Month: November 2017



11.26.2017 | “Beyond Black Friday”

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Breaking Ground

Take some time to share stories of your Thanksgiving holiday: What were 1-2 high points? Difficult times?


The Dig

What 1-2 words would you use to describe your life between Thanksgiving and New Years?

How much peace and joy do you experience in this season?

Read Matthew 6:25-32

Jesus repeats the phrase “do not worry” four times in this short passage. In Greek, the phrase is more literally, “don’t think about it.”

How do Jesus’ words here contrast with our culture, particularly during the run up to Christmas?

Read Matthew 6:33-34

What do you think it means to “seek first” the kingdom of God?

What are some practical ways that we—the church—can seek first the kingdom?

What are some practical ways that you as an individual can seek the kingdom?


Getting Out of the Hole

Jesus seems to be saying that the more that we seek God’s kingdom, the more we are liberated from anxiety and worry (and can therefore live out the call to “not worry” about the things in vv25-34).

How do you think that works?

Do you want this in your life?

What is one activity that you can engage in this week that would help you seek God’s kingdom first?

* Next week, we will begin a series called ADVENTUS. We ask that you prepare your heart (and LIFE) for generosity by asking God NOW how you can respond to the gift of Jesus.



12 WORDS | 11.19.2017 | “Baptism Sunday”

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Breaking Ground

If you were a part of our worship gatherings on Sunday, was there any baptism story that stood out to you? What do you remember and why did it stand out?


The Dig

Read 1 Corinthians 1:24-31

Baptism is a significant act of discipleship, and a public proclamation of many things, including that your are living in a different story. Additionally, one of the strongest and most effective practices we can embrace is telling and RE-telling how God’s Story has interacted and changed our story. In light of 1 Corinthians 1, AND in light of the stories we heard last Sunday, take some time to think about and tell the story of what God has done in your life.

In verses 26-29, Paul counsels the Corinthian church to think about themselves apart from God’s call.

What would you be like without God’s presence and activity in your life? What words would describe you?

Why would Paul describe Jesus—“God’s plan”—simultaneously as foolish and “wiser than the wisest of human plans”. Put another way, Why is the plan (specifically, the message of the cross in verse 18) described as God’s “weakness” (verse 25)?

(If you want a hint, read Philippians 2:5-8)

Finally, in verses 30-31, Paul describes the benefits WE receive from God through Christ’s death on the cross. What words does Paul use?

How would you describe this in your own words?

In light of your freedom (from sin), how should you live in the world? Are you living in this freedom? If not, what might help you FEEL and experience this freedom?


Getting Out of the Hole

If you’ve been baptized, take time this week to “remember your own baptism”, and think about how God has changed your life.

Let your gratitude overflow this week with your family and friends as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you haven’t yet been baptized, you can sign up for the next baptism Sunday now! Just go to and search for “Baptism Interest” or send an email to



12 WORDS | 11.12.2017 | “Messenger”

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Breaking Ground

What does the word “evangelism” mean to you? What images does it evoke?

Have you ever seen evangelism done in Jesus’ name that does NOT look like Jesus methods, personality or agenda that we see in the Bible?


The Dig

Read Luke 15:1-7 and 15:8-10

What do these passages say about evangelism?

How high a value does God place on human beings?

Why do you think there is such joy and rejoicing in heaven when people find their way to God?

In what ways are you currently being a messenger for the 10:10 (rich and abundant) life?

If you’re not, what holds you back from being a “messenger”?

On Sunday, Eric talked about 3 ideas to help people be messengers:
Always be ready (those who APPEAR least likely to receive God’s message are often those who are most ready).
You can GO before you “KNOW”.
Serve people, don’t “SELL” Jesus.

In your life, which of these ideas seems most helpful?

Is there anyone in your life that you need to reach out to? Is it you?

What would it mean to reach out to someone in your life (or even yourself) and ask, “Where does it hurt?”


Getting Out of the Hole

Think about your relational world: your friends, family, classmates, work colleagues, etc.

Is there any area(s) of their lives that you’re aware of that aren’t rich and abundant?

What would mean to ask them (in some way), “Where does it hurt?”?

Pray and watch for ways and opportunities that you could me a messenger this week.



12 WORDS | 11.05.2017 | “Prayer”

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Breaking Ground

Have you ever really wanted and desired something (object, relationship, job, etc.), and when you received it, discovered that maybe it wasn’t the best thing?

(This is a bit beyond a sense of “buyer’s remorse”: this is more of a deep realization that maybe you were better off where you were.)


The Dig

In your own words, how would you define prayer?

Also in your own words, what would you say is the PURPOSE of prayer?

Prayer has been described as THE point of fellowship between God and human beings.

How does this compare and contrast with your understanding?

Read Matthew 6:5-8

What stands out to you about this passage? What things does it say about prayer?

In verse 6, Jesus says to go into your room and close the door before you pray. However, there is evidence that there WERE NO INNER ROOMS (much less doors) in 1st century Jewish houses.

In light of that possibility, what could Jesus mean by this? How do we find space like this in our busy lives?

In verse 7, Jesus refers to “babbling” (other translations say, “vain repetitions”).

Are there any ways in which you “babble” when you pray? Are there any phrases and words (“Father”, “God”, “Just…”) that you repeat when you pray?

Jesus isn’t saying that these phrases are somehow dangerous or “wrong”, it’s just a call to pray differently and with intention.

In light of these verses, are there any ways that Jesus might be calling you to refine your practice of prayer?

Read John 4:13

How might this verse apply to prayer?

What does it mean to have a source of “living” (ever flowing, eternal, unending) water inside you?

How can you get in touch with this source of “living water”?

How would your life be different if you were consciously in touch with this source?


Getting Out of the Hole

Enter Jesus’ “school of prayer” by engaging in the kind of prayer that rewires your desires. Using Eric’s recommendations—same time/place, get quiet and breathe, choose a word that signifies your openness to God, quiet and focus your mind, start small—begin a “practice of prayer” that maintains your contact with the source of ultimate power in the world.