Saturday, February 02, 2008

Expanding the Table

Here is this week's small group curriculum that complements part 3 of "The Table" series called "Expanding the Table."

Big Idea:
The church is a table of sorts; a place to gather where we nourish believers and nurture seekers. But a problem arises when the table becomes all about feeding the immediate family at the exclusion of others.

Summary:
It is a good thing for churches to focus on maturing. In fact, Jesus demands that we feed his sheep. Equipping the saints and growing in our faith is mandatory. However, we cannot allow our focus to inwardly degenerate to the point of it being all about “me, Me, ME.” We must be about expanding the table by making room for new family members, while at the same time never allowing anyone to pull up the “i” chair. You know, the chair where it is all about what I want and what will fill my spiritual love tank. How do we stay out of the “i” chair and instead bring new people to the table? We must have the mind of Christ. Christ came to seek and save the lost. Christ sought out the marginalized, the oppressed, the unlovable, and the sinner. He ministered life to them in love and invited them to the table where they would be fed nutritious spiritual food. And Christ demands that we do the same thing. We are called to love people. We are called to minister to others, and we are called to bring others into the family of God. Jesus has commissioned us to go into all the world and make disciples, and he has called us to be fishers of men. You and I must stay out of the “i” chair and actively spend our time and resources nourishing believers and nurturing seekers.

Discussion Questions: (read the Scripture & discuss)

Philippians 2:3-4
How can we apply this passage to our lives? What would this look like in a church setting? What character quality does Paul say we need in order to stay out of the “i” chair?

Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17 & Luke 5:10
What is a disciple of Christ supposed to be and supposed to do? Are you actively fishing? Are you teaching others to fish? Give examples of both.

Matthew 28:18-20
What are we called by Christ to do? Are we called to simply invite people to church? Describe how this demand of Christ encompasses both nurturing and nourishing.

Taking Action: Give examples of how your LifeGroup is intentionally nourishing believers and also nurturing seekers. What are some other ways to accomplish these kingdom tasks? Examine your group’s make-up. Are all three chairs represented: mature believers, new believers, and the lost?

Ministry Time

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