Month: August 2020

Going Deeper – 08.30.2020

GOING DEEPER

08.30.2020 | CAMPFIRE STORIES | Wk 1: “The Workers in the Vineyard”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What was the worst job you’ve ever had? Why?

 

The Dig

Begin by reflecting on the “Four Ground Rules For Reading the Parables” from Sunday’s sermon:

  1. The parables use short, fictional stories to draw parallels between something we understand & Jesus, his mission, & the Kingdom of God.
  2. The parables seek to make us wrestle, not give us clear answers or simple moral/theological lessons. They are stories that never have one, simple, clear interpretation.
  3. The parables are universal & timeless in their truths/themes, but highly contextual in their content.
  4. The parables are always meant to be provocative & they demand a response from the audience. 

Do any of these rules clash with how you’ve approached or been taught the parables in the past? 

Why do you think Jesus uses stories rather than lectures to teach some of these big truths about himself & God? 

Read Matthew 20:1-12. First, reflect on the characters. 

What are your first impressions of the Landowner? 

What do you make of the first workers hired? Why are they resentful at the end? What is the substance of their complaint? Do you relate to these characters? 

Next, read Matthew 20:13-16.

Why does the Landowner respond the way he does? How do you feel about his response? 

Close by reflecting on the challenge of this parable

What is provocative about this story? 

How might it challenge how we see others, ourselves, & our world? THINK: where we find value, our understanding of fairness, generosity, greed, etc. 

What response do you think Jesus wants us to have at the end of this parable? 

How do you think this story should change us in the here & now? 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take each week of this series to reflect about the nature of the parables & each parable we cover. Consider taking the following approach:

  1. Commit to reading the parable at least 3 times during the week. 
  2. Each time, meditate on each character. What do they do? What does this reveal about their character? Try to identify with each character – enter into the story.
  3. Reflect on anything that stands out as odd or surprising as the parable is told. Look for anything that seems unexpected or provocative. 
  4. Take time at the end of each session to write down a few words on how & where this parable might challenge you – in your relationships, values, assumptions, worldview, etc. 
  5. Close with prayer. 

Journal, reflect, & pray over these parables. Ask Jesus to help you see where you need to hear his message & change through his stories. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

 

Additional Resources*

Short Stories with Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Amy-Jill Levine

Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus by Klyne Snodgrass

Kingdom, Grace, & Judgment in the Parables of Jesus by Robert Farrar Capon

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, September 6: Join us for the next week of our series Campfire Stories, where we will be exploring the Parable of the Good Samaritan!
* Please see mye3.org for details.

Message Slides – 08.30.2020

CAMPFIRE STORIES | Wk 1: “The Workers in the Vineyard”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 08.30.2020

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

CampfireStories__WORKERS IN VINEYARD

 

2:

Ground Rules for the Parables:

  1. The parables are stories that create parallels between something understandable to Jesus’ audience & Jesus’ identity, mission, & the Kingdom of God
  2. The parables’ primary purpose is to make us wrestle & ask questions – not give us clear answers. They never have one single, simple interpretation or lesson. 
  3. The parables are universal & timeless in their truths, but highly contextual in their content
  4. The parables are always meant to be provocative in a way that demands a response from their audience. 

 

3:

Matthew 20:1-12 (NIV)

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

 

4:

Mr Grumble

 

5:

Matthew 20:13-16 (NIV)

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

 

6:

The first workers hired don’t resent the Landowner because he was being “unfair.” They resent being treated as equals with people they believe are less deserving than themselves & they lament the ability of their fellow workers to live

 

7:

THE LAYERS OF THE PARABLE

  • THE LANDOWNER – God seeks us out where we are at & His love/care is not divisible because it’s poured out infinitely on everyone. 
  • THE LAST WORKERS HIRED – We do not determine whether someone is worthy of God’s love, care, or invitation. He has declared that His Kingdom is being generously, freely & equally given, which is His right
  • THE FIRST WORKERS HIRED – We often see our world through a lens of merity & scarcity, which produces jealousy, resentment, & greed

 

8:

THE CHALLENGE OF THE PARABLE

  • It challenges us to realize that God’s Kingdom is concerned with what God declares is right, not what we think is fair. It’s about everyone getting enough, not us getting more
  • It challenges us to develop a mindset of abundance, not scarcity. 
  • It challenges us to adopt the new values of the Kingdom by recognizing & repenting from where our broken attitudes of “fairness” have cost our neighbor. 
  • It challenges us to change how we treat other people in the here & now through our Godlike generosity – especially those we want to see as “less deserving” than ourselves.

