Thank you for engaging with our weekly Study Guide! We're GLAD that you are here.
Each week, the study guide will start with a short devotional video. From there, you can dive into some discussion questions...including relevant, and very timely things to consider! Leaders, for more info and ideas on leading your group, visit our sermon series resource page.
We encourage you to check out Daily Steps, our companion devotional guide — a resource to help you spend one-on-one time with God throughout the week using daily readings related to the week's sermon!
THE ART OF NEIGHBORING
This week concludes our series, “The Art of Neighboring” where we explored how the Great Commandment can be applied to the community in which we live. The study guide this week is designed to help you and your group accomplish at least one of these three things:
Help you and your group members synthesize, reflect, and plan what it means to practice the art of neighboring.
To help identify ways in which you have practiced seeing, approaching, feeling compassion, risking, getting your hands dirty, being inconvenienced, contributing, and circling back.
To study the ways Jesus modeled neighboring for us.
We invite you to structure your group in a way that best speaks to the needs and inclinations of your group. You do not need to do everything included in this study guide (this week or ANY week.) We trust and value your insight into your group members and encourage you to structure your time together in a way that ministers best.
Because there are so many options for discussion this week, we’ve skipped the starter question and encourage you to begin with this short video message from Cornerstone's Danville Campus Pastor Matt Warner.
Spend time synthesizing, reflecting, and planning what it means to practice the art of neighboring.
Over the past four weeks, who have you gotten to know better? What have you learned about them? What information were you able to add to your neighborhood chart?
What fears have you faced in the process of getting to know your neighbors? Did you reach out even when the thought of reaching out made you anxious? Did you open up to someone new even if you were resisting the idea of connecting with someone you didn’t know? Were you able to identify and correct any false assumptions you had about the people who live near you?
In what way do you better understand what it means to be salt and light in your neighborhood? Has God clarified His reasoning for where He planted you? Do you have a vision from God as to how He wants you to minister to your neighbors?
As the sermon series comes to an end, what can you intentionally do to continue prioritizing and practicing the art of neighboring? How can you motivate yourself to follow through with your plans? How can your group work to encourage each other to be better neighbors?
Consider the challenge from Pastor Matt to “embrace the mess” of neighboring. He specifically mentioned three things: 1. Recognize that the people around us may rub us the wrong way. We are to love them regardless. 2. We must be open to receiving from our neighbors, not just giving. 3. We may need to establish boundaries so that we can be “responsible TO our neighbors but avoid becoming responsible FOR our neighbors.”
Which of these three tips resonates with you? Which part of embracing the mess do you think applies to you the most?
Take some time to identify ways in which you have practiced or observed the eight aspects of neighboring that Pastor Steve Madsen described in his sermon. These aspects are seeing, approaching, feeling compassion, risking, getting your hands dirty, being inconvenienced, contributing, and circling back.
Pastor Steve gave examples of the way Cornerstone has recently practiced these aspects of neighboring. Can you share stories of other instances when you or someone you know demonstrated some of these eight aspects of neighboring?
Aspect #1 is seeing. What needs exist in your neighborhood that you learned about over the past four weeks? Has your thinking and planning around those needs progressed during this sermon series? If not, what would it look like to approach the person/people with the need? What would it look like to feel compassion or make a connection? Consider writing down a need in your community that God has revealed to you.
Which of the other seven aspects excites you the most about neighboring? Which one feels scary or difficult? Brainstorm as a group some ways to boost your motivation and reduce your fears related to several of these aspects.
What is your next step in working through these eight aspects of neighboring in order to meet this need?
Take some time to study the way Jesus neighbored those around him.
Read one or more of the following passages: Matthew 8:1-3, John 9:1-38, John 8:5-16. In each passage, how did Jesus work through the eight aspects of neighboring? How did Jesus see? Approach? Feel compassion? Take a risk? Get his hands dirty? Allow himself to be inconvenienced? Contribute? Circle back?
What strikes you the most about the way Jesus loved his neighbors?
The culture of Jesus' time was very different from our modern society. What characteristics or behaviors of people are relatively the same regardless of the era in which they lived? How are they different? How are your neighbors similar to those whom Jesus ministered? How are they different?
What are your next steps with those who are your neighbors?
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Everyone has a next step with Jesus...What's yours?
Spend Time Alone with God
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - THE ART OF NEIGHBORING - WEEK 4