The Community Guide below is based on Sunday’s teaching for our current series on the Gospel according to Matthew. As your whole Community gathers, 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 scripture we’ve provided below and spend a moment in silence before continuing.
Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Emotional Health Check-in (20-30 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:
- How would you describe your week in 30 seconds or less?
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)
Throughout the story of Scripture, we see that God is determined to bless humanity. God blesses directly, and as the story develops, blesses nations and individuals through his people. God’s desire is to bless the whole world through us, his people.
God shows this determination consistently — no matter how far Israel strays, or how far we stray, he continues to pursue us with goodness and love.
As we reach the end of Matthew, Jesus calls us to be a continuation of this story. We are sent to be a conduit of God’s blessing to the world and to make disciples who know and follow Jesus. We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. Jesus calls us not just to believe in what he said, but to put it into practice and teach others to do the same. God’s call here is clear. The question is, what will we do with it?
This week we want to ask ourselves and ask God, to whom am I being sent?
Debrief this Sunday’s Teaching (20 Minutes)
With that in mind, work through the following discussion questions as a Community:
- When you think of God, do you think of someone determined to bless you and the world, as scripture indicates — or perhaps something else? What do you think has most shaped your idea of what God is like?
- As you consider where you live and who you live amongst, do you consider yourself “sent”? Why or why not?
- Who in your life do you sense God might be inviting you to connect or reconnect with; who you might love, serve, or bless in the name of Jesus?
Practice For The Week Ahead: Who Are You Sent To? (5 Minutes)
This week, we want to take time to consider Jesus’ call to make disciples, asking: to whom am I being “sent”?
Our practice this week is to spend time before God asking this question. Set aside some time and invite the Holy Spirit to make you aware of him and of God’s thoughts toward you. When you are comfortable and present, ask God questions such as, “God, is there a person in my life I’m called to connect with and love on your behalf?” “Father, in your heart to reach the nations, what role are you inviting me into in this season?” or “God, what purpose do you have in me being placed where I am right now?” If it’s helpful to you, write down some of the thoughts or scriptures that come to mind.
Many of us don’t see ourselves in the clearest light. Consider sitting down with a close friend or two to process this together.
Finally, continue to pray that God would help you to be attentive to where and to whom he is sending you to love others on his behalf.
Prayer (20 Minutes)
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, and that we would grow in our ability to bless others because we have been blessed. Pray that God would reveal to each person (or to your Community as a whole) whom they have been called to love, bless, and serve in Jesus name. If there are people groups (nations in turmoil, for example) or individual people (your friends or neighbors) that God is bringing to mind, pray for them together by name.