EQUIPPING TIME   9:00
FELLOWSHIP CONNECTION   9:30
WORSHIP SERVICE 10:00

GET  ACQUAINTED:  What is one thing that is unique about your family, something you have not seen in other families?

SCRIPTURE: “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  (Hebrews 2:10 )

Open your gathering with prayer.  This is only a guide. 
Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.

OBSERVATION: God doesn’t intend for us to live alone.  We can’t fulfill God’s calling for our lives on our own, so He called us to belong to the family He created to love and to be with Him in eternity.  The English word “church” in the Bible’s original Greek means “called out” and not a building or an event:  we are called out of the world into God’s family.  God designed His church as the only way the deepest needs in our lives can be met, so in this discussion we’ll seek an understanding of what God’s church is like and how it meets our needs.

  1. 5 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”  (Ephesians 1:5-6 ) If people truly understood the significance of God’s eternal plan for them described in this verse, what kind of response would they have?  How would they feel about themselves?   How would they feel about God?  What would they say and do?
  1. 21… in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”  (Ephesians 2:21-22 ) God’s church is like a temple in which all the pieces of the building support each other.  According to the verse above, what are you being built to become and who will live there?
  1. Referring to Ephesians 2:21-22 above, in which ways are we being built together to become a dwelling place where God lives?  What does this actually look like in the lives of church members?
  1. In a support group (care group), the members provide emotional stability for one another.  Name people in your life from whom you receive emotional support, and people to whom you give emotional support.  If you do not have these types of relationships in your life, name places where you can seek emotional support and try joining such a group.
  1. “I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 )  God’s church is like a garden in which people’s lives become productive and fruitful.  What do “bears much fruit” and “do nothing” mean in this verse above?  What do “bears much fruit” and “do nothing” look like in people’s lives?
  1. What do you have to do to follow Jesus’ command to “abide in me” in the verse above?  What does this look like in your life?  Is it something others can see, or is it something private between you and Jesus?  What should it look like?

Going Deeper:

  1. God’s church provides spiritual security to protect and care for his family.   What are some elements of the church that provide this kind of security?  What does this security look like?
  2. In God’s family, we learn our true identity.  What relationships define much of your identity, whether through family, friends, work, or a club/organization?  How can you allow your identity in Christ to be more significant in each of those relationships?
  3. Romans 12:4-5 says, “… the members do not all have the same function …” Have you discovered the types of functions/works that God shape you to do in the body of Christ?  If so, what are they?  If not, seek insight from other group members.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, thank You for calling me into Your family and making me your sibling.  Bless all my relationships to reflect Your love.  Make it clear to me where You want me to seek support and whom You want me to care for.  Help me to stay connected to Your church family so my life will become productive and pleasing to You.  Amen.