Sunday, June 6th – June 13th
Many of us want to grow spiritually, but haven’t necessarily found our current understanding of church to be a major contributor to our growth: worship is seen as entertainment, we go “church shopping” for just the right custom-tailored religious experience, and God has become a consumable product. What if there was an alternative vision for those seeking a more meaningful faith? What if the decision to prioritize contributing rather than consuming was the key to unlocking a vibrant spiritual life?
Study Guide for Week One
Spend some time describing the ideal follower of Jesus—their reactions toward hostility, their thoughts when challenged, their actions when they observe a need, etc.
Open your group discussion in prayer. Thank God for His mercy to forgive our sin and His grace in our shortcomings. Ask specifically for God to give each of you a heart that seeks to learn more about Him and have a desire to follow in obedience to His direction.
Have someone read Luke 9:23-26.
God has a history of calling individuals into situations that are painful, challenging, and self-sacrificing. Is there an avenue of life that you have been hoping God doesn’t call you into? What would it take for you to be willing and obedient to such a call?
While actions matter—God wants your heart. He wants you to be “all in” with Him. He wants your obedience to His will and purpose for your life. Identify some areas of your life that you want Jesus to follow you more than you want to follow Jesus?
“Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.” – Hudson Taylor.
As a group, spend some time in prayer asking God to give you the desire to be all in with Him. Ask Him to reveal blind spots in your life where you tend to keep God out. Ask God to show you areas where you have been unwilling to fully devote to Him and pray for the courage to allow God full authority in your life.
Have someone read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
True followers of Jesus—who have experienced the hope, peace, joy, and love of God—desire the same for others. They desperately want others to know Jesus as they do. How does one’s commitment to follow Christ reflect their commitment to share with others?
What culturally appropriate aspects should we consider when sharing Jesus with others?
Who in your life needs to know Jesus? As a group, spend some time in prayer. Ask God to show you how they best need to hear about the love of Jesus. Ask Him to give you the courage and wisdom to share the truth of Jesus through a presentation that is appealing and effective to where they are. Ask God to give you the ability to modify your approach in a way that they can best hear and respond.
Study Guide for Week Two
In your opinion, what is the most attractional part of the local church in the eyes of the unchurched?
Social norms promote consumerism on every front. We are bombarded by advertisements that promise to offer a better life. But true life comes from a relationship with Christ. How can a believer fully experience the life promised by Jesus in John 10:7-11?
What is the most impactful thing that you have learned as being a follower of Christ? With 2 Corinthians 4:13-17 in mind, discuss some ways that people often lose heart when seeking to share their faith?
The church is not immune from the consumer mentality of our culture. People often come with the mindset of “What’s in it for me?” However, the church seeks to drive Christ followers toward becoming contributors over consumers. How have you been able to shift your mindset from “I want more of Church” and into “I want more of Jesus?”
What challenges do you face? How can they be overcome?
According to 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4, a true Christian experience is one marked by life change and growth. What are some qualities and actions that you would expect to see in a mature follower of Christ?
Which of the qualities and actions do you want to have a greater representation in your life? What do you need to do to make those a reality in your life?
“What’s in it for me?” How have you succumbed to the consumer mindset regarding your interaction with the local church?
What does commitment toward being collectively on a mission as the body of Christ look like for you? What is your next step in helping IHC accomplish the mission of Christ together? Do you need to attend group more regularly? Show up on campus? Start giving? Volunteer to serve? Invite someone to join? etc. Share your commitment with the group and ask them to help you be accountable.
Take time to pray for the collective body to join together in the mission of the church to share the message of Jesus. Pray specifically for your role and commitment to contribute toward helping others find life by following Jesus.