You’ve Lost it. Get it Back. Restoring Authentic Community.
(Message 3) How many friends do you have? Are they true friends or fair-weather friends? Maybe it’s time for some new ones. Join us as we look at the value of surrounding ourselves with genuine friendships in our message, “Restoring Authentic Community.” #GCGetItBack
1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Mark 2:11-12 (NLT)
11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Proverbs 27:5-6 (NLT)
5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love! 6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
How has your connection to authentic community been impacted over the past two years?
Start sharing. These questions are to help get your group thinking and to create openness.
Read Mark 2:1-5. What does this passage reveal about the importance of living in an authentic community of faith in Christ?
Clay shared some of the differences between friends that are authentic and counterfeit.If you looked in the mirror, what kind of friend are you?
Read Acts 2:42-47. Notice that the early believers in Christ did life together and devoted themselves to regular spiritual disciplines. How does this model fit into a modern context?
In what ways can our small group impact the lives of those around us for the sake of Christ? What can you do to put those ideas into action?
Clay stated that “Authentic Community is God’s plan for your life.” Describe some differences between counterfeit and authentic community.
Read Mark 2:11-12. As many people had never seen anything like the paralyzed man’s healing, there are many people in Brunswick County who have never experienced the value of Authentic Community. What can you do to bring about this change?
Clay demonstrated the power of community using Solo cups, can you share an experience from your life that demonstrates this same power of a united and faithful, authentic community?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
List some steps you can take to ensure that you are living in authentic community; prioritize them and take action.Some examples are serving together, fellowship and praying for each other.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Pray for God to be the center of your community, and that your small group continues to walk and grow together, serving and loving your neighbors, just as He intended for you.