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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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Creating Space, Expecting Harvest ..."Vision Leads"

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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 25: 31-46  

  1. If mission is what we do outside of the church in Jesus’ name, then we have an amazing opportunity to love people. This is the “go” in MA 28:19! Clearly, mission (making disciples and loving on people) is Jesus’ command. So, why can it be such a challenge for many of us to demonstrate our love and help those who are in need? What are some reasons/excuses we use to NOT engage others and make disciples?
  2. Look at MA 25:31-46. What examples of love did Jesus mention? How do those translate to us today? How is God moving you out of your comfort zone to do a better job of loving others? How will this commitment to Jesus’ vision affect both you and your LITE6/ Life Group?
  3. If we want to know Jesus’ heart of love, we must first be captivated by Him. What have we done since last week to make sure this is happening? (Look again at last week’s topic, ”Why I Love Jesus”.) Prayer is one key to getting close to the heart of God. Discuss how we can develop a deeper love for Christ, individually and as a Life Group. Spend some significant time in prayer as a group asking God to reveal his love so we can love others better.
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