Community Group Questions 11/4/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181407]
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
  • The Fuge Grand Opening - Make it your own
    • We have been talking a lot over the last few months about The Expansion.
    • We got moved into the new offices pretty quick
    • We have spent the last 2 months getting the student space ready
    • It will be called The Fuge
    • You get to see it today right after the service
  • Razzle Dazzle
    • Mark your calendar for 12/12/12 as our Women's Ministry will be hosting an ornament exchange called Razzle Dazzle. More info is in your bulletin.

Sermon Title: Finding Your Sea Legs, Part 6: How to Survive a Mutiny

Main Text:  Titus 3:9-15

Topics:

  • The book of Titus ends with a several principles on relationships.
  • In verse 10 and 11 we are warned about those who stir up division. This is really helpful, because this happens more often than we think.
  • What is division? Divisive behavior is any time a person hurts the friendship between two other people. This can happen through gossip, slander, complaining, or venting. Things like bitterness, paranoia, questions about character can wedge their way in and divide a relationship.
  • We are told that divisive behavior is warped and sinful. When we read warped we think like unusually sinful. Like someone is so debauched and twisted they are sick. But that is not what is meant here. Warped is trying to communicate that they are distorted and mixed up. But this is a very distorted in a very relatable way. In fact it is a warped in a way that is common to all of us.
  • The person that is being divisive is rarely actually thinking to themselves, “I will go out and destroy their relationship.” The person sometimes is thinking they are helping. Often the person is saying to themselves:
    • “I need to get this off my chest and vent”
    • “I need to get wisdom from someone about this conflict I’m having”
    • “let me share what this person is struggling with as a prayer request”
    • “let me see if they have noticed the same thing about that person as I have”
    • “maybe they can help me talk to this person”
  • Divisive behavior is warped because the person rarely actually knows their own motivations. They actually truly believe they are doing nothing wrong. But they are driving a wedge between the person they are sharing with and the person they are sharing about. That is why divisive behavior is so sneaky.
  • This is what is often the deep motivation:
    • “I need someone on my side”
    • “I want to share this information, because it is juicy”
    • “how else am I going to release this frustration?”
  • Divisive behavior is born out of an inability to know how to deal with conflict and hurt feelings. We don’t know how to address conflict with someone, or are too afraid to. It is so much easier to tell someone else.
  • We are told what to do with people that have this kind of behavior. Warn them that it is not appropriate, and after warning them many times, break relationship with them.
  • This is such clear direction in the scripture, yet we so rarely are willing to follow this instruction in scripture, because the person that is going to be divisive to you is probably your friend.  It is probably your friend that is confiding in you and hurting your other relationships. And we are too afraid of hurting the relationship to call them out on it. And we want them to be there in the same capacity with us.
  • We end up creating alliances within our friend groups.
  • Here are the consequences of not doing that. Those friends that are divisive will keep us from having healthy relationships with other people. They will draw us into their conflicts. And ultimately, if that is their character, they will probably do the same thing to us.
  • The Bottom Line: We can’t put relationships over unity.
  • In the remaining parts of the passage, we see people being moved from city to city to further the gospel. While this may seem like this information has little value to us, it actually is profound for our lives. Imagine how hard that would be as churches for those individuals to constantly be in and out of their lives. We face similar things in the church.
  • When God is at work in a church and it is healthy and growing, it will cause us to have to choose which is a higher priority, growth or relationships. As a church reaches more people, it will grow. As it grows that mean things like:
    • The church is bigger and I don’t know everybody anymore.
    • More services so I don’t see the people I usually see.
    • I don’t have the same access I did to the leadership.
    • Our community group is big and needs to multiply to make room for others.
    • Things used to be more organic like a family, now there are systems and processes in place.
  • Without realizing it often we pick relationships over growth. But really that is self centered.
  • The Bottom Line: We cannot put relationships over growth.
  • This is a challenge every single Christian absolutely WILL face. And many never survive from it.

Key Questions:

  1. Read Titus 3:9-11.
  2. What is damaging about divisive behavior to relationships? To the church?
  3. Why is divisive behavior ultimately selfishly motivated?
  4. When does divisive behavior seem normal?
  5. Why is it so easy to do?
  6. What does this passage say we should do when a close friend is falling into divisive behavior?
  7. Why is it so hard to confront a friend like that?
  8. Read Titus 3:12-15.
  9. How might these instructions be relationally tough on the original recipients?
  10. In what ways might we have to sacrifice relationally for the church to grow?
  11. Why is it crucial for us as a Community Group to be ready to multiply when it’s the right time?
  12. Why is it selfish not to multiply?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.