THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
The Church is not a service or a building. The church is actually the people who come together to follow Jesus. As our nation celebrates our independence on July 4th, Gateway Church will be mobilized throughout the city to love our neighbor. Whether by serving those in need, hosting a party, helping at a neighborhood parade, or inviting friends over to watch the Online Inspire Service, this Sunday the Church has left the building!
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. What’s the story of the people in your neighborhood? What about your place of employment? What is your place in that story?
2. What stood out/intrigued you from the messages?
3. Read John 13:2-17.
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 12:30-31. Do you live out your faith in this order? Do neglect one of the two things that Jesus said were most important? If so, which one?
5. Read John 13:34-35.
- Have you received God’s love for you or are you still ignoring it or pushing it away? That is the first step. To love with God’s abundant love we have to receive it for ourselves first.
- Then, when Jesus says, love your neighbor and those around you, the way I have loved you, he doesn’t mean you are called to die for each other, he already did that. What he’s saying is that it’s a heart posture, am I am willing to lay down my preferences and position for the sake of others? How can you love your neighbors in an “others-centered” way as Jesus did? Do you know your neighbors? If not, start by getting to know them.
6. Reread John 13:13-17. Explain a time when you felt like another person cared for you with a servant-hearted kind of love like Jesus calls those who follow him to give. What is needed for you to become a person who can follow Jesus’ example of love and service to those around you?
John 13:2-17 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
John 13: 34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
TAKE A NEXT STEP
Who is your neighbor? Look around you. Your neighbor is anyone God has put in your sphere of influence, including family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. This 4th of July weekend we want to challenge everyone at Gateway to BE the church (a representation of God’s love and goodness) to those who are our neighbors. Below is a way to begin to pursue a life of loving and serving others in our life the way Jesus did.
The following can help you be intentional with the relationships around you. This takes time. So, be patient and continue to engage intentionally even past connecting with your neighbors over the 4th of July.