Welcome to the Row the Boat series. I am so glad you're partnering with us as we dive into what God's purpose is, how the church functions in that purpose, and how we, in all our diversity, make up the church!
Below are Scriptures, thoughts, questions and videos all incorporated to help you facilitate a discussion with your group about how we find our place in God's purpose. Everything on here is a tool for your use; but don't feel like you have to stick to the script! The goal is for meaningful conversation and growth to happen organically as you and your group fellowship.
Also, don't sacrifice relationship building for the sake of "diving deep" into your faith - true relationship building will greatly increase the quality of your gatherings and your group's ability to grow in their faith!
Send me your feedback as the series develops; it's my goal to help us all find and follow Christ through all that we do.
- Tim Beehler
Q: Name a place that you love to go to, or a group you love to be with, or person who energizes you when they're around.
God raised [Christ] from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
Commit as a group to being part of the action! Here are 2 great ways you and your group can get involved!
Q: Relate a time when you "saved the day" for someone with even the smallest of acts (helped them move, picked their kids up from school, loaned some money, etc)
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.
(there are some serving ideas below)
Commit as a group to being part of the action! Here are some more opportuntities
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
This week we're looking at how each individual makes up the body of Christ. To help do this better, we've provide some "homework" for your group to do between today and the next time you meet. At the bottom of this session you'll find a link to a personality assessment. Encourage your group to go through it (takes about 15 minutes) and then bring the results for your next session.
***The website will ask each person for their email address in order to reveal their assessment. I have done this and have not received any weird spam or anything!
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Each one of us has gifts, talents, passions, and strengths. And each one of us has something to offer the body of Christ - the church. It might not always be what you thought it was, or what you think it should be. We, as the church, need to begin to expand out understanding of what ministry means and is. Let's begin that process this week. Please set-aside a few minutes and take this personality assessment; it just might help open your eyes to how much you are gifted and how much you have to offer the kingdom of God.
And Christ gave gifts to people—he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection.
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’"
As our Row the Boat series comes to a close, take some time as a group to reflect on your understanding of what the church is, how it should/could operate, and how you can play a role in that.
Then these righteous ones will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?" And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"
If there is one emphasis to take away from this series it's that there are an infinite number of ways to row - and everyone has the ability!
To celebrate the series, take time to row as a group and serve together. Whether you serve one of our great communities partners (HERE), serve together at the church (HERE), or come up with your own way to serve, rowing the boat means we all do a little and a lot gets done.