Values: Community (Part 2b)

On Tuesday, I talked about community. Through Christ's death and resurrection, God creates a new community called the church. After reading Tuesday's post, answer the following questions. Be prepared to discuss these on Monday with your groups.

  • What truth from Tuesday's post did you find most surprising? Did you learn anything new?
  • Joe Hellerman says that salvation is a "community-creating event." What does this mean? How does it affect your view of salvation? How does it change your view of the church?
  • Apart from the church, we cannot change deeply, worship truly or witness effectively. Share one way that the church has helped you change, worship or witness.  
  • Chester and Timmis say,

The prevailing view of life today is that of an individual standing on his or her own, heroically juggling various responsibilities - family, friendships, career, leisure, chores, decisions, and money. We could also add social responsibilities like political activities, campaigning organizations, community groups, and school associations. From time to time the pressures overwhelm us, and we drop one or more of the balls. All too often church becomes one of the balls. We juggle our responsibilities for church (measured predominantly by attendance at meetings) just as we juggle our responsibilities for work or leisure....An alternative model is to view our various activities and responsibilities as spokes of a wheel. At the center or hub of life is not me as an individual but us as members of the Christian community. Church is not another ball for me to juggle but that which defines who I am and gives Christlike shape to my life.[1]

  • Is church a ball you juggle or the hub of your life? Compare these two perspectives on church? Practically speaking, how are they different from one another?
  • Reflect on the list of, "one anothers" listed in Tuesday's post.[2] Which of one of these are you best at? At which of these do you need to improve?
  • As a group, pick one "one another" to practice this week. It might be, "encourage one another," or "confess your sins to one another." Think of ways to practice this throughout the week. Commit to doing it. See what happens.

[1] Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2008); 44-45.

[2] We are called to be at peace with each other (Mark 9:50), wash one another’s feet (John 13:14), love one another (John 13:34-35; John 15:12, 17; Romans 13:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:8 I John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 John 5), be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Romans 12:10), honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13), accept one another as Christ has accepted us (Romans 15:7), instruct one another (Romans 15:4; Colossians 3:16), greet one another (Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians 13:12; I Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14), wait for each other (I Corinthians 11:33), have equal concern for each other (I Corinthians 12:25), serve one another in love (II Corinthians 13:12), carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), forgive each other (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13), speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19), submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21), consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3), not lie to each other (Colossians 3:9), bear with each other (Colossians 3:13), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), make our love increase and overflow for each other (I Thessalonians 3:12), encourage one another (I Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:25), build each other up (I Thessalonians 5:11), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), not slander one another (James 4:11), not grumble against each other (James 5:9), confess our sins to each other (James 5:16), pray for each other (James 5:16), offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (I Peter 4:9), and clothe ourselves with humility toward one another (I Peter 5:15).