It's likely that this week your group members need to CONNECT more than anything else. As you meet online through Zoom, FaceTime, or another platform, we encourage you to spend time talking, laughing, listening and caring for each other. Therefore, you may want to go through ONLY the first section (REFLECT) of this week's guide and encourage everyone to use the second section (THINK) as a personal or family study. You know your group best, and we want you to feel empowered to worry less about getting to the deep discussion and focusing more on making sure each of your members has the chance to breathe, smile, share, and feel supported.
Ways to Connect:
- What is the funniest MEME you’ve seen regarding COVID-19?
- What is one new thing you’ve learned about a family member/roommate since the shelter in place?
- What is one new thing you’ve learned about YOURSELF since the shelter in place?
- How many times did you go out for a walk this past week?
- What shows should we be watching on Netflix?
- Which favorite old movie have you pulled off the DVD shelf to watch again?
- What is the most fun you’ve had this week?
Ways to Care for Yourself and Others This Week:
1. KEEP MOVING
How can you keep physically active during this week? Going for walks? Workout video/app? How can your group encourage you to keep moving?
2. LOVE THE SPACE YOU ARE IN
What can you do to make the space you are living in feel better? Is there a closet to organize? Weeds to pull?
3. GIVE YOURSELF PREDICTABILITY
How can you keep a routine/rhythm during the day?
4. IDENTIFY WORRY
Write down what, if anything, about this new way of living makes you worried or feel anxious. Consider sharing with your group or using the questions below to work through the worry.
5. PREPARE FOR WHAT’S HARD
What point in the day is hardest for you? When can your group be praying for you?
6. REACH OUT
Who, outside of this group, can you touch base with this week to see how they are doing/if they need anything?
7. SPEND TIME WITH GOD
Use the Daily Steps content to daily connect with God. Consider working through the digging deeper questions throughout the week.
8. WORK THROUGH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
When we get stressed, frustrated, worried or anxious, those emotions are often fueled by the lies we believe and the negative thoughts we are dwelling on. This week, invite God's presence into your heart and mind by prayerfully working through this negative thought worksheet.
Our driving question for Community Groups this week is, “What is God asking me as an individual — and what is He asking us to do as a community of believers — to place our allegiance to loving and trusting God above all else?”
Referring back to Philippians 3:1-21, let’s discuss what it means to have allegiance to Jesus.
- What does it mean to be a citizen of a country? What responsibilities may come with citizenship? What rights may come with citizenship? What protections may come with citizenship?
Paul teaches us in Philippians 3:20 that “our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there…”
- What responsibilities, rights, and protections do we have because we are citizens of heaven?
- The notes in the NIV Study Bible read, “In this world, Christians are aliens, fully involved in it, yet not of it…” In what way do we need to be “fully involved in” our world, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic? What ways do we and can we show up for each other, support each other, and protect each other? In what ways do we need to be “not of (it)”, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic? How can we be navigating this experience differently than those who do not have the hope of waiting for a Savior from heaven?
- The fact that our Savior is from heaven is an important reminder to the Philippians. In spite of their dual citizenship, their SAVIOR is not from Rome, their Savior is not Caesar.
- The emergence of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our world has likely revealed places in our lives where we may be eagerly awaiting a “Savior.” For example, our jobs, income, freedom to come/go, fully stocked grocery stores, or physical proximity to people are all things that give us comfort. But when they become what we look to as our “Savior,” we’ve missed the mark. Take a minute-without shaming yourself or feeling guilty-to consider what you’ve learned about where you look for stability and security to be your “savior.”
- Read these verses about God’s identity and character - Psalm 147:5, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 24:8, Jeremiah 23:23-24, 2 Timothy 2:13. What kind of Savior do we have?
Philippians 3:21 continues, “Who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control…”
- Paul reminds us that our Savior has the power to bring everything under his control. Take a minute to think about what may seem to be an obvious question: Including the obvious COVID-19 virus, what specifically in your life specifically feels out of control?
- What do you need to do to give yourself permission to let go of the responsibility to control these things? How can you let go?
- What can you think, say, write down, or do to allow Jesus control of the areas you want to or feel the need to control?
Our dual citizenship means that we physically live in a world of chaos but spiritually we live in the power of the resurrection.
- In what way does Christ’s power over sin, death, weakness, and decay give Christians a unique perspective on everything from day to day tasks to COVID-19?
For this week, consider memorizing Philippians 3:20-21 individually. There are many ways that someone can memorize a verse. You will find two different ways listed below. Feel free to choose one ... or both!
In addition, we encourage you to check out Daily Steps. Daily Steps is a new devotional guide designed as a companion to our weekly study guide, but it’s focused on an individual's journey, rather than group study and discussion.
DAILY STEPS - PHILIPPIANS - WEEK 5
MEMORY VERSE: Learn Through Repetition
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
Say this verse 3 times each day (Tip: write it out a card and keep copies in your car, on the bathroom mirror, etc.):
▢ ▢ ▢ Monday
▢ ▢ ▢ Tuesday
▢ ▢ ▢ Wednesday
▢ ▢ ▢ Thursday
▢ ▢ ▢ Friday
Or, use the following template to fill in the blanks:
20 But our ________________ is in _____________. And we eagerly await a ____________ from there, the _______ Jesus _________, 21 who, by the __________ that enables him to bring ______________ under his ________, will _________________ our lowly bodies so that they will be like his _____________ body. _________________ 3:20-21
20 But our ________________ is in _____________. And we ________ await a ____________ from _______, the _______ Jesus _________, 21 who, by the __________ that ____________ him to bring ______________ under his ________, will _________________ our _______ bodies so that _____ will be like his _____________ body. _________________ 3:____-21
20 _____ our ________________ is in _____________. _____ we ________ await a ____________ from _______, _____ _______ Jesus _________, 21 _____, by the __________ that ____________ him to bring ______________ under his ________, will _________________ _____ _______ bodies so that _____ will ___ like his _____________ body. _________________ ___:____-21
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
After each weekend sermon, our pastors and various church leaders, will sit down and have a 15-20 minute discussion around the weekend's sermon. Search for "CF Beyond Sunday" wherever you listen to podcasts, or watch on YouTube by tapping the button below. FYI - This week's episode will be #55 and will go live on Sunday night, March 22.