Sunday, November 19, 2017

Messed Up Church: Gendered Lives Matter

1 Corinthians 11:3 and Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18-25


1. Do you agree or disagree that gender is in a state of confusion today? Explain.

2. How do you think Hollywood defines manhood? Womanhood?

3. In our society, what are some ways the lines of gender distinction are being blurred?

4. If you were to look around at adults in church on Sunday morning, how would you describe a Christian man? How would you describe a Christian woman?

5. Work as a group, and use your Bibles to come up with a definition of what it means to be a man or woman. How does your definition benefit others and glorify God in a way that is unique to your gender?

6. How would you explain to a woman that "helper" is not a negative thing to be called?

7. Why do so many men misuse the title "head" and what can Christians do to redeem it?

8. What should our response be towards people that have different viewpoints in sexuality and gender?

9. "But isn't loving, showing compassion, and opening up to transgender people an endorsement of their lifestyle and choices?" What's the right answer to that statement?

10. How did Jesus seem to be so close and personal with so many broken people and sinners, yet still remain firm in his convictions and sinless in his nature?

11. What are your action steps this week in response to the message, scripture, or this discussion?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Messed Up Church: The Amazing Race

When you wake up in the morning and start your day, what drives you? What's the biggest motivating factor in your life?

(Get people to think about WHY they do WHAT they do. Don't embarrass anyone for their answer.) 


Read 1 Corinthians 9:22–23.

Paul knew what he was competing for, and he knew why he was in the competition. He also knew who he was competing against. He was in it to win it. Do you have the same attitude? Why or why not?

Paul says his discipline and determination are "for the sake of the gospel" and that he wants to partake with others in its blessings. How does the gospel motivate you in running the race?

(Helpful Answer: The benefits of the gospel are so awesome and transforming that Paul gave up his life to share it with others. The gospel is the only power that can transform and save people. Because of that, we should be determined more than ever to run the race.)


Read 1 Corinthians 9:24–27.

We're all running some race. Would you say you're running the right race? How do you know?

(Helpful Answer: The pursuit of Jesus is the right.)

Think of someone who is running the race well or someone who has been sidetracked. What can you learn from them?

Top athletes exhibit self-denial, self-control, and self-sacrifice for a prize that will fade. If an athlete is that self-controlled for a prize that is temporary, shouldn't Christians be just as disciplined for what is eternal? What does that kind of biblical discipline/training look like in our daily lives?

Being missional with a passion to "spark a revolution of life change through Jesus" is hardly natural for us. What are some roadblocks that the Devil, culture, and our flesh can put up when we try to run this race and fight for people's souls?

What are the temporal things that you spend a bulk of your mental attention, time, and money on? Where do those priorities get placed in regards to God and His purpose for you?

What can we do to keep the eternal at the front of our minds, so we do not waste our lives and waste opportunities to share the gospel?


Next Steps:

If you're alive, you're in this race. If you're in this race, then that means you constantly need to put one foot in front of the other. At REVO, we call these "next steps", and it's why one of our core values is to "move forward."

1. What is your next step in this race? What do you need to do right now in order to move forward with the gospel?

2. What weights, distractions, or sin is God asking you to give up today for the sake of the gospel?

3. Moving forward, what needs to change in order for you to either start running, get back in the right race, or continue running hard in order to finish well?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Messed Up Church: To Do or Not To Do?

This discussion could get heated. We're doing it wrong if it does. Be wise in how you lead this discussion, and help people move forward.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13, 10:31-32

What kind of process do you typically go through in order to discern whether gray areas are right or wrong for you? (for instance: evaluate pros vs cons, seek counsel, just try it out, do what's comfortable, search scripture, do what your parents taught you, go with the flow, etc.?)

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5 Questions to ask ourselves as Christians when we begin to decide about gray area matters:

(For each question, ask your group to give an example in their life of when they've had to or should have asked these questions in order to discern the correct decision for something.)

