Community Guide for November 13th

Ice Breaker

Go around and share your favorite holiday tradition, food or what you are looking forward to this Holiday season.

Opening Prayer

After your group welcomes one another, open in prayer.

Let your group know what to expect during prayer time, something like: “As we start our group time, I will open with a word of prayer, there will be a minute or so of silent reflection, and then I will read the scripture from Sunday and then close in prayer, and we will enter into our discussion time.”

  •  Open with a brief word of prayer: “God, we thank you for this time together. We open our hearts to how you might want to meet with us. Allow us to hear your voice and experience your spirit at work. Come Holy Spirit.”
  • Sit before the Lord in silent prayerful reflection for 1-2 minutes
  • Read the scripture listed below aloud for the group to reflect on.
  • Close in a word of prayer: “God, thank you for your word, come holy spirit and allow us to understand what it means for our lives, lead us in our time of discussion together. In Christ’s name, amen.”

Scripture from Sunday

Matthew 25:14-23

Read this Overview Together

This week Pastor Tim shared a message out of the book of Matthew, a parable story.

This portion of scripture is meant to tell us how we have been saved for this world, not how to be saved from this world. He is teaching how to live in light of the present and future kingdom of God. How to live faithfully in this now but not yet tension.

We must remember and keep closely in view that these parables of the Kingdom of God are not meant to show us how we are saved from this world, but rather how we have been saved for this world. We are to be His heavenly representatives, ambassadors of God’s kingdom, bringing His kingdom to bear here on earth as it is in heaven. A people bringing renewal wherever we go.

 

This message ties wonderfully into the last 2 weeks as we looked at some different perspectives around hiding ourselves in God and what it means to have God as our refuge and stronghold. In order to keep an abiding hidden personal connection with God we must personally know who God is.

Discussion Questions

Lets center our conversation around these 3 servants from the parable in Matthew:

But First: Is there anything initially from this story that stands out to you?

  1. The First 2 Servants: Living a life receiving, responsibility and returning. // The first two servants moved from addition of resources to multiplication of responsibilities as they brought their profits back to the Master’s house. These servants were called to be faithful stewards not just for this money but their gifts and time as well. They had limits in their abilities, resources and time frame they had to work with. 

Lets explore the 3 steps of multiplication Tim mentioned: 

Step 1: Receiving – Start with what you have been given. Faithfulness begins with what you have, whatever that is.” 

Take a moment to consider and share with the group:

  • What do you have?
  • What is in your hand?
  • What have you been given?

Step 2: Responsibility  – Adding to what you have been given. Responsibility is taking our story, our gifts, passions, abilities, vision, resources and relationships and stewarding them with faithfulness and wisdom as unto the Lord. We are to hold ourselves accountable before God with how we are spending, stewarding and managing these various gifts.

  • What do you think of this statement? 

Consider this list around “taking responsibility”:

  • Tracking how you are spending and saving our money, time and resources. 
  • Embracing limits with time, money and talent. Budget what you do actually have.
  • Faithfulness (keeping commitments over the long haul) to do what you said you would do, even when it’s hard or hurts.
  • Taking faithful risk to use what you do have, with spirit directed action, and the wise counsel of others.

 

  • Is there one that stands out to you as a challenge or encouragement for the next season of life?(Refrain from giving advice to others as we share. No one is perfect and has this all figured out.)
  • What is something you can do this week to invite God into this challenge or encouragement this week?

Step 3: Returning – Trusting God with what we have //The two servants that added to what they had, returned the resources to their master. They recognized the source of all they had started with the grace or gift of the master. Multiplication begins when we learn to trust in God. This tips the scales of addition into multiplication. We multiply what we have been given, when we give back what we have been given in faith to God and for the benefit of others.”

Consider these ways of engaging multiplication: 

  • Generosity Towards family, church or community without strings attached.
  • Returning notice the two servants returned their work of addition to the master. They could have kept it to themselves, they could have fudged the numbers. But they brought it all back to him in trust that their master would bless and reward their faithfulness. Tithing is what the scriptures call the act of returning financially to God. He doesn’t even want it all, he only asks for a tenth back as our act of returning.
  • Serving Give your time and abilities to those that cannot repay you. Do some pro-bono work, volunteer, spend time to listen, invite someone to your home or to coffee or a meal to connect.
  • Participate Showing up is a form of generosity with our time. This is why we encourage you to come to be a part of worship gatherings, community groups and each others lives. We believe this is a key part to learning to trust God to multiply our time, and our impact.

 

  • Is there one that stands out to you as a challenge or encouragement for the next season of life? 
  • What is something you can do this week to invite God into this challenge or encouragement this week?

3. The Last Servant. The cautionary tale of unfaithfulness, assumption, laziness and fear.

  • Reread Matthew 25:24-30 
  • What stands out for you in this portion of the story? 
  • Read this quote: “If we are not pursuing faithfulness with little we will not pursue faithfulness with more. We never have “enough” to be faithful or generous. Faithfulness and Generosity always require trust and personal sacrifice.” For you what can get in the way of faithfulness, generosity or trust? 
  • This servant fell into the trap of assumption. This servant did not know his master, and was not in the right state of mind. The master gave him a chunk of money. Why did he think the master was ‘a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.’ Can you think of a time when assumption got the best of you? What did that result to? How can we pursue a better understanding? 
  • Fear is the enemy of faith. Fear can keep us from boldly, courageously following the ways of Jesus. Fear is necessary but if we have bowed our will to fear, our faith will not grow. It takes courage and confidence to walk in faith. What are you afraid of losing? How is God leading us to grow in our faith in this area?
  • The master replies with some very straightforward words. You wicked (likely referring to his accusation of being a thief) and lazy servant.

Take the last 5-8 minutes of discussion time for quiet reflection and journal some responses to these questions:

  • What responsibilities, gifts and resources has God given to you to add to?
  • How are you making the world better? How are you adding to what you have, making it better and doing what is needed with faithfulness?
  • How are you developing the gifts you have? Adding to them and honing them in, learning from others and getting better at what you do.

Practice in Prayer

Share prayer requests together as a group and spend time praying for one another.

 

Weekly Prayer Practice: 

In tonight’s group discussion there was a lot of reflection and growth edges for us all. Consider holding these challenges and encouragements intentionally before God each day this week in prayer. While also reflecting upon this scripture:

Matthew 11:28-29 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Allow this to stir hope and peace, that we have a good God who is with us in the work and makes it lighter as we invite Him into it all. “Come to me” is a sacred invitation God extends for us to commune with Him in our lives.

Message from Sunday