 

9:

CampfireStories__WORKERS IN VINEYARD

Message Slides – 08.23.2020

THEREFORE | Wk 9: “Therefore Be The Church”

Pastor Lori Green | 08.23.2020

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

 

THEREFORE_Sidewalk-02

 

2:

The Values of Element3 Church

  1. Growth – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace a life of perpetual growth.” 
  2. Humility – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace & live out a life of design & intention.” 
  3. Intentional Design – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace & live out a life of design & intention.” 
  4. Trust – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we trust God to lead, provide for, & guide us, & we trust each other to bring their best to the community.”
  5. Make Room – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we choose to make room for others.”
  6. Authenticity – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we live authentic lives, to ourselves & to others.”
  7. Grace In All Things – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in, among, & through us, we experience & give grace in all things.”

 

 

 

Going Deeper – 08.23.2020

GOING DEEPER

08.23.2020 | THEREFORE | Wk 9: “Therefore Be The Church”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Share about how you came to E3. How did you find the church? How long have you been here? Why did you keep coming back?

 

The Dig

This week, take time to reflect on the Therefore series. 

Have you enjoyed this series? What has stuck with you the most from it?

Have you gained any new insights on the role of community values over the course of the series? 

Reflect on the Seven Core Values of E3:

  1. Growth – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace a life of perpetual growth.” 
  2. Humility – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace & live out a life of design & intention.” 
  3. Intentional Design – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we embrace & live out a life of design & intention.” 
  4. Trust – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we trust God to lead, provide for, & guide us, & we trust each other to bring their best to the community.”
  5. Make Room – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we choose to make room for others.”
  6. Authenticity – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we live authentic lives, to ourselves & to others.”
  7. Grace In All Things – “When the Holy Spirit is moving in, among, & through us, we experience & give grace in all things.”

Which of these values have you found most impactful? Why? 

Which of these values do you find easiest to live out? Why?

Do you think any of these values are more or less important to a church’s health & ability to live out Christ’s story well? Why?

Which of these values do you find hardest to live out? Why?

Which have you found most at E3? Least? 

How do you think these values can be fostered more deeply at E3? What do you think you can do to see that happen at our church? 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take this time to reflect on the values that we have covered in this series. 

Go back through the What It Means & How We Live It Out sections for each value. Note anything that stands out to you in this season at E3 & write down how you might grow these values at E3. 

Share your insights with your growth group next week!

 

Additional Resources*

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James D. Hunter

Resident Alien by Stanley Hauerwas

A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas

The New Testament & the People of God by NT Wright

Organizational Culture & Leadership by Edgar Schein

Leading Change by John Kotter

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 30: Join us for the first week of our series Campfire Stories, where we will be exploring the parables of Jesus! 
* Please see mye3.org for details.

Message Slides – 08.16.2020

THEREFORE | Wk 8: “Therefore Give Grace”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 08.16.2020

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

Bumble Bee

 

2:

THEREFORE_Sidewalk-02

 

3:

Grace in All Things when the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us we experience and display grace in all things.

 

4:

Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

5:

Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV)

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

 

6:

Yes, there is evil ‘out there’ in the world. But God’s people are to meet it in the way that even God met it: with love and generous goodness. The theology of the cross, in fact, can be glimpsed under this apparently detached ethical maxim: when God came to defeat evil, this was achieved not by using greater evil, but by using its opposite – namely, the surprising and initially counterintuitive weapons of goodness. To be consumed with vengeful thoughts, or to be led into putting such thoughts into practice, is to keep evil in circulation, whereas the way to overthrow evil, rather than perpetuating it, is to take its force and give back goodness instead.” -NT Wright

 

7:

When we display Grace in All Things…

  • We see that every human being, including ourselves, holds the Image of God & is a gift from God to our world.
  • We recognize that all of us are in equal need of grace & we respond to brokenness through unconditional love.
  • We cultivate gratitude & believe all that we are & have is given, not earned, by the grace of God. 
  • We relinquish the sickness of vengeance & retaliation

 

8:

Mary Johnson & Oshea Israel

Going Deeper – 08.16.2020

GOING DEEPER

08.16.2020 | THEREFORE | Wk 8: “Therefore Give Grace”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Share about a time when you got in a lot of trouble as a kid. What did you do? What happened?  

 

The Dig

Reflect on the value for this week: “When the Holy Spirit is moving in, among, & through us, we experience & give grace in all things.”

How would you define grace personally? What’s it mean & not mean?

Next, read through the “How We Live It Out” section below. 

