Community Group Questions 2/10/13

Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • WPMM Guys Night Out
    • Monday 2/25 at 7pm in The Fuge
    • Pool, Ping Pong, Foosball, Dominos
    • Pizza, Flanigan’s WIngs
    • No SIgnup Required - just show up
  • WPSM Valentines Day Event
    • Student Ministry will be providing (possibly for the first time EVER in the history of mankind!!) a Valentine's Day celebration for both the jubilant & the melancholy!
    • Valentine’s Day @ le Fuge!
    • For High School Students/Elevate this Thursday Feb 14th @ 7pm
    • For Middle School Student/Ignite this Sunday Feb 17th @ 6pm.
    • Bring your Valentine...or a friend...or a Valen-friend (lame I know)

Sermon Title: Basic Elements, Part 1: Gather

Main Text:  Acts 2:42-47, 2:37-41, Hebrews 10:24-25

Topics:

  • Why does the church do the things it does? What is the big deal about meeting together every week? Why do we do it?
  • There is an interesting part of scripture that shows what the church looks like when it is stripped down to the very basic elements.
  • After Jesus died and resurrected from the dead, He met them on top of a mountain.  There, He gave them some instructions about reaching the ends of the ends of the Earth with His message of salvation. And then He ascended up into the clouds. Then what happened...
  • They were together in a room, and something unique happened. God moved powerfully in them and they started preaching right there in the city. People from all over came to hear what they were saying. They shared the message of the Gospel to the crowd. And 3000 people put their faith in Jesus.
  • What did they do with all of these Christians? Did God have a book appear with instructions about how to set up a church?  Did he direct them to some hermit out in the wilderness that would teach them about how to become a church? Nope. There were some things that just seemed natural to do because they had been so transformed by this message.  These are the things that are the foundational, basic elements of the church.
  • Here’s what they did:
    • They met all the time, to learn from the Apostles
    • Spent time together in each other’s homes, eating together and growing in fellowship
    • They continually saw God move powerfully in and through them and saw God bring more and more people to salvation
    • They shared all they had with each other, serving each other and meeting each other’s needs
  • The fact that they faithfully met together regularly was instinctual for them.  Because the more we understand the Gospel the more we realize it changes everything. It is a total paradigm shift.  It is not simply a decision we make and are done with. It is not something we add to our lives. It is something that changes my entire perspective of life. It intersects every sector of our beings.
  • One Pastor said, “it is not the ABCs of the Christian life, it is the A to Z of the Christian life.”
  • Because of that we are driven to want to continue to learn how to get more of the Gospel spreading through our lives. We want to continue to celebrate and remember and stand on this foundational truth the Gospel. That’s why it says they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching.
  • Why does it mean that they learned from the apostles? God specifically empowered his disciples to teach, preach and write truths from God. These were the men that Jesus had chosen to walk with Him and learn from Him while He was on the earth.
  • Clearly there are no other apostles around so what is the equivalent for us?  For us that is why we study the Bible. That is what the books of the Bible are. The New Testament is truths from God written through the apostles for us.  That is why we put so much emphasis on studying the Bible.
  • One of the Basic Elements for Christians is to GATHER together and study the Bible to learn how the Gospel continues to impact our lives.
  • Today this basic element is something we do today. We gather together each Sunday to learn from the Bible.
  • This is not exclusively through the sermon. Each song we pick is one that proclaims a biblical truth. We sing to remind ourselves of these incredible truths. In each Kids Classroom, we teach the scripture. In the announcements, we are providing opportunities to respond to the scripture.
  • This is why Gathering together regularly is instinctual for Christians.
  • So here are some basics.  Here’s “Going to Church for Dummies.” Or “How to Go to Church, 101”
    • Make it a Priority. Put it in your schedule first and arrange life around it. Arrange family activities, extracurriculars, and hobbies in such a way that you don’t miss that time.
    • Prepare Beforehand. Set the clothes out the night before. Set out the clothes. Get a good night sleep. Get to church early so everyone is not stressed out of their minds. It’s only an hour, don’t miss it. Prayerfully ask God to impact you.
    • Take Notes. During the message, jot down things you want to remember. The moment you leave you will start losing what you learned.
    • Talk About It. If you are with friends or family. Talk about it on the way home. That is why we include application questions in your listening guide.
    • Respond. Be intentional with how God is challenging you. Follow through with what you are learning. Don’t be just a hearer of God’s truth. Act on it.

Key Questions:

  1. What was your experience going to church growing up?
  2. What are bad motivations for going to church?
  3. Read Acts 2:42-47
  4. As you hear that description, what do you imagine it would have been like to be in that early group of believers?
  5. What do you think motivated them to gather together “day by day”?
  6. Read Hebrews 10:24-25
  7. Have you ever had a season when you weren’t in church, what was that like?
  8. What do we miss out on when don’t gather together?
  9. What makes getting to church on Sunday morning a challenge?
  10. What are helpful ways to prepare beforehand for the gathering?
  11. What is one thing you want to do differently to prepare for the gathering?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.