This week we celebrated our Mission Conference 2017- Striving Together for the Gospel.
To start your group, have everyone share something that God is doing in your life this past week.
3 Simple Questions for Small Groups:
1. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to convict you?
2. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to encourage you?
3. What is one thing you will do this week in response to the sermon?
Going Deeper with your group:
Read Philippians 1:27-30:
A. Striving together for the gospel.
1. Re-read Philippians 1:27. Paul says “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel.” The word for “manner of life” is citizenship. Do you see yourself as a citizen of God’s Kingdom? What makes this hard for you?
2. Paul lists three things that a “worthy citizen” will do: a) stand firm in one spirit and mind, b) strive together side by side for the gospel, 3) do not be frightened by your opponents.
Which of these stands out to you? Why?
3. What makes it so hard for us as Americans to think about striving TOGETHER for the gospel? What should make it easier for us as Christians to think this way?
4. Dr. O’Neil said that if we don’t focus on the enemy and/or human suffering we will attack each other or demand our own rights. Have you seen this truth in your own church life?
B. What hinders our striving together for the gospel?
5. Dr. O’Neil identified two things that keep us from striving together: a) fear of suffering, and b) lack of team play.
How does Philippians 1:28-29 help us overcome our fear of suffering?
Where have you seen a lack of team play within the church culture? What about in your own life?
C. How can we achieve striving together for the gospel?
6. Read Philippians 2:4-8. How does the mindset of Christ allow for team play and striving together while destroying our selfishness?
D. What promises do we claim as we strive together for the gospel?
7. Read Philippians 1:29. God has granted to us belief and suffering for Christ’s sake. Think about these two things: belief and suffering (both are from God). How do viewing these as from God allow us to overcome our “me” attitude and strive together with others for the gospel?
Hint: think about how selfishness or demanding your way in a church is a way of simply trying to avoid suffering. And it is also a lack of belief.
E. What lessons can we learn from striving together for the gospel?
8. Dr. O’Neil listed the following lessons- which one stands out to you? Tell your group why.
- The TEAM is the superhero of the passage. Will the next generation learn it from us?
- The call to go to the nations is the same call we have on the “home-front.”
- We may need to re-order our lives in order to strive TOGETHER.
- We need to learn to like and enjoy each other.
-We need to keep a space open for new travelers (no cliquishness in the name of togetherness).