Last Sunday at 8:30 a.m., our worship team was gathered for our regular planning and prayer meeting before the services when I looked at them and said, “I think we need to call an audible.” Several recent tragedies, including the unexpected death of our own Brad Stanley, who was an amazing husband and father to nine children, seemed to be casting a heavy shadow over our congregation. Immediately, the team agreed to postpone what we had planned and focus on making space for lament. God showed up in a powerful way.
This week, we will return to our journey with the Apostle Paul through the last third of the Book of Acts. As we continue to seek confidence and clarity in our calling, we will consider how God’s supernatural gifts worked through Paul to bring life to a world in darkness. We will pray that God would similarly exercise his power through us. And for me, awareness of life’s fragility has only increased my sense of urgency that this week’s gatherings are significant.
I hope you can join us as we remember that God’s gifts are given to make a dent in darkness.
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SEE IT // BE IT
(WEEKLY COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE)
DATE: March 12, 2017 // Title: Gifting //
Scripture: Acts 19:1-20
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
As we make our way toward the end of the book of Acts, we are beginning to shift our eyes from simply reading the incredible stories of the early church to becoming the church that God is calling us to be in our own day and time. So, following the journey of Paul this week and for the next few weeks, we are going to be making our own journey through five places of emphasis: Story, Gifting, Passion, Call, and Goal. This week Jon talked to us about gifting. Through our gifting, God’s extraordinary power is manifested in our ordinary lives. It’s how He uses us to be a grace to the world. And while we often only imagine gifting is for others or only to be used inside the walls of the church, gifting is what helps us become the church that is God’s gift to the world.
THE MAIN THOUGHT Keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion
Use your gift to be a gift to the world.
SEE IT – Questions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?):What are the three ways to think about spiritual gifts that Jon mentioned in his sermon? [An event (v.6), a talent (v.9) and supernatural power (v.12)] How do we see Paul living with supernatural power in this passage? What gifts does Paul mention in Ephesians 4:11-12 that are given to believers? (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) What does each of these gifts look like? How would you describe someone with each of these gifts? [see this week’s handout tool]
Mirror (Where am I in the story?): Have you taken the gifting survey from fivefoldsurvey.com? What were your results? How might looking at your results help you step into God’s gifting in your life? How can your results function as a name and not a label for you? What is the one big insight you gained about your gifting this week?
Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): How can your gifting help you be a gift to the world? What extraordinary things do you want to see God use you to do where you live, work and play? How does God’s gifting you help you make these extraordinary things happen?
BE IT – Practice
Change UP // Spring Forward Exercise
This past week we all participated in Spring Forward. It’s a moment where even though we are still living in winter, we begin to anticipate Spring—so much so that we set our clocks forward to step into it. Take a moment this week to step toward Spring in places that are presently Winter. Have each person write down one thing in their life right now, that feels like it is in winter. Have anyone who wants to, share what they wrote down. Then invite everyone to hold out what they wrote in their open hands as you pray together for Spring to invade Winter in each of these areas.
Change IN // Name Game Group Activity
Have everyone write their results from the fivefoldsurvey.com assessment on a piece of paper, naming their top 3 gifts on a piece of paper that doesn’t have their name on it. Have each person fold the piece of paper and put it in a bowl or hat. Draw out the folded piece of papers one by one and read out the gifting. Then see if the group can guess whose piece of paper has been pulled out. Then give each person an opportunity to talk about how this gifting might name him/her well. As a group, encourage each person with how you have seen these gifts operating in his/her life.
Change OUT //Impact Thinking
Every gift can be used in both healthy and unhealthy ways. On the back of the sheet of paper that you were handed on Sunday, we demonstrated how each of these gifts could be flourishing or frustrated. Think through together how you could flourish in different areas of your current world by using your gifting to make extraordinary impact.
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.