Which point sticks out to you the most? 

What kind of a community do you think this value would shape in the world?

Read Romans 12:17-21. 

What stands out to you from this passage? 

Paul describes a people who respond to wounds/wrongs, not with retaliation, but with goodness/kindness.

Is this how you normally respond to wrongs? Is this how you were taught to respond to them by our culture/world? 

What do you make of Paul’s alternative response? Why do you think he promotes this?

How does responding with blessing “heap coals” on the other person’s head? What does Paul see as the ultimate goal of this other way of responding? 

How does this approach to wrongs overcome evil

Close by reflecting on where grace in all things speaks to your life currently. 

Where are you struggling to give someone else grace? Why? (THINK: judgmentalism, perfectionism, failing to see them as an Image Bearer of God, simplifying them/their motives, a desire for revenge, etc.) 

Where are you struggling to give yourself grace? Why?

How might grace in all things change how you are approaching that situation or part of your life? (If you need ideas – read the “How We Live It Out” section again & see if one of the points speaks to how you might approach your situation differently)

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take each week during this season to reflect on each value.

Grace In All Things When the Holy Spirit is moving in, among, and through us, we experience and display grace in all things. 

What It Means – “Grace” means unmerited favor – it flows through everything we are, and all that we do. Grace is not only how we find forgiveness – received, as a gift, from and through Jesus. Grace describes and defines how we should view a ll of life: as an unmerited gift. 

How We Live It Out 

  • Our posture towards each other (and ourselves) is that God’s image resides in everyone; therefore, we receive each other as gifts. 
  • While acknowledging that there are real consequences for actions, we do not “look down” on any particular kind of sin. All brokenness is brokenness, and all of us stand in equal need of grace. 
  • We cultivate gratitude in our lives, believing that everything we are and have is given, not earned, by the Grace and Goodness of God. 
  • We think the best of each other. 

Journal, reflect, & pray over this value. Note any insights that stand out or really hit home. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

 

Additional Resources*

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James D. Hunter

Resident Alien by Stanley Hauerwas

A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas

The New Testament & the People of God by NT Wright

Organizational Culture & Leadership by Edgar Schein

Leading Change by John Kotter

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 23: Join us for the last week of our series Therefore, where we will explore how these values altogether help unite & make us the Church
* Please see mye3.org for details.

Message Slides – 08.09.2020

THEREFORE | Wk 7: “Therefore Be Authentic”

Elizabeth Wilkes & Karen Gibbons | 08.09.2020

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

THEREFORE_Sidewalk-02

 

2:

Romans 12:15-16 (NIV)

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 

 

3:

  • What is authenticity? 
  • Why is it important? 
  • How can it hurt us and help us?

 

4:

“How do you feel throughout this process?”

  • Risk
  • Resolve
  • Relief
  • Risk > Resolve > Relief

 

5:

Psalm 51:6 (NLT)

But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.

 

6: 

Authenticity without the goal of community leads to alienation.

 

7: 

Practical Steps Towards Authenticity:

  1. Find a trusted community.
  2. Meet together.
  3. Do something.

Going Deeper – 08.09.2020

GOING DEEPER

08.09.2020 | THEREFORE | Wk 7: “Therefore Be Authentic”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is your oddest/funniest quirk or habit? 

 

The Dig

Reflect on the value for this week: “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we live authentic lives, to ourselves & to others.”

How do you define authenticity?

What does it mean to live an authentic life to yourself

What does it mean to live an authentic life to others

Read & reflect on Romans 12:15-16.

What role does authenticity play in being able to “rejoice with those who rejoice & mourn with those who mourn”? Do you find it easy to truly rejoice or mourn in front of & with people? 

How might authenticity help produce harmony in a community (as opposed to strife)?

How does pride & being conceited get in the way of being authentic – with ourselves & others? 

Reflect on where you currently find it easiest & hardest to be authentic (NOTE: think vulnerability).

Where do you find it easiest & hardest to be authentic to yourself? Why?

Where do you find it easiest & hardest to be authentic to others? Why?

What could you do to deepen your ability to live an authentic life? What is holding you back from doing so? 

If you have extra time, close by reading through the “How We Live It Out” points in the next section. 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take each week during this season to reflect on each value.

Authenticity – When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we live authentic lives, to ourselves & to others.

What It Means – The life Christ calls us to live is incompatible with false posturing. We should strive to be unafraid of brokenness – in ourselves or others – because to fear and hide from brokenness only fosters its stranglehold over our lives. We believe Authenticity is a crucial step in the lifelong process of healing and Growth which God has for us. Reasonable boundaries can and should be respected, but we aim to always think of and present ourselves as honestly as we know how. 

