Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Conversation - What is "Living Out" & "Loving In?"

The Conversation continued this afternoon.  Here are a few notes, including articles to read this week...

-          Tell of a time in your life when you were unexpected celebrated.  How did make you feel?  What impacted you the most?

-          Tell of a time in our life when you went together with someone from your church or small group to celebrate someone who was not a believer at the time.  What was the result?  Why do you believe God called you to do this?

-          What can you do to bless others instead of waiting for others to bless you?  Where can you serve where others are presently serving you?  How can you invite other people into story, listening, eating, blessing, celebrating or recreating?

The Story (selections from Exodus 3 and 4)

Send Somebody Else                                                                                     

-          How do you relate with Moses when you think about living out your own missional calling in the community?

o   Important to be ourselves

o   Struggle with some “disabilities”/feeling unqualified

o   Moses argued with a BURNING BUSH—I argue w that still small voice, which isn’t as dramatic

o   Question whether my impulse is from God—wish I had a burning bush

o   Hard to discern true leading of Holy Spirit

o   “Take care of what’s important to God and He’ll take care of what’s important to you.”

o   We feel inadequate when God calls, but He calls us because of our uniqueness, because of how He’s created us.  Only we can do the things God’s called us to do.

o   When God called me, I had concerns/objections, but He dealt with each one.

o   God’s faithfulness in giving exactly what’s needed to accomplish what He’s calling me/us to do.

o   Song—“Do Something”

-          Have you ever felt unqualified to live it out?

o   I didn’t really understand what He was asking me to do, but as I started to follow it made sense.

o   The early days of learning to play piano, but now I use it to bless people.

o   I don’t have the “right” degree for my job, but God’s taught me so much where He put me.

o   I didn’t think I could tithe.  I argued with God about whether I could pay my bills, but God provided financial help.


-          What are some excuses that you’ve used with God?  Yourself?  Others?

o   I’m not good at ________________.

o   “I don’t deal with dysfunction well.”

o   “I have trouble with new people/new situations.”

o   “I don’t have the time.”

-          Describe a time when you’ve said to God, “Please send someone else.”

o   Forgiving my ex-husband

o   Helping my ex-husband

3:30        Jars of Clay & the 6 Currencies                                                                                                   Pastor Angela

-          Explain attachment page 2

o   Burning bushes still happen today—and they can be HOT.

o   There are reasons we feel inadequate: we’re supposed to!

-          Pass out scripture – 2 Corinthians 4: 1-12

o   A plain old clay pot means my flaws are visible.

o   Our clay pots are so that no one mistakes us for the one deserving glory.  It’s obviously all about God.

-          When you read this and think about your personal mission, do you tend to focus on the possibilities of ministry or your own clay pot?

-          Explain the Colombian communion set story.  What are your weaknesses?

-          How does faith enable us to take on responsibility for God’s mission even while we are fully aware of our weaknesses?

o   Confidence

o   Maturity/experience

o   Focus on His power over my weaknesses.

§  Is it really that simple?  Focus on our weaknesses and we will probably disobey, but focus on His power and we will follow through?

§  Yes, but we still need the desire to follow through.  We have the confidence, but not always the desire to endure the experience.

-          What type of burning bush is God using to get your attention right now?

o   My child

o   A struggling family at school

o   My job

o   A heart and passion for the city

The 6 Currencies – Starting Somewhere – Being faithful with what we have

-          Pass out Holy Currency Coins.

-          It’s normal to feel some tension related to “living out”.  Living on mission can be challenging.  It isn’t always immediately clear what we’re supposed to do.

-          For some of that tension, it’s important to remind ourselves that keeping track of the results is not our job. In fact, our main concern is to live in such a way that the Good News is clearly expressed through our lives.  We trust the work of God to do the rest.

-          We’ve been discussing the 6 Holy Currencies that God has given us to “give like heroes”.  These are 6 rhythms of life that are happening in every context and culture.  In many ways you are already living in these rhythms and may not have noticed.  Now we want to grow in the ability to express our gospel identity (a family of missionary servants) through every area of our lives.

-          Take a look and think about each Holy Currency.  How mighty you express your gospel identity through each one?  To whom?  Try to come up with at least two or three ways you could begin to live through these rhythms as a community together.

