CLICK BELOW FOR EACH SESSION
Be the Church
This series provokes the idea of what it means to be ‘one-another’ rather than one-to-many. It starts with our call to look after one another in the context of Church.
Watch ‘Session One’ of the series.
Ephesians 1:22 and 4:16 where Paul helps us see God’s purpose for the Church:
Eph 1:22 “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Eph 4:15-16 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Church can mean many things to different people based on their experiences, family and teaching. How have you viewed Church and what does it mean to you?
The Bible gives us a picture of Church being like a family, in Acts 2 the earlier believers meet in each other’s homes and in Romans 12 we see an affection for one another that is described as ‘brotherly.’ How does the idea of Church being a family compare or contrast with your own view of Church?
Read 1 Peter 2:5 “you also like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.
Peter’s teaching here indicates Church is not an organisation or a building, it’s you and I. Ps Sam makes a comment “We are who we are,” meaning, who we are corporately is influenced by who we are individually. How does this thought provoke you?
Ministry just means to serve. Sometimes we can think that is about a platform or something that’s reserved for the Pastor or Leader. How does ‘Ministry = service’ challenge you?
Ps Jordan challenges us to think of Church as a spiritual home where we take responsibility and where we have a role. What does that mean? And how can we make Church a home?
What’s a biblical view of Church that you’ve heard today that helps you understand your call to connect with others and to care for someone else?
Pray that God would help you understand the responsibility and role he wants you to have in His family the Church.
Who is someone this week in your world (work, school, home) that you could reach out to, perhaps serve (minister) a need that they might have. Or why don’t you join an eTeam this week by visiting the Red Tent on Sunday.
Love One Another
This week we are looking at what it means to love one another.
Watch ‘Session Two’ of the series.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Our view of love can often be shaped by our past experiences. How was love expressed growing up and how has that impacted your view of love?
In John 13:34 Jesus introduces this command to love one another as something ‘new’, Ps Jordan explains that this way of life to care for one another was something un-common, strange or remarkable. Why would this new command be so challenging for Jesus’ disciples and even for us today?
In this new command, Jesus dismantles the idea of conditional love ‘If you do this then I’ll do that’, He taught a selfless unconditional love. How does this thought challenge the conditions we can sometimes place on how we love?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:4 – 7 and Matthew 10:8 “…freely you have received, freely give.”
The study verses challenge our ability to love in action and in attitude, Ps Sam often says, “love unexpressed is not love,” How do these words and verses provoke your idea of what love is?
Ps Jordan explains, when we experience the power of a selfless sacrificial love through Christ it becomes a source of life within us, we are then able to create powerful environments of connectedness and community for others. How might that look in your world with who you could selflessly and sacrificially love?
The alternative to a ‘Christ centred love’ is a ‘worldly centred love,’ which can be full of conditions, fear and unreal expectations. How might we ensure we don’t partner with this kind of love?
Ps Sam mentions ‘vulnerability and opportunity walk hand in hand,’ many people want the opportunity for love but don’t want to risk the vulnerability to do so. Where’s the opportunity for you to deepen your love ‘for’ and ‘with’ others and how might you put that into action this week?
Pray that you would understand and experience Gods love in greater way, so you would have a greater willingness to share His love with others. Pray your love for God and for others would grow.
Ask God to show you someone this week he would like you to share His love with in a practical way. Come back to eGroup and share what God did and what you experienced.
Serve One Another
Today we are going to look at what it means to serve one another.
Watch ‘Session Three’ of the series.
In John 13:1-16, Jesus is preparing for the passover meal by washing the feet of his discioples, setting an example of service for them.
John 13:14 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”
We have all had good or bad service experiences. What’s the best or worst service you’ve received in a restaurant and what made it good or bad?
In washing his disciples’ feet Jesus removed the power differential. Often, it’s easier to serve those we perceive to be worthy of it, like elders, leaders or people of influence. However, are there people in your world that you might find it hard to serve and why is that?
Today we are learning what it means to serve one another. Ps Jordan says one of the challenges of serving others is receiving from them too as both require us to embrace humility to think of ourselves less. Why is it a challenge for us to ‘receive’ at times and what’s the benefit of us becoming better ‘receivers?’
Read 1 Peter 4:9-10 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
In this verse Peter challenges us to be hospitable, to be welcoming to visitors and guests, to be friendly and ready to receive people into our worlds. For some of us this comes naturally but for others it can be a challenge. What are some of the hesitations we have to opening our homes? Where do you feel challenged to be more hospitable?
Gods given us all gifts to bring Him glory (1 Peter 4:11) and to encourage one another, our study verse says we are to use whatever gift we have to serve others. What has God placed in your hands that you could be using more to serve others? At times we can be unwilling to use our gifts for others and why is that?
Ps Sam presents a challenge that serving one another means to take the best of ourselves to serve each other and not to use the left overs. How does this thought challenge you?
At Equippers we often say, “no one ever graduates from serving,” meaning, no one is above the role of service. How we serve may change from time to time, but in essence we reflect God in our ability and willingness to serve one another. How have you seen this culture in practice at Equippers and where does it challenge you in your willingness to serve?
