Imagine two scenes:
In the first scene, you arrive at a crowded restaurant with your entire family just after that time when everyone begins to get cranky for lack of food. You approach the hostess and ask if you can get a table. She looks at her clipboard and says, “Yes! It will only be 45 minutes.” But you looked at the filled pages on her clipboard also, and you know 45 minutes is unrealistically optimistic.
In the second scene, everything is the same. The restaurant is busy, your family is “hangry” (hungry+angry), and the list to get a table is long. But this time, when you approach the hostess and ask for a seat, she smiles broadly at you and says, “Ah, yes! We have been waiting for you! Please come and be seated at our best table immediately.”
Which scene would you prefer?
I think the answer is obvious.
But what is the difference?
In the second scene, there is already a place for you. And sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.
For the next few weeks, we will be hearing from a very small section of the book of Ephesians where Paul shares a very big promise–that God has a place in his grace for every one of us. Moreover, we will talk about how we can discover and be welcomed into that unique place “reserved” for each of us amidst all the hustle and bustle of our world.
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SEE IT // BE IT
(Weekly Community Group Discussion Guide)
Date: January 10, 2016 // Title:Place in Grace: Next Generation
Scripture: Ephesians 3:1–13, John 21:15–19
SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
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
In Ephesians 3, Paul reveals the secret to the kingdom—that the life of grace is not reserved for only one group of people but for all. Everyone has access to Jesus, and in fact, that is the goal of God—to bring everything and everyone into unity through Christ. To live in grace and to know one’s place is to ask who we are in Christ and what we’ve been called to. Both Deuteronomy 6 and John 21 tell us that one of the things we’ve all been called to is to pour into the next generation.
THE MAIN THOUGHT Keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion.
Our place in grace involves the next generation.
SEE IT Questions :: 10-15 minutes
Picture: According to Deuteronomy 6:5, what is our number one priority? What are we then commanded to do, according to verse 7? Who is the next generation? What does it look like to feed the lambs?
Mirror: Who is the next generation for you (your kids, those at work, neighborhood kids, kids at church/local school)? What struggles have you experienced in “feeding those lambs?” What celebrations?
Window: Sometimes we view the next generation as annoyances or as only having future potential. How does Jesus view them by calling them “my lambs?” How have you seen the future generation having a spiritual impact now? Jon also talked about how mission (pouring into the next generation) produces formation (our own personal growth) when he explained that Jesus told Peter to feed his lambs BEFORE Peter had matured spiritually. How does this paradigm shift (mission produces formation) change the way you see the world and your part in the kingdom? Are you waiting for formation before participating in the mission, or are you willing to step out in faith?
BE IT – Practice
Change UP // Worship 15 minutes
Read Psalm 78: 1–7 and call out the phrases that speak of what we are to teach the next generation.
Change IN // Living It Out 10 minutes
Drawing on Deuteronomy 6:7, talk about ways you can teach those things to your own children/your next generation this week as you “sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Change OUT // Praying It Forward 5 minutes
Pray for those in your group who are involved in KidzLife, LUG, True North, the nursery, Good News Clubs and fostering.
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.