1. Can I? - Does it violate Scripture? (8:4-6)

2. Should I? - It becomes a matter of personal conscience.

3. Is it my weakness? - Do I struggle with ____? (i.e. drinking too much, addiction, control, pride, putting this before God, etc.)

4. How will this affect others? - Will it cause another person to stumble, to sin, or push them away from Jesus? (10:32)

5. Does it honor God? - If it doesn't bring glory to God and point people to Jesus, then why would we do it? (10:31)

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How could the action of a believer's freedom hurt a weaker Christian? (8:9)

How can a Christian's "superior knowledge" (pride) destroy someone? (8:11)

Read 1 Cor. 8:13. Do you think Paul is going overboard? Why or why not?

How did you come to your decision of whether or not it is appropriate to participate or not participate in traditions like Halloween, Santa at Christmas, the Easter bunny, etc?

Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and marijuana is legal within certain age limits and states. When is it ok or not ok for you, personally, to do these things?

There are many areas (politics, lifestyles, habits, finances, etc.) that Christians disagree on. At the end of the day, what is the most important issue, and what is the danger in letting other secondary issues come before it?

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Next Steps:

What decision or choice do you need to reevaluate in order to honor God and bring people closer to Him?

What issue have you placed above your identity in Christ, or have let become an idol before God? How will you go about repentance?

How can you help, encourage, or show love to another Christian who needs to apply these principles from scripture?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Messed Up Church: Gifts That Freak People Out

1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 14:1


Check out the Facebook Live video posted on REVO Church's Facebook page. There may be something discussed in the video that you'd like to talk about as a group.


Discussion Questions:

Would people describe me as "loving" (13:4-7)? Why or why not?

Read Galatians 5:22-23. Which of these 15 characteristics describe me? What ones are lacking?

Read 1 Cor. 13:7-8a. The love that people give tends to be fickle and contingent on many outside things; yet Paul says, "Love never ends" (13:8a). Why is it so hard to love no matter what (13:7)? How can you be a person who is known for perseverance in love?

When you attend REVO, how do you express love for the people that are there?

Read 1 John 3:18. How would you describe the culture of our church? Is it warm and welcoming? If so, can you identify what you have done personally to contribute to this? Today, what commitment will I make to show greater love?


Next Steps:

Think of one person who is hard for you to love. What is one concrete way you can show that person love this week?

What is one specific way you can love the church with your spiritual gifts? How can you serve others in a way that reflects Jesus' loving character?

How will your rGroup love each other better going forward? What are practical steps you can take?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Messed Up Church: Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1, 7, 8–11, 18–22
Romans 12:3, 6–8, 13

Theme: God gave us spiritual gifts so we can help each other.

What is or has been your attitude toward spiritual gifts?
a.) For pastors only
b.) For all believers
c.) For mature believers
d.) Those were for Bible times
e.) I've never really had a clear understanding of spiritual gifts.

How are spiritual gifts different than:
• Talents or skills?
• Personality traits or characteristics
• Christian roles?

How would you define spiritual gifts? (1 Cor. 12:1, 4–7)

There are online surveys to help you discover your spiritual gifts. What is the risk of relying solely on surveys to discover your spiritual gifts?

Do you see a connection between how God has gifted you and how you can influence your world? In what ways are you using your gifts to influence your world?

How are spiritual gifts a responsibility?

In Ephesians 4:13–16, Paul says that when people serve and use their spiritual gifts, the church will become unified, mature, healthy, growing, and full of love. When have you seen examples of this?

How are you using your gifts for the common good of REVO Church? What can you do to make this a more accurate description of our church? What can our rGroup do?

Share with our group ways in which you think God has given you a special ability to use for ministry.

If you already know or strongly believe you've been given certain spiritual gifts, how are you developing or using these gifts?

If you haven't been using your spiritual gift(s) to advance the kingdom, why not?


Prayer/Next Steps

What is one or more specific things that God is speaking to you from this study about spiritual gifts? Write these things down.

