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Creating Space. Expecting Harvest: Generosity Changes Lives—Especially You. Pastor Tony

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Discussion Guide – Creating Space. Expecting Harvest: Generosity Changes Lives—Especially You.  Pastor Tony

Questions by Pastor Ric

October 1, 2017

This Fall will be crucial in engaging our church family both in heart and vision.  To do that, there will be six weeks in our church’s life, September 10 through Oct 15, that may be the most strategic season yet in the history of LEFC.  We will be communicating vision, engaging hearts, and approaching our God together in expectation of a “Harvest”.  One important and strategic step we want to ask of the congregation is to have all small groups, home groups, care groups, and Life Groups meet weekly for those six weeks and utilize a sermon based group discussion guide.  I recognize that is no small request, but I feel it is essential to our church’s future.  These six weeks are also an invitation for those who are not in a group to join one, so we will be offering opportunities for people to join a group. “  Pastor Tony

TEXT: 2 CO 8:1-5, 6-9
Pastor Tony’s Questions:

*Why would you give beyond anyone’s expectation to those that you do not even know? 

*How do you get to the place where you are pleading, even begging, for the opportunity to be generous?

Charlie’s journey (interview):

Model of his parents
Intentionality in regular giving and random acts
Biblical direction Mal 3/1 TI 6
Hearing God’s voice
Salary and resources
Cultural model is reversed and based upon consumerism
God is the epitome of generosity and generosity is an incredible act of worship 

  1. Do you think generosity is a spiritual gift? What is it about our culture that tends to hinder our desire for generosity?

(Remember the quote:  “We are all well-discipled consumers…”  Alan Hirsch) 

  1. The scriptures do not condemn wealth and riches (they condemn the love of it). Yet,  when we think of generosity, we usually think of money and wealth.  Have a conversation about how generosity is not exclusively a financial act and based upon wealth. (8:2, 3)

  2. How is generosity related to God’s grace and a deepening walk with Christ? But, is a desire to be more generous enough to make it happen?  Discuss how we can as individuals and as Life Groups (hence LEFC) develop a reputation for generosity.
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Creating Space, Expecting Harvest--Living Wth Margin, Pastor Nicholas

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Discussion Guide – CREATING SPACE, EXPECTING HARVEST…”Living with Margin” Pastor Nicholas

Questions by Pastor Ric

September 24, 2017

This Fall will be crucial in engaging our church family both in heart and vision.  To do that, there will be six weeks in our church’s life, September 10 through Oct 15, that may be the most strategic season yet in the history of LEFC.  We will be communicating vision, engaging hearts, and approaching our God together in expectation of a “Harvest”.  One important and strategic step we want to ask of the congregation is to have all small groups, home groups, care groups, and Life Groups meet weekly for those six weeks and utilize a sermon based group discussion guide.  I recognize that is no small request, but I feel it is essential to our church’s future.  These six weeks are also an invitation for those who are not in a group to join one, so we will be offering opportunities for people to join a group. “  Pastor Tony

TEXTS:   MA 9; MK 5; *LU 8:40-49; 50-56; 1-3 (FOCUS)  It is a good idea to define margin.  A good synonym is priority.  A margin is a priority that we make in our lives to effectively live out the life of a true disciple.

  1. NFL RedZone (a show that televises every touchdown of every NFL game LIVE) is an amazing invention for pro football fans! We can spend hours watching it (without commercials!) every Sunday during football season.  Modern technology has a way of consuming our time.  Time is what we have to give to relationships.  It is extremely valuable and Jesus’ life proved that.  So the question is, how do we best use our time for impacting the Kingdom? What IS the ministry God has called you to? (And it could be to have friends over every Sunday to watch NFL Redzone!)    Discuss how this differs for all of us—but most importantly,  specific ways you effectively use your time to build relationships—as well as how you sense God’s direction in who, where,  and when to give your time while continuing to keep healthy balance in your life.
  2. (LU 8:1-3)--In our culture, “you are what you own”—financial success is everything. We are “well-discipled consumers!”  Talk about Jesus’ perspective on finances—Remember, Jesus only condemns the “love of money”…can you think of some “counter culture” Scripture?  We must ask ourselves how much we allow our culture to define us, financially.  Here’s a passage to discuss:  Malachi 3:10.
  3. The final question really affects how we respond to the first two. One author I’ve read calls it the, “Daily Office” or the experience of silence and solitude before God.  And we’re not taking devotions here.  It’s about taking time(s) during the day when we stop what we’re doing and get quiet (emotional margin/experience) before God—to hear from Him.  It’s about taking regular extended time (a morning or evening monthly perhaps) where we get alone with Him.  Our culture screams work, family, sports, demands and God gets squeezed out.   How are we doing with this?  For us to succeed at effective time and financial margins, we should prioritize our alone time with God.  Would it be  possible to allow for this to happen in Life Groups sometimes?

Here’s Pastor Nick’s benediction passage for your consideration as a closing prayer:

Psalm 67 – 1-7.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—[b]

2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

5 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

6 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

7 May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

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