The Life of Heaven: Partnership (Week of 03.11.19)

By: Reality SF

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Facilitator’s Note: This material is designed to be addressed at the start of a new sermon series (specifically, the week of CG following the first Sunday sermon of a new series). Please take some time with the series overview and a selection of preparation exercises before going through the abbreviated material about the sermon.

Welcome and Prayer
Welcome one another and take three minutes of silent prayer to shift focus toward interacting with God and your group in this time.

“The Life of Heaven” Overview
“The Life of Heaven” is a series focusing on Paul’s Letter to the Philippian Church. In our Year of Authentic Community, we will focus on this letter’s lessons about how to be in relationship and community as followers of Jesus. Therefore, our central question throughout this series is: How does Philippians inform and shape how we build authentic community?

As we discover greater clarity about what it means to relate to one another as “citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20), we will practically take on the relational values of heaven in our church — for example, serving one another and being united in Christ. That said, our collective hope is that our church relates in more authentic and godly community after going through this series.

Preparing for the Series
Please choose one of the two following exercises to take the opportunity to pause, reflect, and prepare for this new series.

1) Reading of Scripture
Read the whole book of Philippians (4 chapters) aloud as a group, as Paul instructed Timothy: “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13).

2) Journal + Share
As we enter into this new series on “The Life of Heaven” through studying Philippians, take five minutes to reflect, journal in a notebook or phone, and respond to any impressions or gut reactions you have to the topics of the series.

  • What has been your history with connecting with people, friendship, and relating—whether in Christian community or beyond? What’s been difficult, confusing, or worth celebrating?
  • What feelings of fear or anxiety do you have around the topic of community? What hopes or delights?
  • What kind of change or transformation would you like to see in your life with community?

Share with one another, either corporately or in smaller groups, and pray together.

Sermon Reflection
Philippians 1:1-11, 27 in order to reflect and discuss what Gospel-oriented, self-sacrificial community looks like among Christians. Then discuss:

  • What do these verses reveal about the character of God and His relationship with His church?
  • What do you think it means to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27)?
  • How would your Community Group need to change in order to imitate the self-sacrificial character of Jesus?

Closing Prayer
Share with  God your hopes for your community. Ask for His help, empowering, and inspiration.