Be the Church Week 1 – Why You Need the Church and the Church Needs You – Matthew 16:13-20 – Livestream for 1/8/23

This week’s bulletin                                        YouVersion Bible App                                      Listen to the podcast of this week’s message on Spotify

Small Group Guide:

Open with prayer.

Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?

If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.

Message Outline:

Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church. We’re talking about why we need the church, what the church is, what the purpose of church is, and common ways that the church gets off track. Today, we’re tackling the important question of why Christians need church.

The Church has been God’s plan since the beginning. It provides a place for:

  1. Community

Heb. 10:24-25, Gal. 6:2, Matt. 18:20, Col. 3:16, 1 Thess. 5:11

  1. Teaching

1 Tim. 4:13, 2 Tim. 2:15, 23-26, Acts 2:42, Matt. 28:18-20

  1. Service

Matt. 10:45, 23:11, 1 Pet. 4:10, Eph. 6:7, Mark 9:35, 1 Cor. 12:4-31

  1. Worship

Col. 3:16, 1 Cor. 14:26, Acts 2:42, Ps. 100:4-5

Reflection Questions:

  1. Take some time and reflect on your experience with church. What has God done through the church in your life? If you have kids, or grandkids, what has God done through the church in their life? If you have had negative experiences with the church, spend some time asking God to heal you from that hurt.
  2. As we discussed in the message, the church has been God’s plan since the beginning. What is your attitude towards church in this season of your life? Circle all that apply below or write some of your own:

Eh, it’s something to do, I guess                        I go because I have to

I go occasionally and it’s fine             The church is core to who I am

I go but don’t participate enough, but would like to get more involved

I go because it’s what I’ve always done        I go because I am needed

I go because God has called me                 I go because I enjoy it

  1. Looking at your answer from question number 2, why did you choose those answers?
  2. Looking at the 4 aspects that the church provides, which one(s) do you feel like you participate well in, and which ones do you feel like you could participate more in?
  3. What is your biggest take away from this message? What did God teach you? Do you feel led to put anything into action? If so, what, and what practical step(s) do you need to take to be obedient to what God has led you to do? Who can keep you accountable to accomplishing this?

Prayer Time:

Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.

Staying Missional:

Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:

Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?

What’s next?

Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?