The Community Guide below is based on Sunday’s teaching for our current series: Future Church. As your whole Community gathers (online or socially distanced), use the Community Guide below to give shape to your night together.
Begin by Practicing the Lord’s Supper Together (5 minutes)
Begin your night by partaking of the bread and the cup together. Have each person bring their own Communion elements. To facilitate your time, you can either ask a member of your Community to come ready with a short prayer, liturgy, or scripture reading, or assign someone to read the Apostles Creed we’ve provided below and spend a moment in silence before continuing:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Emotional Health Check-in (10 Minutes)
As we focus in on this series, we want to continue to create space for checking in on each other, but doing so in a shorter amount of time. Take a few minutes to do an emotional health check-in with your Community, creating space for each person to answer the question below:
- What is one thing you’re having to trust Jesus with right now?
If the need arises, spend a few minutes praying for one another, asking God to meet needs and help each person carry what feels heavy right now.
Read this Overview (5 Mins)
We live in the age of ideology. By “ideology” we mean any set of beliefs that 1) takes part of the truth and makes the whole and 2) takes a good thing and makes it ultimate. Whether from the right or the left, the ideologies of our world have become for many a new type of religion, each with its own type of doctrine, dogma, and heresy. While the ideologies of our day are new, the temptation to mix the way of Jesus and what the New Testament calls “the way of the world” is as ancient as time. Further still, we’re living in a time of unprecedented deconstruction.
In the face of this temptation and moment, the invitation of Jesus is to “demolish strongholds” of the mind and to instead take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ, to fight for orthodoxy. And while it must be said that deconstruction can be good, deconstruction is not the end goal. We must push past the impulse to deconstruct orthodoxy, and move into a type of reconstruction that is not based on the ideologies of the day but is informed by the life and teachings of Jesus as they come to us in the scriptures.
Debrief this Sunday’s Teaching (20 Minutes)
With that in mind, work through the following discussion questions as a Community:
- What are some of the ideologies you see in our country? Our city?
- Are there any ideologies that feel easy for you to fall into? Are there areas of your faith that you feel that you are deconstructing? What are they?
- What difficulties do you face when it comes to the Bible? (e.g. fear, confusion, boredom, skepticism, etc.)
- What do you think the invitation of Jesus is for you in this area?
Practice For The Week Ahead: Revisiting your Rule of Life for Scripture (10 Minutes)
This week, continue revising and working on your Rule of Life Chart, keeping in mind that the goal is not to fill in every box, but to come to a good balance and rhythm in each category. As you consider the Scripture subsection, consider what your existing practices are in this area and write them down. Then take some time to reflect on and pray through what healthy rhythms of reading scripture could be for you, and what your next step might be to move toward greater orthodoxy and truth in the scriptures. Remember, aim to start where you are, not where you think you “should” be.
Here are a few ideas to get you started as you brainstorm and pray through your next step in Scripture reading:
- Entry-Level Practice: Begin reading small portions of scripture a few times a week. You can start with one of the Gospels, the Psalms, or even picking one passage to read a few times over (E.g. John 15, Matthew 5–7, Psalm 23).
- Baseline Practice: Adopt a practice of reading scripture daily and set designated limits to screen time in your days or week.
- Reach Practice: Expand your practice of daily scripture reading. This can look like adopting a specific reading plan, ending your day with a Psalm, following along with podcasts and videos from BibleProject, or anything else that would take you deeper into scripture.
Again, the goal is not to adopt a regimented Scripture practice for the sake of checking a box, but for the purpose of being someone who day-by-day is becoming transformed and freed by truth.
Prayer (10 Minutes)
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, that we might become a people who make Jesus our Lord, and that there might be a sweeping renewal of the Holy Spirit in our city. Ask that God would stir up within us a desire to be with him in prayer and to serve him, one another, and our neighbor in love.