Be the Church Week 10 – Matthew 18:15-20 – Livestream for 3/12/23

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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.

Matthew 18:15-20

 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Message Outline:

Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church, and what it looks like for us to be the church that God created us to be. Today, we’re looking at a message in Matthew 18:15-20 that Jesus gives to His disciples about how to handle conflict. By taking a look at what He taught them, we can also learn how to handle conflict.

Realize that conflict is not inherently bad, but if left unresolved will affect your relationship with God

Matt. 5:9, 1 John 4:20, 1 Pet. 3:7, James 3:18

So, how do we handle conflict?

  1. Evaluate and prayerfully consider what needs to be addressed

Matt. 18:15, Prov. 13:10, 19:11, Luke 23:8-9, Matt. 27:12-14, Eph. 4:31-32

  1. Ask God for guidance

Matt. 18:15, James 1:5, 4:1, Prov. 2:6, Mark 11:23

  1. Address the other person privately

Matt. 18:15, Eph. 4:26-29, Matt. 7:3-5

  1. Listen

Matt. 18:15, James 1:19, Prov. 17:28, 18:2, 13, Rom. 15:2

  1. Focus on reconciliation

Matt. 18:15, 2 Cor. 5:18, Col. 3:13-14, Matt. 6:15, James 5:16

  1. If necessary, get others involved

Matt. 18:16-17, Prov. 26:17, Phil. 2:3, 4:5

  1. Know when to forgive or walk away

Matt. 18:17, 21-22, 6:14-15, 10:14, Eph. 4:32, John 8:58-59, Matt. 12:14-16

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever studied or hear this passage or topic preached on before? What stood out to you?
  2. Do some reflecting on the conflicts that you have had in the past. Are there any common causes, patterns, or cycles of conflict in your life? If so, what step(s) could you take to break them?
  3. How do you typically deal with conflict? How close is your way of dealing with conflict to the way that Jesus taught us to deal with it?
  4. Of the 7 things Jesus taught us that we need to do to handle conflict well, which one do you need to work on the most?
  5. How does love and compassion play into conflict management, and how can we cultivate these qualities in ourselves and others?
  6. How would being a better listener help you to navigate conflict management in a more Biblical manor? How can you be a better listener?
  7. What do you think a church would look like if everyone in the church dealt with conflict the way that Jesus told us to deal with it?
  8. How can you help others (your kids, friends, people in the church, ect.) to handle conflict the way that Jesus taught us to?
  9. 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?