Small Group Study Material


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Small Group Study Material


A SMALL GROUP SERIES!

This series looks at what it means to be part of the church and how we can use the gifts, talents, and passions god has given us to help row the boat of the kingdom.

 

Week 1: Where the Action Is

Week 2: Step One: Rescue & Rest

Week 3: It's Bigger than You or Me

Week 4: Your Life Matters

Week 5: Gather to Grow

Week 6: Scatter to Serve

Where the Action Is


Week 1

Where the Action Is


Week 1

LEADERS NOTES

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


Getting Started:

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.

  • What is it about this place/group/person that draws you in?

watch a clip from sunday's service

See the full message HERE


RE-READ: Ephesians 1:20-23 (MSG)

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.

  • What are your thoughts about the italicized part: 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?

 

  • What implications does the statement have for our lives as Christ-followers?

READ: Ephesians 2:18-19 (MSG)

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!

  • What could/would happen if we fully comprehend the mission of the church?

THE CHURCH IS WHERE THE ACTION IS


BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Commit as a group to being part of the action! Here are 2 great ways you and your group can get involved!

 

Step One: Rescue & Rest


Week 2

Step One: Rescue & Rest


Week 2

Getting Started:

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)

  • Was there ever a time when someone elses simplest act "saved the day for you"?

we are all saved and rescued by grace and it is our job to do the same for others


watch a clip from sunday's service

See the full message HERE


READ: James 4:1-2 (MSG)

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.

  • PC said that sin can be defined as selfishness: the desire to please our own selves above others.
    • Has selfishness ever gotten you in to trouble?
    • Has someone elses selfishness ever harmed you?
  • What is something you are selfish about?

READ: James 5:16 (MSG)

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.

  • How could confessing our sins/selfishness to each other help us to heal - both as individuals and communities?

 

  • PC said that "saving people is messy:" How can we work together to save each other and our communities? 

(there are some serving ideas below)


This ship (the church) is a rescue boat


BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Commit as a group to being part of the action! Here are some more opportuntities

It's Bigger Than You


Week 3

It's Bigger Than You


Week 3

Getting Started:

  • What is your favorite thing to do with a group of other people?

life is a team sport


READ: Acts 2:42-47

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

  • When reading the above Scripture, what differences do you see between the culture of the first church and our current church culture?
    • Why do you think these differences exist?
  • Pastor Chris said, "No matter what, we have to be connected - we are connected."
    • How does our recognition of connectedness change how we interact?
    • How does it change view giving/serving/helping others?

READ: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

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. 

  • Pastor Chris used the metaphor of a football team. Everyone on the field plays a different and unique role, and every player is integral to the play being successful or not.
    • What do you think your role is in the greater body of Christ?
    • What might your role be at Orchard Grove?
      • What are you gifted at and how does that gift build up the people around you?

the church gathering is the huddle. we call the play and then we go out and do it!


Your Life Matters


Week 4

Your Life Matters


Week 4

LEADER'S NOTES:

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!


Getting Started:

  • Have you ever felt different because you were "into" something that you're friend group wasn't?
    • What was it?

READ: Ephesian 2:10 NLT

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.

  • Do you believe that you are uniquely gifted and created for something that can bring life and hope and love into this world?
    • Why or why not?

 

  • If the church is God's plan to make earth like heaven, and if each one of us collectively and individually is the church, what role or need might you fulfill?

when we love something, it changes us, it overwhelms our natural selfishness

  • How do we let go of our own desires and wants for the good of others?
    • How might seeing ourselves as part of a larger whole (the church) begin to do this?

 

  • Paul said, " It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me."
    • What does that verse say to you?

If we don't do what we are created to do, the job doesn't get done.

we are the plan!


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.

PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT LINK

Gather to Grow


Week 5

Gather to Grow


Week 5

Getting Started:

  • When you think about gathering for a church service, what things come to mind?
    • What role do you play?
    • Have you ever considered yourself "in" on the action?

READ: Ephesians 4:11-13 NCV

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.

  • After listening to the message clip and reading this Scripture, rethink our initial questions:
    • When you think about gathering for a church service, what things come to mind?
      • What role do you play?
      • Have you ever considered yourself "in" on the action?

We gather together to grow, in fact that's what we're doing here together, right now


READ: John 16:12-15 MSG

“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.’"  

  • Jesus, in the verse we just read, tells us that truth is a process
    • What is one thing that you might currently be wrong about?
    • What happens when we jump the gun on "knowing" something?

 

  • Everything that Jesus did and taught was backward from what people thought was right:
    • How can being open to the Spirit's "guiding" help us grow more like Christ?
    • How can interacting outside of our comfort zone, with different people help facilitate this?

the truth is: god is love and is redeeming both the church,

as well as the rest of the world, through the church

Scatter to Serve


Week 6

Scatter to Serve


Week 6

Getting Started:

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.


READ: Matthew 25:37-40 NLT

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!"

  • What does this verse display about the nature of the church in action?

 

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.