How We Live It Out 

  • We do not pretend that we have it all together. To be human is to be broken, and this truth helps to free us, so we do not hide our struggles. 
  • We tell the truth, in love, to each other. 
  • In the right contexts, such as our close relationships and Growth Groups, we commit to being vulnerable with each other, recognizing the scriptural imperative to share openly as a means of Godly growth. 
  • We admit imperfections and mistakes as an organization. We are not afraid to say 

Journal, reflect, & pray over this value. Note any insights that stand out or really hit home. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

Additional Resources*

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James D. Hunter

Resident Alien by Stanley Hauerwas

A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas

The New Testament & the People of God by NT Wright

Organizational Culture & Leadership by Edgar Schein

Leading Change by John Kotter

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 16: Join us for the next week of our series Therefore, where we will explore why grace in all things is a core value at E3. 
* Please see mye3.org for details.

 

Message Slides – 08.02.2020

THEREFORE | Wk 6: “Therefore Make Room”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 08.02.2020

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

THEREFORE_Sidewalk-02

 

2:

 

Converse

 

3:

The Clash

 

4:

Make Room – when the Holy Spirit is moving in and among us, we choose to make room for others.

 

5:

Romans 12:13-14 (NRSV)

13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

 

6:

Matthew 10:2-4 (NIV)

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

 

7:

Jesus opens the people of God to everyone through his extension of grace. The only boundary he draws is whether or not we choose to move towards him

 

8:

Dots

 

9:

Making Room at E3 means…

  1. Celebrating, not erasing, diversity at every level of our church, while maintaining unity through our common center of Jesus. 
  2. Remaining open to the hard, but necessary, work of maintaining diversity & remaining committed to seeking blessing, not retaliation, when our differences cause wounds.
  3. Extending hospitality & invitation to outsiders & strangers
  4. Giving our time, talents, & treasures generously without distinction – both locally & globally. 

Going Deeper – 08.02.2020

GOING DEEPER

08.02.2020 | THEREFORE | Wk 6: “Therefore Make Room”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Who was your best friend growing up? What did you first connect over? 

 

The Dig

Reflect on the value for this week: “When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we choose to make room for others.”

What does it mean to make room for others? What words or actions come to mind?

Why is making room for others important for the health of a community? What prevents a community from making room? 

Read Romans 12:13-14. Reflect on how each of these three statements inform what it means for a church to be a community that makes room

First, Paul instructs the community to give to those who are in need

What role does generosity play in making room for others, especially those different from ourselves or outside of our normal group lines? 

Second, Paul instructs the church to practice hospitality (the term here implies towards strangers). 

What role does hospitality play in making room for others? Why does Paul focus on strangers in particular in this context? 

Third, Paul instructs the church to bless those who persecute them

Why is this posture of non-retaliation important for making room? In particular, why would it be important for a community like the Roman church that is fractured along ethnic, cultural, & socioeconomic lines? 

Overall, Paul challenges the church to embrace diversity, while rejecting tribalism

Why is tribalism so counter to life in the Kingdom of God? 

Where do you find it hardest to make room by embracing diversity or people who differ from you? 

Where do you find it easiest to create & seek out tribal lines that exclude those who differ from you? 

If you have extra time, close by reading through the “How We Live It Out” points in the next section. 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take each week during this season to reflect on each value.

Make Room – When the Holy Spirit is moving in & among us, we choose to make room for others

What It Means – God does not lead us into life transformation so that we may keep it for ourselves. To do so would be to lose the essential Goodness of what we have been given. Our posture should always be oriented outwards – welcoming any and everyone into our community, acknowledging and accepting the journeys of others, and generously sharing all we have been given. 

How We Live It Out 

  • We allow for differences in others, and we seek to listen and understand before speaking into others’ lives.
  • Generosity is a way to make room for others: we share resources and give generously as a way to provide space for people. 
  • Everyone deserves to hear the gospel; we make space for anyone who desires to experience God’s love through Jesus Christ. 

Journal, reflect, & pray over this value. Note any insights that stand out or really hit home. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

 

Additional Resources*

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James D. Hunter

Resident Alien by Stanley Hauerwas

A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas

The New Testament & the People of God by NT Wright

Organizational Culture & Leadership by Edgar Schein

Leading Change by John Kotter

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 9: Join us for the next week of our series Therefore, where we will explore why authenticity is a core value at E3. 
* Please see mye3.org for details.