My Church | Investing in the Story
As Many People As Possible | My Church Part 3 | Saint George
Series Thesis: The greatest MOVEMENT in human history is the local church.
Think About It: It’s hard to love people who aren’t like you.
Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Most churches are DESIGNED for church people.
Acts 15:5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
It is not enough for a church to have great INTENTIONS, you have to have great VALUES.
Very few churches are designed for UNCHURCHED or DECHURCHED or NOCHURCHED people.
Galatians 2:11-14 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
We must resist becoming a MONUMENT and stay a movement.
Acts 15:19-20 “It is my (James, the half brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church) judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.”
Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
1. How many people from different cultures, races, or religious organizations do you socialize with (outside of work or school)? Why do think that is?
2. Have you ever had a church experience where it was obvious that you didn’t belong?
3. Read Matthew 23:13-39 as a group. Jesus was not an effeminate man. Why do you think that he used very feminine imagery to describe his/God’s heart?
4. Read Romans 15:1-6 as a group. It seems like Paul is making a strong case that maturity is measured by how much and how completely we serve others. What personal preferences make it difficult for you to put others first?
5. What next step do you need to take in order to say “no” to your preferences so you can say “yes” to another’s needs?