At the same time, “calling” is what your phone says while it’s dialing another person, waiting to connect.
And therein lies the challenge. Sometimes (and for some of us), calling seems clear and noble and fulfilling. But at other times, our calling feels like we are still waiting to connect as the tone rings.
In Acts 26, the Apostle Paul stands trial before King Agrippa to defend the calling for which he lived and for which he had been arrested. As we listen to Paul’s words, I believe God’s Spirit will move us all toward a clearer and more confident sense God’s calling in our lives.
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SEE IT // BE IT
(WEEKLY COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE)
DATE: March 26, 2017 // Title: Calling
Scripture: Acts 26
ARRIVAL / SOCIAL TIME 15-20 minutes
Spend the first 15 minutes or so of your time together catching up and socializing with one another. Also find time to catch up together on how the assignments from last week turned out.
SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
Recent polls show that the world, as a whole, is seeking meaningful work, reflecting a yearning for sustained and clear purpose. Most people live their lives with their story, gifting and passion aligned but without direction from God or a true understanding of why Jesus came—ending in misguided passion and catastrophe. In Acts 26, the Apostle Paul stands trial before King Agrippa to defend the calling for which he lived and for which he had been arrested. As we listen to Paul’s words, we can sense God’s Spirit moving us all toward a clearer and more confident sense of God’s calling in our lives.
Our story is what we have done. Our gifting is what God has equipped us to do. Our passion is what motivates us to do what we do. The question that remains is: what is the “one thing” that we have been called to and must do? True calling dignifies the daily even as it enhances the eternal. It restores fullness to every aspect of life. As you journey in community and follow Jesus into your true calling, you will discover that He is leading you from feeling distracted and frustrated to being set free to stepping into fulfillment in your true calling.
THE MAIN THOUGHT Keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion
Confidence and clarity in our calling shapes how we live and speak as followers of Jesus in the world around us.
SEE IT – Questions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?):What was the problem with Paul’s initial understanding of his story, gifting and passion? What happened to Paul that gave him clarity in his calling? How did a clear understanding of his primary and secondary calling give Paul the confidence to testify before kings and people? What does the calling of God consist of? Who are we called by?
Mirror (Where am I in the story?): How have you been striving to find your calling and purpose by losing yourself or making yourself into something? What can you see in your story, gifting and passion that can help prepare you to receive God’s calling? What are the words that God is using as He is calling you? What is the “one thing” God is calling you to be and do?
Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): How are you living out your calling in your everyday life? What are some specific steps you can take in your family and in your vocation to follow Jesus in your calling? Are there people around you who don’t understand their primary calling to follow Jesus? How is God inviting you to walk with them into a true understanding of Jesus
BE IT – Practice
Change UP // Exercise 5 minutes
Have each person briefly share the story of how they settled the question of their primary calling. What brought you to saving faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior? Take time to thank God for restoring you to fullness in him!
Change IN // Group Activity 5 minutes
Commit to work out your call together in community. If you haven’t already, take this time to complete the “One Thing” worksheet. Share your two words together and give each other an opportunity to speak into your calling.
Change OUT // Life Application Assignment 5 minutes
Is Jesus calling you to follow him as a pastor, partner or a pioneer? Sign up for a three-week “pop-up” group with like-hearted people to continue your journey in community toward greater confidence and clarity in your calling.
CLOSING PRAYER 5 minutes
Take a few minutes to gather any prayer requests and pray for each other to SEE IT and BE IT this week.