13 Nov Discussion Guide: Gratitude Week 2
Take the first 10 minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
This week we begin a short break from our (In) Breaking series to focus on the topic of gratitude. What is gratitude? Is it the same as being grateful? And, how can we, as the people of God, show the world the gratitude we have towards Jesus and his rescuing us from our sin? This, and more, is what we will be discussing this month.
What are some reasons people go to church?
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
What kind of church do you want to be a part of?
What does it take to be that kind of church?
N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
“Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion…The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even—heaven help us—Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way…with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, “if not now, then when?” if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, “if not us, then who?” And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?”
What role(s) can you play in helping Mosaic be the kind of church we want it to be?
What obstacles might threaten your ability to fulfill that role?
Of course there are infinite number of obstacles that could be mentioned here, but let’s not just settle for the easy, obvious ones such as busy schedules and tight wallets, as real as those obstacles can be. In a church like Mosaic we need to have the courage to also confess the potential for us to get offended at someone because of something they said or did, including the pastors. We need to be able to admit that a lot of what the Gospel calls us to, and what the leadership at Mosaic will challenge us to be, is going to cost us our comforts and our familiarities, and one obstacle we will face is the desire to stay comfortable and familiar, to just settle for a safe Christianity that doesn’t expect too much out of us beyond attendance on a Sunday and possibly in a community group. In other words, our own selfishness is a big obstacle we will have to overcome.
How does staying centered on Jesus enable each of us to stick to that vision even when it gets difficult to do so?
When you are focused on all that Jesus, the One through whom all things are made and hold together, was willing to give up and endure on your behalf then there is not legitimate reason or excuse you can give as to why you are not able to give up all that you have and feel for the glory of His name. And, this is not because of some guilt trip Jesus puts on us, as if His whole purpose in living our life and dying our death were to put us into a state of debt by which we can only repay Him through being great church members. It is because of the immeasurable love He has poured out on us that ought to create in us a desire to love Him back by loving all He has created. We love because He first loved us. And, when you stay focused on all that you have in Christ; love, affirmation, worth, security, provision, acceptance, etc. then there is no sacrifice He can ask of you that is too great or too intimidating because there is no person or situation on the planet that can separate you from that love that is yours in Christ Jesus.
How can our community group be a microcosm of the kind of church we want Mosaic to be?