Receiving Safe and Trustworthy People as Presents from God

Happy senior citizen giving a freesia flower to smiling woman“Fellowship is a relationship of inner unity among believers that expresses itself in outer co-participation with Christ and one another in accomplishing God’s will on earth.”

We have established that God is safe and trustworthy and therefore it is vitally important that we become safe and trustworthy too.

Safe and trustworthy people are one of God’s presents to you.
• These valuable people become the safe relational space in which you taste one of life’s most meaningful experiences – knowing and being known. 1 Cor. 13:12
• Embodying the one anothers of the Bible with those who are safe and trustworthy strengthens you to do the same with those who are unsafe and not trustworthy. Matthew 5:44

The fact that people can be presents from God is modeled in the life of Jesus. John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 9:15

Ephesians 4 also shows that people can be presents from God to you. 4:8,11

The one anothers of the Bible are internal realities that are to be lived out in groups. God even created many animals as group species, for example, animals that live in herds, flocks, bands, packs, shoals, colonies, schools, or pods.

Christianity is equally individual and group!

1. Ephesians 4 is written to a group. In 4:1 “you” is plural.
2. Christians have a most amazing Member in their group – The Holy Spirit. 4:30
3. The one anothers of Ephesians 4 show you how to experience people as presents from God. 4:2,3, 4:25-32

The word present has several meanings:
• Present – a time.
• Present – a place.
• Present – a gift.

Time, place, and gifts are all presents from God to be opened with joy and full embrace.

How many AMAZING presents within the members of your group were missed because of failure to open them?

The one anothers of the Bible allow us to say, “You and I are present for each other – in this present moment – as presents from God to each other.”

Have a blast opening the presents!

MCA Church LIFE Group Conversation Guide

MCA LIFE GROUP COVENANT Fall Quarter 2014

This covenant will help us discuss and clarify our goals, expectations, and commitments as a group. Since healthy groups thrive on trust and participation, a clear covenant is an important starting point towards a successful group experience.

OUR BASIC PURPOSE – Life Groups exist to promote spiritual growth and maturity through the development of significant Christian relationships centered on the study of God’s word. (See Hebrews 10:24-25 and Romans 8:29.)

CONNECT – Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives.

CARE – Each week we will learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded
(see John 15:9 13). This care will take many forms such as prayer, listening, meeting needs, encouraging, and even challenging one another as needed.

GROW – Each week we’ll study a portion of God’s word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon. Our goal is to learn how to apply and live out our Christianity in our day-to-day experiences and relationships.

FIVE MARKS OF A HEALTHY GROUP

1. Focus on spiritual growth as a top priority. (Romans 8:29)
2. Accept one another in love just as Christ has accepted us. (Romans 15:7)
3. Take care of one another in love without crossing over the line into parenting or taking
inappropriate responsibility for solving the problems of others. (John 13:34)
4. Treat each other with respect in both speech and action. (Ephesians 4:25 5:2)
5. Keep our commitments to the group – including attendance, homework and keeping
confidences. (Psalm 15:1-2, 4b).

GUIDELINES

1. Dates and Times – This group will meet on nights for weeks at this time
___________.
2. Children – Group members are responsible to arrange childcare for their children.
3. Study – Each week we will study the same topic(s) covered in the previous weekend’s message.
4. Prayer – Our group will be praying each week for one another and specific requests from the
teaching pastor.
5. Homework and Attendance – Joining a Life Group requires a commitment to attend each week
and to do the home work .
6. Refreshments – Each group will decide how to handle refreshments.
7. Social and Project – Each group will have one social gathering apart from scheduled Life
Group and participate in one service project. Our Social event will occur on _____________.
Our service project will be ____________________________________________.

COVENANT

By signing below, I covenant with God and the other members of this group to connect, care, and grow by submitting to the guidelines for a healthy group experience.

______________________________________________________________________________

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