IN INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY
In a fast-growing city or county, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and experience loneliness. We need to be intentional about engaging in a community that is both confessional and missional. A confessional community allows you to share your heart and struggles. Being missional means seeking to B.L.E.S.S. our neighbors on our own and together as a community.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. In this season of life what does your community look like? Do you have good friends who you know and love and who know and love you? Why or why not?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Luke 7:39-50.
a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
- Who is talking?
- What is the circumstance?
- Any repeated phrases?
- What surprised you?
- What stood out to you?
b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
- What questions do you have?
- Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
- What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
- What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?
c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response)
- How do you respond to what you are reading?
- How could this apply to your life today?
- What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
- Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Read Mark 2:13-17. Jesus hung out with the misfits, outcasts, imperfect people of his time. He saw them and loved them. How does it feel to know that Jesus doesn’t ask you to “clean yourself up” before coming to Him? In what ways have you been holding back from being fully in community with God and others due to
messy places (or sin) in your life?
5. Read John 3:16-17. Jesus came to save the world by making a way back for imperfect people to a loving God. Have you received the free gift of God’s grace that erases your past mistakes and intentional sins and connects you to God the Father who is perfect love? If not, what holds you back from that decision? If yes, in what ways are you still trying to prove yourself worthy to be loved by God?
6. Reread Luke 7:39-50. We miss out on receiving the love of God and the freedom that comes through that relationship when we strive so hard on our own strength to have it all together. In what ways do you struggle with a hard heart like the Pharisees – believing you are “better” than others and therefore in less NEED of God’s grace? What could it look like today for you to practice living more honestly with God and others? Do you have community where you can be real about everything in your life?
Luke 7:39-50 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Mark 2:13-17 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
John 3:16-17 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
1. If you don’t have a community where you are known and know others and where you have conversations that encourage and challenge you in your faith – JOIN A COMMUNITY GROUP! We have Community Groups that meet all over the city. Join one for the summer – https://www.gatewaychurch.com/group-finder/?keyword=community
2. For the next 3 weeks we are having a Serve Expo each Sunday. A great way to step into community here is to sign up to serve! It’s simple, fun, makes a difference – all while connecting you with other awesome Gatewayers! Go learn more on your campus this month!
◦ View Serve Teams and sign up: https://www.gatewaychurch.com/get-involved/