·         Story

·         Listen

·         Eat

·         Bless

·         Celebrate

·         ReCreate

-          Is this overwhelming to think about?  Why or why not?

§  No. 

§  Not overwhelming, but it can still create some waves.

§  The celebration currency makes Christians nervous because we have the least control—but we can have focused intentionality on all 6 currencies, including celebrating.

§  I know what my purpose is, my focus when I’m celebrating.  Even if others around me don’t know, but I do and that’s enough.

§  If we just went about our lives, doing what we have to do, giving what we have to give along the way—we would revolutionize our city!

§  We can have fun and be true to ourselves at the same time…and people will respond to that.  Even if others are suspect of our celebration, they will still notice, and noticing will often lead to a conversation.

-          Which of these rhythms would you be the most likely to excel at doing with greater gospel intentionality?

-          Consider the following ways of connecting with people.  Raise your hand if this is something that you would be good at and would likely enjoy:

·         Spend an hour with a friend who is having a tough week.

·         Take your kids to a park or playground where there are other families to build friendships with.

·         Help a neighbor with a project or chore.

·         Use a hoppy or a personal interest to find a way to make a new relationship.

·         Invite others to join a personal or family meal.

·         Respond willingly to at least one interruption that comes along this week.

-           Luke 17 (The Message)

The difference between Attractional and Incarnational                                                 

o   We have to lead with relationship

o   Attractional Church: a non-believer is invited to church, confesses belief (eventually), repeats prayer, joins church, is discipled through curriculum.  This process could take years.  “Believing” enables “belonging.”  They may never intersect with relationship or Missional opportunities.

o   Incarnational Church: Others are invited to belong (this may NOT happen at church). People begin to experience the Good News.  Relationships are built.  People begin to interact in community.  People are engaged in on-the-way discipleship.  The focus is on transformation, not just further understanding.  Belonging enables believing.  Church is NOT the starting point.  The intersect with relationship and belonging FIRST.

§  Attractional seems to be the “quick fix,” throw it on the leaders.  But incarnational requires more personal investment.

-          What would happen if you began to view those in your circles as . . . “spiritually curious God-seekers OR travelers who have intersected the missional community as they relate to you and perhaps others within the church?

o   Diminish the “us/them” mentality.

o   It would change our conversation—more loving and caring, less superficial.

o   We love them MORE.

o   Display that compassion and love MINUS the disappointment.

o   Just be yourself.

o   Bring church to them.

o   Attractional is like fireworks—big display, but fizzles out quickly.  Incarnational is more like a forest fire—start small and let the fire build and spread.

o   Live out the Great Commission as-is—go make disciples, not go build a church.

-          Why would this view make a difference in your intentionality?

-          In two weeks, we challenge you (and whoever you choose to partner with) to throw a party for friends and sojourners (fellow travelers).  This is step 1 of the incarnational approach – “sojourners invited to belong.” 

o   How does that make you feel?

o   Who has already been doing this?

o   Do you feel any pressure or tension?

-          How should your excitement, pressure or tension inform the way you plan for the evening?

-          How might you pray?

-          What are some practical ways you can help to create an atmosphere of belonging?

-          Dream:  Tell me about the “belonging” parties you’d like to have.

o   Help people feel like they’re a part of things, not like they’re newcomers

o   Big trips to spend time together 

-          Dream:  Tell me how you’d like to be able to bless people daily.

o   Encouraging words, emails, cards, texting

o   Paying attention to needs and responding  with some “just because” gift

-          Dream:  Tell me how you’d like to celebrate others.

o   Huge get-togethers

o   Cake and games

-          What is keeping you from living out the mission?

o   Myself

o   Overwhelmed by the number of people I want to reach

§  Need to remember that while our circles may be large, God will direct our path, literally, to know where to start.

o   Overthinking and talking myself out of things

o   Judgment/fear of judgment

§  If God is giving us the Missional impulses, it’s because people are needy for something.  That eclipses the anticipated judgment.

§  Scriptures can help us overcome the fear of persecution.

4:50        Homework                                                                                                        

-          Articles:

-          What homework will you assign yourself?

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