Uncomfortable Conversations

September 26th, 2012 by Sue Bates

You’re listening to your friend describe the person he or she is dating and the thought bubble in your head is screaming, “You shouldn’t be dating this person!” But you leave your friend’s company, having said nothing . . . and then spend the next few weeks having imaginary conversations about what you should have said. Or worse, you have conversations with other people instead of with your friend.

How do you approach uncomfortable conversations? Read the rest of this entry »

What Am I Really Looking For?

September 23rd, 2012 by Kathy Dennis

Try something this week: ask yourself,  “What am I really looking for.”
Ask yourself this question about everything—when you have that sinking feeling that today is just like yesterday but with a different date; when you’re in a room full of people and you still feel alone; when your calendar is so full that you’re doing everything you dread but have no room for anything you enjoy; when you’ve already used up every last drop of energy and brainpower as you pull into the garage before all of the children’s activities begin; when you’re hiding out in your house thinking “my neighbors are weird.”

“Old” Testament, As In “Irrelevant”?

September 19th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

If we’ve been given a “New” Testament, does that mean the “Old” Testament is obsolete? There aren’t many church-types who would give a hearty, “Yes!” to that question, but many of us ignore the Old Testament to the extent that an outside observer might assume Genesis through Malachi doesn’t really apply to us anymore.

So why do we gloss over the Old Testament?

Read the rest of this entry »

Group Members Who Need Too Much Care

September 16th, 2012 by Donald Smith

As a Community Group leader, you help to shepherd the members of your group during a season of life.  But there’s a common tension: some members of the group require more care than others.  There’s a tipping point at which certain members need too much care.

I’m not talking about a group member with a need that the group is equipped to meet, but a group member whose needs consistently dominate the group dynamic. Your goal is to provide a healthy group experience for all members while providing appropriate support for those who have real issues of care. Read the rest of this entry »

Future Family

September 16th, 2012 by Dan Mancini

In Future Family, Andy Stanley explores how to make your future family better than your family of origin—whether you loved childhood or couldn’t wait to move out and start fresh.

This topic is so important, we’d like for your Community Group to talk about it throughout the series. If you’re currently in the middle of a study, take a break so you can track with us through Future Family. If your group is still on summer break, that’s okay. Join the discussion in progress whenever you start meeting again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Love From God. For God and Others

September 12th, 2012 by John Woodall

Several weeks ago I came across Eph.1.17 and started praying it on a daily/regular basis.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
so that you may know him better. Eph. 1:17

I found myself repeatedly asking God for a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I could know God, my Father, Jesus, my Savior and the Holy Spirit better. I believe as a result of that prayer that God has been revealing more to me about His BEAUTY and His LOVE. I was thinking about God, Christ and Christianity and wondered of a one word summary. What is one word that would summarize Him and it?

The word that came to my mind is LOVE. Period. So many words but this one word captures it all. LOVE…from God, for God and for others. Several verses and thoughts came to mind.
• God so loved the world.
• Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.
• We love Him because He first loved us.
• We were made to receive and give love.
• Love the Lord my God with all my heart…
So many other verses to support this one word idea.
Deut. 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Matt. 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matt. 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matt. 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:17 This is my command: Love each other.
Rom. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Rom. 8:39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I thought about the love of God poured out in our hearts, I thought about all the relationships in my life that I want to love with God’s love. Naturally I thought in terms of my LIFE, MARRIAGE, FAMILY, WORK and CHURCH.

When I think of the lives we touch over the course of a day, week, month, year and lifetime. God wants His love poured out in us and allow His love to touch the world through us. I wonder if this is a part of what Jesus meant when He said in John 14.12, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” It is an incredible thing to be loved by God, to love Him in return and to allow His love to touch all of the people and relationships in our lives. 2Cor. 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

What About Those Who Never Hear About Christ?

September 5th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

This post is from an article on StartingPoint.com. That site also contains articles about other theological questions that may come up in your group. Check it out.

Sooner or later, everybody exploring Christianity wrestles with this question. It can be especially difficult for seekers because it raises suspicions about God’s character. The question goes like this: If Jesus is the only way to God, what about all the innocent people who have never heard about Christ? Read the rest of this entry »

Knowing Jesus Because of Community

September 2nd, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

Here’s a wonderful baptism video telling of the power of community in helping someone come to know Jesus. Love it.

Ute Duquemin- 042912 from NP Baptism on Vimeo.