A REAL COMMUNITY
We all long for an ideal community—one where we’re understood, loved, and supported. But that type of community doesn’t come over night. Along the journey to finding a group of folks to do life with, we all face real struggle. How can we build the type of community God wants us to have in our lives, despite the fact that real people come with real problems?
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 are some of your favorite neighborhood memories?
2. How many of your current neighbors do you know by name? How many of them would you consider to be your friends (more than simply acquaintances)?
3. What do you think keeps people from engaging in new relationships?
4. Who are the people within your circle (family, neighbors, coworkers, or friends) who do not yet know Jesus? How can you serve them?
5. Read John 16:32. Can you think of a time someone did something to hurt you within your community, close friends, or family? How did that affect your relationship? How did it affect your view of community? What, if anything, did you do to get past the hurt?
6. Read John 17:20-21. What do you think it means that we are all interconnected? How do you think that should affect our behavior?
7. Read Matthew 18:15. How do you usually deal with conflict with those close to you? Do you avoid, face it head on, or do something else all together?
8. Jesus died to see us overcome our differences. As you seek to create, build, and maintain community in your life, ask yourself how imagining the hurts of others can aid you in giving grace and gaining understanding. This week, take a personal inventory of the community around you. Are you in a Gateway Network? A life group? Do you have “running partners” (a group of 2-3 entrusted with your deepest struggles)? If not, pray about how you can move toward deeper community. If you already have these types of community, how can you continue to work through the inevitable struggles that come with real community?
John 16:32 – “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
John 17:20-21 – “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider checking out the book the You Belong Here series is based on, called Not Like Me, written by Gateway’s South Campus Pastor, Eric Bryant.
Not Like Me is for sale in the lobbies of Gateway’s Austin locations (at a discounted price), as well as on Amazon.com.
To follow along with the You Belong Here series, this week read Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of Not Like Me.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/relationally-engaged