Community Group Questions 1/18/15

Weekly Tip:

This week’s video tip is about preparing your group to share their rescue story and the value that adds to your group’s meeting. Here’s a quick rundown:

[vimeo 117090897 w=500 h=281]

To recap, one great way to get to know each other and appreciate what God has done in your group is by having people share their rescue story. It could be very powerful this week for a few people to share their story of how they came to know Jesus as their savior, i.e. their Rescue Story. To do that in a helpful way, here is what I would recommend:

  • Don’t require everyone to share, or go around the circle to share. This can be intimidating for people to do on the spot and there might be a few people in your group who don’t have a Rescue Story becasue they haven’t come to know Jesus as their savior yet.
  • Call a few people in particular a few days in advance and ask them if they’d be willing to share their story.
  • If someone shares a story that makes you have some questions, handle it gracefully. Often the problem is the person doesn’t have the words to express their faith. If they say something concerning, thank them for sharing and make a note of it so we can talk.

Announcements:

  • Baptism Celebration - February 22nd. If anyone in your group is interested in being baptized, our next baptism celebration will be on Sunday, February 22nd. Please ask them if you can pass along their interest and let me know.
  • Vision Booklet Devotionals - encourage everyone to take the time to read through the devotionals in the Rescue 119 booklets.

Sermon Title: Rescue 119, Part 2: Rescued

Main Text:  Mark 10:46-52

Topics:

  • Jesus and his mathetes are leaving a city and pass by a beggar who is blind. His name is Bartimaeus. In those days there were not programs for those who had a disability. So many could only beg.

  • As Jesus passes by, he is calling out to Jesus to have mercy on him. People try to quiet him, but Jesus tell them to call him to himself. That’s when we see something amazing.

  • Bartimaeus throws off his coat and runs to Jesus. At that time for someone in Bartimaeus’ situation a coat was an absolute necessity. It was used for warmth and probably also for shelter. He very well may have used it to collect the alms as well. But notice what he does. He throws it down. That’s pretty radical for a blind person. How will he ever find it again?

  • Jesus asks him what is it that he can do for him. It would seem obvious. Surely, Jesus knows he wants to be healed. But Jesus wants the man to declare his faith in front of everyone.

  • The man wants to recover his sight. Jesus says “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” And the man’s sight is restored.

  • Here’s the interesting thing. The man can now go his way. What are the many things that are probably now on this man’s agenda: seeing his family for the first time in years, getting a job, having a party with friends. But what does the man do? What does it now look like for him to “go his way”?

  • He “followed him on the way.” His way was now to follow Jesus.

  • This is all of our stories!

    1. We are blind. We are lost.

    2. But we can call out to Jesus for mercy.

    3. Jesus always lets us come to him.

    4. But we have to be ready to throw off the most precious commodities. Coming to Jesus is all or nothing.

    5. Jesus wants us to declare our faith publicly.

    6. He heals us and sends us on our way.

    7. But of course if we’ve been rescued by Jesus, “our way” is to follow Him wherever he goes!

  • One attribute of every mathetes is that they’ve been rescued and never recovered. We should never never forget that we’ve been rescued. We should celebrate every day that we’ve been rescued by Jesus. It should define our life. We desire to live Gospel-centered lives.

Key Questions:

*Group Leaders:

  1. It could be very powerful this week for a few people to share their story of how they came to know Jesus as their savior, i.e. their Rescue Story.
  2. But that can be intimidating for people to do on the spot.
  3. Maybe call a few people in particular a few days in advance and ask them if they’d be willing to share their story.  
  • HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
  • ICEBREAKER: If you were blind for 10 years and recovered your sight, what would be the first thing on your agenda?

  • DEVO DISCUSSION: What has jumped out at you so far in the Rescue 119 devotions this week?

  • READ: Mark 10:46-52

  • Put yourself in Bartimaeus’ situation. What do you think it would have been like to live the life of a blind beggar?

  • Does anyone remember why a cloak would have been so valuable for someone in Bartimaeus’ situation?

    • [the cloaks of the poor were protected by law because they were so essential to their livelihood]

    • [cloaks were a primary part of their shelter]

  • What is Bartimaeus demonstrating by throwing off his cloak?

  • What is significant about the fact that Bartimaeus is told to “go his way,” and he then follows Jesus?

  • What are some of the many ways, Bartimaeus’ story is like all of our Rescue Stories?

  • *Is someone willing to share their personal Rescue Story?

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