • Then Paul sets expectation for those who have leadership over them. Which is every single person. He says we are to be submissive to all authorities. No matter who the authority is, Christians are suppose to be obedient. Christians are supposed to be courteous and respectful. We are not to speak evil about anyone. We are to be gentle.
  • This is for ALL leadership: government, bosses, academic leadership, parents, law-enforcement, coaches, etc.
  • Then Paul gives us the motivation. Why would we follow leaders like this?
    • Because we were once, each of us a disaster.
    • We are all foolish and selfish and led astray by our sinful desires.
    • We all were consumed with envy and malice and hate.
  • In other words, we obey leadership because it is a form of self-righteousness to avoid submitting. It is self-righteous because it expects them to be perfect. And we define perfection as fitting our opinions. So that essentially is me saying I think I am perfect. I think that if I was in their position, I would make better decisions. It is me saying, I am better than them.
  • Paul next tells us how we overcome this.  We remember the gospel. We were saved not because of anything impressive that we did. We are saved purely by grace.
  • Just like everything else in this book: what we think affects what we do.  The gospel drives all of our actions. Remembering the gospel, brings our own opinion of ourselves down and enables us to submit to leadership.
  • Paul ends this section, in verse 8 by saying that this is a trustworthy saying that will be profitable to you. He basically says that we should look and see that this will work for you. It is pragmatically advantageous for you!
  • Think about it, if you are a leader who are you going to promote? The person that is respectful, submissive and supportive to leadership; or the person who is always complaining, divisive, and always thinking they know better? There is no question, the person who follows leadership is better suited to be IN leadership.
  • This brings us to another challenge that EVERY Christian will face. Remember how this section started, Paul was encouraging Titus to lead in the church well.  Every Christian, will have to decide if they are going to submit themselves to leadership at church.
  • Every Christian will face this challenge: what happens when a decision is made that they disagree with?
    • Will they talk to the leader, or about the leader?
    • Will they be gentle or attacking and accusative?
    • Will they be courteous or disrespectful?
    • Will they be quarrelsome and willing to let it go?
    • Will the be ready to be obedient or ready to leave to go to another church?
  • Paul tells Titus to not let anyone disregard him. He is to establish his leadership in the church. In other words, he can’t let those people NOT have a pastor. So this passage is saying Christians: you can’t be your own pastor. Christians have to be invested enough in a church, that they have leadership that they follow.
  • Often Christians will go to a church until they disagree with something, then they will leave. Christians have to survive that. Otherwise, they will essentially bounce from church to church and slowly they will stop following the leadership.
  • Some Christians don’t ever get involved in a church enough where they have leadership in their lives.
  • Leadership is not perfect. None are. Church leaders will hurt our feelings, be bad examples sometimes, make the wrong decisions, or communicate wrong.
  • The only way we survive that is the Gospel.  We remember that we are not perfect too.  We remember what God has done in our lives because of grace. That helps us:
    • we are no longer overconfident in our opinions
    • we are no longer judgmental of leaders
    • we are no longer expecting them to be perfect
  • So what do I do when I don’t agree.
    • FIRST: we are not perfect
      • we need your feed back
      • so please come talk to us
      • but please come talk to us, and not other people first
    • SECOND: you are not perfect
      • so maybe don’t “disagree” yet
      • be open minded
      • feel free to ask questions, but seek to understand first
    • THIRD: God’s system is perfect (even though we are imperfect)
      • God has set up a perfect system of leadership that involves imperfect people
      • So be willing to fit in that system: be ready to follow, be ready to move on, be respectful
      • God will use the imperfect leaders and followers in our lives to shape us. That’s part of His imperfect system.
      • Just because someone is imperfect, doesn’t give us license to ignore the leadership they have in our lives

Key Questions:

  1. Who was a great leader you have had in your life? What made them great?
  2. Read Titus 2:15-3:8.
  3. Of the specific commands to Titus on how to lead (2:15), which do you think are the most difficult? Why?
  4. Reread verses 3:1-2. What particular leadership body tempts you to violate these principles the most?
  5. In verses 3:3-7, Paul gives us the motivation to follow leadership. What is it?
  6. Why does the Gospel rid us of self-righteousness?
  7. How does self-righteousness affect how we follow and view leaders?
  8. Reread Titus 3:1-2. How are those things practically profitable for your success, as it says in verse 8?
  9. What are ways Christians avoid placing themselves under leadership in a church setting?
  10. What is the right way to handle something we disagree with at church?
    1. Go straight to the leadership, and talk to them first.
    2. Seek to understand first.
    3. Be gracious and gentle.
    4. Be willing to let it go, and follow.
  11. What is the right way to handle a situation where someone else approaches us with something they disagree with at church?
    1. Cut the conversation short and send them to talk to the leadership.
    2. The more they talk, the more you will get dragged into it.
    3. The more they talk, the less motivated they will be to talk to the leadership.
  12. How are you convicted that you can better place yourself under leadership at church?

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