GET ACQUAINTED: What do you like about our church?

SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:42-47

Life Groups are an important vital part of Sierra Vista. We believe that this is the closest we can get to doing church the way the early church did it in the Bible. In fact, it's the church in microcosm (having the characteristics qualities or features of something much larger). Life Groups can be so effective that they continue to be used as a model and a church-planting tool. But, what should be the purpose of a Life Group ministry? It's the same as the church — to make and cultivate fully developed Christ followers by living out Acts 2:42-47 , which higlights five values that make a strong foundation to any church: worship, community, discipleship, evangelism, and ministry. Sierra Vista and our Life Groups exist for the same purpose: to help people know, love, and serve God; bonding them into a Christian community, equipping them to grow and to minister to those in need; all for the purpose of glorifying Him!

REVIEW: Read Acts 2:42-47 and see if you can find the five values that SVCC and our Life Groups champion.

Worship: To love God with all our heart and soul is to love Him with passion, priority, and trust. We cannot go out into the world and work at our jobs, deal with family, and keep our passion for God at the same time without help. We need each other!

Community: Read Genesis 2:18 . "Community is deeply grounded in the nature of God. It flows from who God is. Because He is community; He creates community. It is His gift of Himself to humans. Therefore, the making of community may not be regarded as an optional decision for Christians. It is a compelling and irrevocable necessity, a binding divine mandate for all believers at all time" — Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian.

Discipleship: One of the greates advantages of a Life us from just simply being inspired and familiar with the passage, towards a working knowledge and understanding of God's Word, biblical principles, and personal application as we engage in a spirited and open discussion with others!

Evangelism: Evangelism can be a scary thing even for seasoned Christans. But together we can actually do what we can't do alone. You've often heard me say, "Evangelism is a team sport." Your evangelistic organized efforts as a Life Group not only can be fun, but actually more effective than doing it alone. So, invite your "pre-Christian" friends over for a game night and ice cream.

Ministry: Life Groups should be a place where we can freely “love our neighbor,” whether through prayer or meeting a physical need. But Life Groups also provide encouragement and a place of rest so members can love God with all their strength outside the formal gathering. Life Groups can be a place to recharge and share how God is working.

God knows we are fragile creatures who need constant reminders of what we are supposed to do. Life Groups are a key tool to help with this. Regularly gathering with a committed group of believers allows us to reinforce the core values of what we believe so we can live it out, learn more about God, and maintain the strength to serve others. At Sierra Vista we have Life Groups because the Bible teaches that they are the best way to make and develop fully devoted followers of Christ. To say it in a different way, Life Groups can provide all of these five core values in a way our large gathering on Sunday can’t.

GET IT: Why do you think these people got together? What word describes the atmosphere found in Acts 2:42-47 ? What made the early church so appealing to others? If you had been invited to be a part of this “community”, what would have been your reaction?

DIG DEEPER: What is the closest you have come to experiencing the kind of close community described here in Acts 2:42-47 ? What keeps the church from experiencing this kind of community now?

APPLY: What aspect of life in the early church do you most desire for Sierra Vista or your Life Group? How can you be part of the solution? When will you start?