Month: August 2018

08.26.2018

GOING DEEPER

08.19.2018 | “Baptism Sunday | Week 3”

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Breaking Ground

Do you remember your high school or college graduation? What do you remember about it?

Why are rituals important?

 

The Dig

In the book of Acts, baptism is intrinsically linked with the mission of God. As the church expands, God’s Spirit precedes his followers into new areas of ministry, and in each new place people respond to God’s invitation by being baptized.

Do you believe that in your world—your “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and whole Earth”—God is already present and active?

(Because He is.)

In regards to inviting people to pursue faith at E3, do you behave like this is true?

If not, why not?

What would it look like if you started to act like this was true?

By the way, responding to God’s presence does not always mean being rude, or overtly bold or loud. It’s really about inviting people (which can be risky in and of itself) in a way that is appropriate to the context you are in.

Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-4. In this passage, an early church leader named Paul describes the way that he has “invited” the people at Corinth into a life with Jesus. (Again, God’s “power”, particularly in the letter to the church at Corinth, is not necessarily demonstrated by fantastic and amazing things: for Paul, “God’s power” in Corinth is as much about different kinds of people loving and accepting each other.)

How would you describe his approach? Is it helpful to you?

What might this look like in your context?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

E3’s mission is to help people become disciples (“fully-devoted followers”) of Jesus, and that happens most effectively one life at a time.

Is there anyone in your world that needs an invitation to a Sunday gathering, or a Growth Group, or a service opportunity?

Write a name down. Make an invitation. Do the hard stuff, and then trust God with the outcome.

08.19.2018

GOING DEEPER

08.19.2018 | “Why Are You Standing There | Week 2”

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Breaking Ground

Share some fun and lighthearted stories about getting out of your comfort zone: when was a time when you stepped out (or were forced out) of your comfort zone?

How resistant were you?

What happened?

What was the cost, and what did you gain?

 

The Dig

How easy is it for you to get out of your comfort zone to share God’s love with people who are like you? How about people who are NOT like you?

Has there ever been a time when you felt like the Holy Spirit was calling you to reach out to someone, and you did not obey? What excuses or justifications did you use?

(BTW, God forgives you.)

From the sermon on Sunday, here is a way of thinking about “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the whole Earth.”

Jerusalem is “home”, the place of “your people.” It’s the place of daily routines and habits, school and work. It’s also the place we take for granted, and make assumptions about people. It’s also still a place of risk.

Judea is still familiar, but a wider audience or area. It’s the country, or state, or region we come from. It’s a place of relative comfort, a place where we “speak the language,” and where people readily trust us because of our background, schooling. It’s our “tribe” or subculture.

Samaria is the place where people may look like you, but do not share your values. It’s the place of difference: socially, politically, or religiously. It’s normally the place of animosity, of prejudice and even hatred. It’s the place where “those people” live, where the Other dwells.

“The World” is big and unknown. It can be the place of risk, or the place where your deep fears live. It can be the place where anxiety dwells. It’s ALSO the place of amazing potential.

 

Getting Out of the Hole

In what ways can you—individually or as a group—engage in one of these areas over the next season of ministry at E3?

If possible, commit to something, write it into your calendar, and contact someone to get involved somewhere.

(Then, when you’re done with this experience, start over and repeat, again and again.)

08.12.2018

GOING DEEPER

08.12.2018 | “Why Are You Standing There | Week 1”

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Breaking Ground

Have you ever been a part of an organization or event where the purpose (mission) was unclear?

What happened? What was the cost of the lack of clarity?

 

The Dig

Do you consider yourself “All In” at E3?

Why does E3 exist? What does it mean to be a part of our community?

Read Acts 1:1-11.

Why do you think Jesus’ followers asked if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel?

What do you think about Jesus’ reply?

E3’s mission is to help people become “disciples”, or fully devoted followers of Jesus. Our primary process or strategy for doing this is to invite people to Worship with us on Sundays, participate in a Growth Group, and Serve somewhere.

Our vision, or “dream”, is to help every single hurting person who desires healing, and then to help THEM extend that healing to the rest of the world around them.

At E3, we value: design, making room for others, authenticity, humility, grace first, trust, and growth.

Where are you with E3’s mission and/or process (are you participating in worship, attending a Growth Group, and/or serving somewhere)?

Is there a place that you need to expand your impact and/or involvement?

What would that look like?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Get clarity on E3’s Mission, Vision, and Values.

Ask yourself where you may need to stop standing there, and “get moving.”

08.05.2018

GOING DEEPER

08.05.2018 | “1 John Week 12”

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Breaking Ground

Have you ever been on a walk somewhere and got lost? At what point did you recognize that you were off course?

How did you get back?

 

The Dig

Read Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:27-30.

In Jesus’ culture, a rabbi’s “yoke” was his teaching, the way he looked at the world. From what you know of Jesus, in what ways is his yoke/teaching/way of life easy and light?

When you’ve lost your true north, did you feel like you were struggling? In what ways?

What characteristics mark Jesus’ “true north”? In other words, what types of activities identify a “true north” direction?

How well do your lists measure up against theirs?

How can you tell when you get off track? What goes on in your heart (or mind, or actions) that indicate you are no longer on the right path?

Where are you tempted to find your true north (as opposed to letting Jesus be true north)?

How do you “course correct”?

Do you need to do any correcting right now in your life? In what areas, and what could you do to get back to the path?

NOTE: Read Colossians 1:15-20. It’s important to remember that in the same way that describe Jesus as true north, Jesus shows us what God’s true north is as well. What is true of Jesus, is true of God, and as we walk in the way of Jesus, we are showing God’s character in the world as well.

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Commit to learning the way of Jesus in the world, and learning to follow him. Start by reading the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5-7. Notice what Jesus says about how to live a good life.