IT‘S GOD’S IDEA
Fellowship Group Notes on Sermon
Pastor Colleen Stringer
Acts 2:41-47 (NIV)
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 11:26 (NIV)
For a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
A: Upward Worship (vv. 42-43, 46-47)
- What currently hinders your pursuit of God?
- How often does your small group pray together?
- In what ways can our church better move toward God?
- How might we protect our zeal for Him?
Luke 24: 32 Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures with us?
B: Inward Care (vv. 42, 44-46)
- What is your attitude toward the church?
- Are church attendance, financial giving, small group activity, and other kinds of involvement important to you?
- How can you be a blessing to your local congregation?
- Are your brothers and sisters in Christ a priority in your prayers and time?
C: Outward Reach (v. 47)
- Do you have a burden for non-Christians?
- Who in your life or family does not believe the gospel?
- What will you do to share it with them?
At the height of the Cold War, Billy Graham visited Russia to meet with their political and religious leaders. Many conservatives in the US criticized him for not taking a more prophetic role. One accused him of setting the church back 50 years. Graham responded, “I am deeply ashamed. I have been trying very hard to set the church back 2,000 years”
The early church, though flawed, is a wonderful model for us. The way it emulated these 3 postures (Upward…Inward…Outward…) is a challenge for all churches today. That is why we need to examine these areas, ask hard questions, and rest in the gospel to find strength and motivation to fulfill them. This is why Jesus Christ freely gave Himself to die on the Cross, to create a community like nothing the world has ever seen. May we be that community!
It would do us all good to remember that this is God’s idea.