Community Group Questions 11/17/13

AKA

Weekly Training Tip

This week we're talking about the Winter dates for the Community Group Leader Training Event. Make sure you watch the video and mark your calendars.

Here's the video:

[vimeo 79599297 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

*Please let your Community Group know about the announcements that matter to them.

Kids Ministry Service Project: X Marks The Spot

  • Through the month of November, West Pines Kids Ministry is partnering with Sheridan House Family Ministries as we collect new, unwrapped toys for their Christmas Toy Drive.

  • We’re calling it "X Marks The Spot," which ties in perfectly within our Kids Ministry focus for the month: "Wisdom - Finding out what you should do and doing it!"

  • We can't wait to watch our kids in action this November.

  • For more information about the mission project, you can email Melissa Mashburn at melissamashburn@westpines.org

Razzle Dazzle - Thursday, December 12th

  • Ladies - this is what you’ve been waiting all year for: Razzle Dazzle!

  • Razzle Dazzle is our Women’s Ministry Ornament Exchange. It’s taking place on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00PM. You can buy tickets TODAY - in the back. Registration is just $10 per person and you will want to bring a $10 wrapped ornament with you (to exchange as well).

  • This is one night you won’t want to miss!

Sermon Title: A.K.A. Part 2: I Am Light

Main Texts: Matthew 5:13-16

REMINDER: The following Topics are for your preparation purposes only and should not be shared with the group as a refresher.

Topics:

  • Jesus tells His followers that they ARE the Light of the World. He doesn’t say that they should act like lights of the world. He says this is their identity.  Our identity is deeper than something we do. It is something we are. If something is part of our identity, it is not something we turn off and on. It is who we are always.

  • Jesus explains why He uses the illustration of light. He says a city on a hill can’t be hidden. And a lamp lights up a house, and no one puts a basket over it. This points to several principles of light:

    1. Light is totally distinct from darkness. It pierces through darkness.

    2. Like a city up on a hill or a lamp on a platform, when light is put in a strategic place it can be even more effective.

    3. Light reveals. It displays reality. It shows the truth.

    4. Like a city could light up a region, when multiple lights shine collectively it can light up a large area.

  • Jesus says we should let our light shine before men, so that they give glory to God. What is our light? It is our good works.

  • There are striking implications to this. The implication is that the world is in darkness. People are wandering around not knowing where to go. They have no direction. We understand this because we were once in the darkness.

  • This brings us to three important questions:

    1. Is my light shining?

    2. Is my light shining before others?

    3. Is it shining so that the world brings glory to God?

  • Is my light shining? If I am the light then my life will be distinct from the darkness. A penetrating question for us to ask is: does my life look exactly the same as the world? If it does then I am probably missing something because the world is darkness and I am light. This is not to say that we are different for the sake of being different. But as we are following Christ, we will unavoidably find that we will think, talk and act differently.

  • Is my light shining before others? Both of the illustrations that Jesus used to describe light were sources of lights that were strategically placed: a city on a hill and a lamp on a platform. Do you realize that you have been strategically placed by God? He has put you exactly where he wants you to make an impact. But we can do a couple things to hide under a basket:

    1. we can avoid all opportunities to be in the dark

    2. we can be in the dark but not speak up

  • Is my light shining in such a way that THEY glorify God. That is a strategic statement. Who is they? THEY are those who are in the dark. One thing that light does is reveal. It displays reality. In a sense it shows the truth. We are to display the reality of how glorious God is. How do we do that? By demonstrating the love of God. But sometimes we don’t display that love. Sometimes we don’t demonstrate the message of the Gospel:

    1. We expect people who are in the dark to know the way. We are suprised or even offended, that those who are lost act like it. We forget we were just like them.

  • How can we reflect God’s glory?  We must:

    1. Replace our Surprise with Sympathy - we were once in the dark too!

    2. Replace our Condemnation with Commiseration - we have no room to judge, we still struggle too!

    3. Replace our Self-righteousness with our Story of Grace - instead of judging their sin, share your story of how God saved you!

  • One other feature of light: light is also stronger when it is joined by other lights. When we as a church are lights throughout the city, we can impact the entire region!

Key Questions:

  1. What was the high point of your week and your low point?

  2. ICEBREAKER: Have you ever been in a dark place at night where you could see tons of stars? What was that like?

  3. Where have been some interesting places you taken your matchstick so far?

  4. Has carrying that matchstick brought any interesting insights to you?

  5. Read Matthew 5:14-16

  6. Why do you think Jesus chose the illustration of light to describe his followers?

  7. What does Jesus’ illustration imply about the world?

  8. Where are the places it is the hardest for you to shine your light before others?

  9. What are ways we could shine our light that would NOT lead others to give glory to God?

  10. What are some of the places that he has called you to shine in?

  11. How do you feel called to shine even brighter in that context?

  12. CONSIDER BREAKING UP SEPARATELY AS WOMEN AND MEN, and asking this question:

    1. Are there areas in your life that are more like the darkness and less like the light? In other words, are there areas in your life that you are realizing look more like the world and less like Christ?

 

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.