Think of ways that God has used people to make a difference in your life because of their abilities. Thank God for them.

Pray that God would help you know how to use the natural abilities and spiritual gifting that he has given to you.

Make a plan to use your spiritual gift(s) in some way, every day this week.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Messed Up Church: Who is the Holy Spirit?

John 14:15–29, 15:26, and 16:5–15


The goal for our Bible discussion: to help convey some basic truths about the Holy Spirit, and how to apply them to our daily lives.


Intro Questions:

What comes to your mind when you hear the words, "the Holy Spirit"?

Most people can understand the Father and the Son, but the Holy Spirit is another matter. Is it easier or harder for you to relate to the Holy Spirit, and why?

If someone asked you what was the most important reason why Jesus (the Holy Spirit) is here in you, what would you say?


Facts from the Bible about the Holy Spirit:


1. He is with you. (John 14:16)

How does it make you feel knowing the Holy Spirit will never leave you? How does it empower and reduce your stress knowing that He will never leave or forsake you?

Jesus said that the world could not accept the Spirit (v. 17). Why do you think that is?


2. He is the translator. (John 14:26)

Have you ever received such an impression, or sensed that God was speaking to you about a specific situation? Explain.

Why is it SO important to seek the Holy Spirit's interpretation and discernment in your life?


3. He convicts me of sin. (John 16:13)

How has the Holy Spirit brought God's truth into your life?

Give an example of when the Holy Spirit taught you to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions.

Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?


4. He guides my life. (John 16:13)

What has caused you to resist asking for more of the Spirit in your life?

Where today do you specifically need the guidance of the Holy Spirit?


5. He points people to Jesus. (John 15:26)

Why does the Holy Spirit testify about Jesus Christ? What is the value in the Holy Spirit doing that for us?

Sharing the Gospel (pointing people to Jesus) is not easy. Knowing the Holy Spirit is in you, how does this empower you to live out this mission?


Next Steps:

Take a moment and thank God for his Holy Spirit that he has given to help you. Thank God for the strength, peace, comfort, and leading that the Holy Spirit provides in your life.

I believe that Jesus is coming again, but until he does, I know I have a helper – the Holy Spirit.

I am so thankful that we can know peace even during turbulent times.

Ask the the Holy Spirit to teach you where you need to be more submissive to his Word.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Messed Up Church: What's the Deal with Generosity?

Announcement: Communion is next Sunday, October 8th. We encourage your rGroup to take that week to find an opportunity to serve the community together, or use the time to host a party and invite guests to it. No blog will be posted in hopes that you'll use your time to serve others, hang out, and enjoy your friends.

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We're going to talk about how Christians are to be generous with their money. Let's be real... why do we dread these kinds of discussions, Bible verses, and sermons? (Probably because we know we've failed in this area, need improvement, or simply just find it hard to be generous.)

Money is important, and God knows this. That's why He's given us instructions on how to be successful with it.

Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Verses 1-2 presents the expectation that EVERY believer is supposed to give. For youth or those who struggle financially, it seems like it would be easy to say economic difficulty is a reason not to give, but what beliefs or thoughts are the real root of this excuse?

Why is it important that EVERY believer contribute financially?

How does giving in the church reflect a commitment to the church and build unity in the church?

In verse 3, the word for "gift" in the original language is the same word as "grace." How does this picture affect your understanding of giving? How does this understanding influence your motivation for giving?

How do we make sure that giving does not become an obligation instead of a grace?

Read Matthew 25:14-26. Tithing reminds us of the responsibility of our stewardship. What does it mean to be a faithful steward? (Consistent and responsible manager of God's gifts.)

According to verse 2, what should we do first with our money?

Why does it need to be first? What is God's purpose for this?


Application:

(Head) What does God want you to KNOW from these scripture verses?

(Heart) What does God want you to DESIRE and VALUE?

(Hands) What does God want you to DO?