Sunday, March 5th
Jesus promised that if we obey His teachings we will experience life-giving freedom. The modern world also promises life and freedom, and yet so many people who chase after what the world promises are left empty and scarred. What does it look like to truly experience the life and freedom promised by Jesus? What part can we play in helping others experience the best Jesus has to offer?
Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!
- What vision or dream has inspired you the most in your life? What drew you to that vision, and how have you contributed to bringing it to life?
- In what areas of your life has God led you to life and freedom? What made you realize that you needed God to speak into those areas?
- Read Luke 15:1-4. Which do you think is harder: welcoming sinners into your life or being welcomed by others as a sinner?
- Later in Luke 15, Jesus describes a father who rushes to meet his ungrateful son with open arms. God reacts in this same way when we turn our hearts back to Him. How have you responded to the life and freedom found in God’s unconditional love?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:17-21. Paul wants us to understand that each of us has a unique part to play in God’s Church and that we diminish the effectiveness of the whole when we fail to use our individual gifts and talents. We are all needed! What are some of your indispensable contributions, without which the Church (or your other communities) would be less effective?
- It is said that God doesn’t call the equipped, but rather that He equips the called. This means that God may call us to serve in ways for which we feel unprepared. How will you allow yourself, in this season of life, to respond to God’s call, whatever that might be?
- Just as God has brought us life and freedom, so too do we work to minister to other broken, hurting people. How are you serving others (at Gateway or at work, school, or anywhere else) and helping them experience life and freedom? If you feel like you’re missing opportunities to do so, what will you do in the weeks ahead to respond to the life-changing work that God has done in your own life?
Luke 15:1-4 — Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?…”
1 Corinthians 12:17-21 — If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
This week we heard stories of how it looks to come as you are and then begin to step out of anonymity into community as you journey along the path towards life and freedom through Jesus. Read through the stages listed below, and ask yourself if you might be ready to take the next step in your journey.
Come As You Are // Inspire Service
- Perhaps at this point you are simply attending our Sunday services. Maybe you’re a first-time guest, or maybe you’ve been coming for years. For an opportunity to grow even further, consider beginning to serve others with others through a serve network.
Live Connected // Serve Networks
- Maybe you are currently serving others with others in one of our serve networks. Perhaps you hold babies with NextGen, greet people at the door, or serve as a camera operator on Sunday mornings. As you’re serving and getting to know the people with whom you serve, you’ll find that even more growth will come when you begin do life together and step into a life group.
Be Transformed // Life Groups
- Life groups are communities that allow you to very intentionally pursue spiritual growth and deepen your relationship with Jesus. At Gateway, these are groups that meet regularly, walk through life together, and journey through the Spiritual Growth Path outcomes. We see great spiritual growth come through intentional communities like these. Perhaps you are currently in a life group, and you’re ready to mark the transformation you’ve seen through commissioning and begin to work to continuously change your world.
Change Your World // Commissioning // BLESS
- Part of God’s amazing plan—how He wired us to live connected to Him and to one another—is not only for our own transformation, but also for the transformation of others. We continue to grow and be changed as we help others grow and change. As you deepen your commitment to Jesus through personal transformation, doing life with others, and “changing your world” through blessing those around you, you can mark this through the process of commissioning, being sent out to share your faith and lead others.
For more information on any of the steps listed above, please go to STARTING GATE after any Gateway service, or email your Gateway location at: