Part 1: The Church - Called Out | 09/20/20
1. Read 1 Peter 2:9. If the word church means 'called out', what are we called to do?
2. Read Matthew 16:16-18. Who calls us out?
a) Who is responsible for the church?
b) Who decides what the church should be doing?
c) What is our only responsibility as part of His church?
3. Reflect on what the priests in the Old Testament were and did. What does it mean to be called to be a priesthood?
4. Read Romans 12:1-2. What does it mean for you to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God? What would that look like in your daily life?
5. Consider the sacrifices we're called to offer in Hebrews 13:15-16. How can you praise God openly, do good, and share your resources with others?
6. How can you be an ambassador for God and share God's call to salvation with others?
a) Who is someone you are - or could be - sharing Jesus with right now. Pray as a group (as a church!) for them.
Part 2: The Church - Called His | 09/27/20
1. “The church doesn’t have a mission, the Mission has a church.” What does this phrase mean? What are the implications for the church and for you personally?
2. How does the way we identify ourself affect what we do in our lives? Give examples.
4. Read Romans 6:22. What does serving God require of you? How does that challenge the way you see your rights to choose what to do with your life?
5. Read Galatians 4:4-7. How would you describe your current intimacy with God? Your sense of security in your relationship and acceptance with God?
6. Philippians 3:20 says we are foreigners in the world. In what ways do you feel like an outsider here? Should we feel comfortable here? Why/why not?
7. Read Ephesians 5:25-27. What does it look like to be preparing now to meet Jesus as your bridegroom one day? What are you doing to make sure you can present yourself to Him as a holy bride?
8. What's the difference between being defined by God rather than by our actions and beliefs? What should you do if you feel passionately about something that you know is not in line with God’s Kingdom values?
Part 3: The Church - Called Apart | 10/04/20
1. Read 1 Corinthians 1:2. Why is being “called apart” about being different in our character, not just an external “Christian lifestyle”?
2. Read 2 Timothy 2:19-20. Why is it important that we make an effort to live by God’s standards?
3. Read Philippians 3:7-8. How have your values changed since you gave your life to Christ? In what ways do you feel the conflict between your values as a Christian and the values of others around you?
4. Why is it hard for people to accept the reality that God’s standards are the ultimate moral standard, versus the truth being subjective?
5. Read 1 Peter 1:16. How does this affect the way you speak/treat people/work/make life goals?
6. Why do church traditions or personal preferences often become mistaken for God’s standards? Why is it a problem?
7. God spoke to East Park this year and gave us this vision: “Move forward firm in your faith, willing to pay the price, for I am your shield and reward.” Think about how this applies to you. Share, then take time to pray for our church together.
Part 4: The Church - Called to Serve | 10/11/20
1. Spiritual Gifts are not ordinary abilities, they allow us to do things that are extraordinary - beyond our normal ability or capacity. Share an experience you’ve had of serving with your spiritual gifts. (Ref: Read Romans 12:6-8, 1 Cor 12 8-10, 24, Eph 4:11-12.)
2. Read Rom 12:1. What difference does it make to the way you serve when you’re motivated by a deep love and gratitude for God? What happens if you’re not serving with this motivation?
4. “Love is the measuring stick, not our giftedness.” Do you agree/disagree? Why?
7. What things do you leave to others (e.g staff/church leadership), that are actually “your job”?
8. “Everyone at East Park relies on me, and East Park can’t do what it’s supposed to do if there’s a problem with me.” Share what the practical implications of this statement are for you personally right now.
Part 5: The Church - Called to Mission | 10/18/20
1. Read John 17:18. How would you describe God’s mission in the world? How does it change your perspective to think of it as “God’s” mission, not ours?
2. Discuss the idea of God not being “manageable” or “predictable”. What are the implications for us in terms of the timing, the way we do the work, and the outcomes we expect from it?
3. Jesus participated in God’s mission by loving God and others. How could you make space for others in your daily/weekly schedule? Is there room in your day for you to respond when you see God working in people’s lives? Explain.
4. Read Luke 23:24. Jesus’ compassion extended to the moment of his death. How do you show God’s compassion to others?
5. What keeps you “stuck” from reaching out to others?
6. Discuss how others have brought the presence of God into YOUR life. Now think about ways your group could reach out in similar ways to others this week. Then pray for those individuals together.
Part 6: The Church - Called to Make Disciples | 10/25/20
1. Read Matthew 28:18-20. "God’s primary expectation of you as a Christ follower is to make disciples." What’s your response to this statement?
2. How can we know we're having a Kingdom impact as a church?
a) What priorities will we have if we are working towards making disciples, not just getting numbers?
b) What might distract a church from having these priorities?
3. Explain what a disciple of Jesus is in your own words. How is it different from a) going to church? b) knowing about God? c) having a faith that you keep 'personal'?
a) Share who helped you become a Christ-follower, and what they did that impacted your faith most.
5. What's the difference between being 'program focused' versus 'relationship focused' when it comes to making disciples?
a) How can you make more space in your life and schedule for relationships with the unchurched?
6. What's the difference between people getting saved and making disciples?
7. True disciples make disciples. How you are trying to do this in your life.
a) Pray for each of the people who are open to Jesus and who you are actively sharing your faith with.