SESSION 21: LIVING IN COMMUNITY

Ask:

When you hear the word “church,” what comes to mind? 



Teaching Time:

The Church is not a building and despite what we have grown up thinking, the Church is not confined to a Sunday morning service. The Local Church is a group of people who have repented and turned from their sins, who follow Jesus and who meet regularly to read God’s Word and celebrate baptism and communion together. The recognition and practice of Baptism and Communion are what separates the Church from any other body of people. The greatest moves of God haven’t happened in elaborate buildings, but among the people of God. This is a critical truth to walk through with your disciple. We say it like this: “A church isn’t a building to come to but rather a group of people to belong to.” By simply breaking down the word “church” (Ekklesia) in the Bible we learn that the Church was an assembly of “called out” ones. Ekklesia means a gathering of people united by a common identity (Christ) and purpose (God’s mission). Something significant and heartbreaking happened in 313 A.D. when Constantine legalized Christianity in Rome. The Church ceased to be a movement and it became a location. Eventually a German word, Kirche, was substituted for Ekklesia. Kirche and Ekklesia refer to two very different ideas. A Kirche (church) is a location or a building while an Ekklesia (church) is a purposeful, often powerful gathering of people united by identity and purpose that cannot be bound by the walls of a building. You can lock the doors of a Kirche. Not so with the Ekklesia of Jesus Christ. The church (Ekklesia) was and still is a movement of God, empowered by God and protected by God. The Church is also described as the body of Christ. Since Christ fills His followers with His Spirit (The Holy Spirit), the Church, therefore goes and does the will of the Father not alone, but empowered and equipped.


Application:

Read Acts 2:42-47

  • What does this teach us about God’s Church? 
  • What characterized the early church?
  • What 4 things were they devoted to? Discuss each.
  • Would you fit in with the early church? Why or why not?

Read 1 Peter 2:9-10

  • What does this teach us about God’s heart for His church? 

Read Matthew 28:18-20 Acts 1:8

  • What is God’s mission for His Church? 

Read Romans 12:3-8

  • What does it mean that the church is a body? 
  • How does one body part not functioning affect the whole body? 

Read Matt 16:18

  • Why is God committed to building His Church? Are you?

Read Heb 3:12-13 Heb 10:24-24

  • What does this teach us about the importance of our involvement in the church community? 
  • Based on today’s conversation, what is your next step?


Where do we get it wrong?

  • The Church is a building.
  • The Church is a worship service. 
  • The Church is a country club.
  • The Church is an event to attend; not a family to belong to. 
  • It’s okay to just go to church and not actually be the church. 
  • I can be a part of the church and not be devoted to God, other believers, and His mission.


Useful Tools

God's design for growth


BACK TO SESSION 20: GIVING


GO TO SESSION 22: EVANGELISM


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