BEFORE YOU GATHER
- If this is one of your first group meetings, familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips and/or CLICK HERE to review and remind your group of the Group Agreement.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this weekend’s message, here is a suggestion of how your group can invite God into your time together.
Jesus, thank you for creating us to serve You and to be in community with one another. We ask for Your presence and power now as we look at the first churches and learn from them. We pray that You would reveal in us how we can continue to repair the fabric and build Your church today in the East Bay.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Think back to when you first started coming to Cornerstone or when you first began to attend a Community Group. What part of your experience made you feel like you were “home”?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will explore lessons we can learn from church history, such as continually returning to our first love, remaining faithful, rooting out compromise, and nurturing deep relationships.
Open your Bibles together and ask a few people to read the following verses: Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-37; and Acts 11:19-30.
- If you were raised in a Christian home and/or in church, describe what the culture was like. If you weren’t raised that way, describe what you thought Christians were like.
- If someone were to ask you “who are you?”, would “I am a Christian” be your answer? Explain why or why not.
- Considering both the early churches in Jerusalem and Antioch, what were some similarities and differences between how they established their priorities and who they targeted? (See Acts passages)
- Who are the people in your neighborhood and what would draw them in? How could we adapt our strategies to communicate Christ to them?
- When comparing the early church to the 21st century church, in what area(s) are they similar? In what area(s) are they different?
- In what way(s) do you see yourself holding back on living the generous life that God has called us to?
Closing Prayer: (5-15 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here is a suggestion of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
Jesus, we thank you for the examples of the early church, both good and bad. We ask You to help us keep returning to You as our first love, that we would see each other and those in our communities with Your love and passion. May we notice when You move us to action and give us the courage and passion to respond.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK
Go back and read through Acts 4 and Acts 11. Ask God to show you an area or two where He is calling you to take a next step of faith in building His church, as the early church did.