Pray that God would show you what He has placed in your hands to serve and bless others. Pray for one another that as we serve, humility would grow and we would experience more of Gods empowering grace to be and do what he’s called us too.
What opportunities can you take this week to serve someone else. Perhaps it will be hosting a gather in your home or maybe a morning tea at work. What are the other gifts God has given you? commit to putting them into practice this week to serve someone else.
Honour One Another
Today we are going to look at what it means to honour one another and how we value and put our weight behind each other.
Watch ‘Session Four’ of the series.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
Have you ever had an experience where someone jumped the queue or pushed in front of you. How did that make you feel and what did you do?
Romans 12:10 in the NKJV says to honour one another is to ‘give preference’ to one another, to show favour to someone else over yourself, or to perhaps position yourself in a way where others come first. How does this thought challenge you and how might you show preference to others in your world?
Ps Sam comments: one of the challenges is to honour people for who they are without stumbling over what they are not, sometimes we fail to honour because we stumble over a person’s weaknesses. How does holding judgment over others get in the way of honouring them? How do we honour others despite their weaknesses?
Read Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Philippians teaches us if we want to put others first and show them value we’re going to need to put on humility, when we give attention to others we choose to take the focus off ourselves. However, insecurity can cause us to do the opposite, Ps Sam says, “insecurity is rooted in pride,” How might pride and insecurity get in the way of honouring others?
Selfish ambition can be a challenge for everyone, Ephesians 5:21 says “submit to one another out of reverence to Christ”. This means let us have a mutual desire to serve someone another and let that flow from our deep affection and respect for God. It’s saying, “I’m going to trust God that He will look after me and my interests.” What does mutual submission / service look like for you? Where do you feel the challenge to trust God more with your own interests?
Ps Sam mentions that honour comes from the same root word as honesty. There’s a link between being honest and honouring others. How might we honour one another with the truth? How could this benefit your relationships?
Sometimes we need to do an audit of what we are saying and how we are behaving towards one another, is it honouring? is it truthful? is it beneficial? and does it reflect our reverence for God? What are some personal areas where your language or behaviour may have been unfair and dishonouring of others, what might you do to address that?
Ask God to show you where you may have shown a lack of honour towards others, ask for His forgiveness and that He would help you release judgement over that person. Pray for a Spirit of honour to be more evident in your life.
This week renew your prayer to release others from your judgement, make a commitment to honour people for who they are (not for what they are not), and find one or two people this week that you could express honour to.
Encourage One Another
Today we are looking at how we can encourage one another and how can spur each other on to do good things.
Watch ‘Session Five’ of the series.
Ephesians 5:19 “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”
To encourage someone means to put courage inside them. Describe a time when someone did this for you? What did they do and how did it make you feel?
Todays key verse teaches us that we can create an environment of encouragement around us just by allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us and by worshiping God with other people. By doing this we can build an atmosphere that’s encouraging, life giving and full of joy. Sometimes we can underestimate the encouragement we can be to someone else by just turning up to Church and praising God. How does this thought provoke you?
Encouragement can come in many ways, through instructing (Romans 15:14), teaching or admonishing (correcting) (Colossians 3:16). Though different they all involve more than just telling someone what to do, they often require you to be a part of the lesson or journey, where you walk with the person, helping, supporting and considering them more than yourself. Has someone ever done this for you and how did it encourage you in your faith journey? How could you do this for someone else?
Read I Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,“ and Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
We need to encourage one another by building each other up. We can do that with our words. Proverbs 18:21 and Ephesians 4:29 teach us that our words can either build up or tear down, they either bring life or death. Ps Jordan says words aren’t neutral. Where at times can we be careless with our words? And how might you be more intentional with what you say and who you say that to?
We need to encourage one another by spurring each other on. Hebrews 10:24 says we need to provoke each other to love and good works, why? Because there’s a resistance from the enemy who doesn’t want that, our encouragement of each can help us push past that resistance. Have you ever experienced this resistance but were able to overcome it by the encouragement of someone else? Where is there an opportunity to do this for someone else?
We need to encourage one another to be open. People carry a weight when they live with sin kept in the dark, but living open and in the light disempowers sin. James 5:16 encourages us to confess to each other and to pray for one another that we may be healed.
What are some of the reasons we fail to be open with one another? How can we develop a greater willingness to be open with each other?
There is power in confessing our struggles to one another, this takes courage and humility, but when we do there is a promise of God’s grace and forgiveness. Perhaps there is an area of shame or sin that you know you’re carry like a weight, God wants to free you from that today. Let’s take a moment to share and pray with one another right now (you could do this in pairs or as a group).
Pray that God would show you opportunities to encourage others in your world, and where there have been places of personal struggle ask the Holy Spirit to help you live in greater freedom.
Take the opportunity to encourage someone this week that you can see potential in or perhaps there’s someone you know who might be struggling that you could use your words and influence to build-up and spur-on.