SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
1. Re-read Acts 2:42-47.
What about the early church model do you love the most?
What about the early church model are we missing the most in our community?
2. Why does being in community matter? What priority does it have in your life?
3. “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
Where can Beulah Youth have power to change things for the better?
4. The words “community, inclusive, welcoming, friendship” were said by almost every single group in our About Us survey.
How do we model this? Where do you notice blind spots in your life/small group/grade where this might not be happening?
ABOUT US SERIES
WHAT’S THE POINT?
We are about gathering as a community that loves each other!
Being part of the Beulah Youth family means that we take care of each other, looking out for the best interests of others, showing the love of Jesus to everyone we encounter through our words, actions and attitude.
It means that we emulate one of our core church values which is to gather!
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[f] we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,[g] Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.\
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
CONTEXT OF SCRIPTURE
Both passages from Hebrews and Acts describe the nature, character and values of the church.
The author of Hebrews is unknown, but the running theme throughout their letter is to encourage those who have become followers of Jesus, not to turn back to Judaism and their old religious ways. Acts is the second piece of writing by Luke (who also has a gospel named after him). Luke simply continues on the story of Jesus after Jesus ascended back to heaven. Acts is the early story of the church, how it was birthed, what it was like, and how it grew.
Both of these passages give us great insight into what a healthy Christian community should look like.
– New-life in Jesus
– Access to the presence of God
– motivating others
– Acts of love and good works
– Gathering together
– Devoted to biblical teaching, gathering, communion & prayer
– Caring for one another
– went to the temple (church)
– ate meals together
– worshipped God
So at its basic roots, a healthy Christian community does 4 things:
Gathers together, grows together, gives together and goes together.
- Share an example in your life of the best community you have been part of and why?
- Have a student/other leader share their story of community at Beulah.
WHY DO I CARE?We all want to belong and we all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. A healthy community is needed for every human being to thrive.”There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. WheatleyIn our “About Us” survey the results came back so strong on this idea of community.
The words “community, inclusive, welcoming, friendship” were said by almost every single group. In terms of things most important to you, ranked at the top was small groups and teaching. A healthy Community that is based on good biblical teaching, you said, is the most important thing about Beulah Youth. Isn’t that interesting that the early church had the exact same idea? And what happened when the early church made knowing and loving God, and loving completely selfless the community…. The church boomed!
- I am created for community with others
- It is a lie (from the devil) that I can or should do life alone (even though I often pursue independence as an ultimate goal)
- What I do in gathering with other followers of Jesus is more significant than what I do alone, and more powerful (even though I am often told to think only about my personal experience and “follow my heart”)
Chris will share what West Youth will look like next year (ages, style, small-groups etc)
WHAT DO I DO?
Are you making community a priority in your life? We have had such a year of social isolation. The inability to do community normally but that time is nearing an end. You have a choice of what you will make your priority.
- What do you bring and what do you receive at Beulah Youth?
- Healthy community holds us up in our difficult moments and rejoices with us in our victories, how can you contribute to Beulah Youth in this way?