Starting this week I'll begin to post the questions for Community Groups online. I send these out each week following the sermon, along with weekly announcements, ministry time suggestions, and leadership advice. We realize that not everyone of you can make it to your Community Group each week, so rather than not having an opportunity to process the sermon at all, we're posting them every Wednesday morning so that you can visit these throughout the week. I pray that they serve as a means of grace to you, giving you a glimpse into the heart of Normandy, while helping you feel more unified with the rest of the church as we all seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of God together.
Privileged to walk with you all,
Well, the last two weeks have been wonderful. Way to go Bower. And, more importantly, Hey God! Tonight I'm going to suggest covering the last two weeks. First, giving some time for our people to process the Sanctity of Life sermon. It was heavy, real, humbling, stirring, heart breaking for me. I was to give our folks some room to process. I will provide a few questions to appropriately discuss this. Above all else concerning this topic, we want to be gracious and to not assume that "no one in our church would ever do something like that." That is simply not the case and I want us to avoid simply discussing the horrors of abortion, but rather discuss how WE, Christians in Dallas, should feel, believe, and live in light of what we know is true.
Lastly, I have posted 6 blog posts. 3 on Sanctity of Life. 3 on Fasting. The last post is an outline on the practicals of fasting. What is it? What kinds of fasts are there? And the practicals of planning for and doing a fast. I would encourage you to email out a link to our blog so your people know that those resources are available. www.normandychurch.com/blog
- Vision Sunday & One Year Anniversary! This Sunday.
- Mandatory Kids Training day at Antioch Dallas. Feb 2nd. 9-12 for everyone. 12-4 for Lead Teachers.
- Blog Resources are online for both Sanctity of Life and Fasting
Fasting: Go over the Practicals on fasting blog. Answer any questions. The Plan is to start this Sunday night at 6pm and fast until CG when we will all break fast together (on chocolate!) Make sure that everyone knows how they are going to fast before moving on and to talk with you afterwards if they are still uncertain / fearful / etc.
Next, process Sanctity of Life Sunday.
1. This last week was a unique week as a church in that we participated in Sanctity of Life Sunday along with 1000s of other churches.
- What were some things that particularly stuck out to you on Sunday? (Take a minute and let them really think on it) Follow up on each person's response with "Why did it cause you to think / feel that way?" or "What about that struck you personally? Did you continue to think about that throughout the day? Why?
2. John clearly demonstrated a lot of humility throughout his sermon by essentially confessing his own indifference and hypocrisy regarding abortion's realities.
- Could you relate to John when he talked about his own internal wrestling? Why?
3. Read Matthew 23:23. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
- What is Jesus saying here to the Pharisees? What is the context?
- What do you see about God? His Heart? About man?
- What is God saying right now to Christians everywhere through this scripture?
4. When John said "I don't know how to respond yet. I don't know what to do about abortion right now", how did that make YOU personally feel? Did you immediately feel relieved because you now felt justified in your own indifference? Or perhaps there was a spark of courage that you felt?
- What was God doing in your heart at service? Was He speaking to you through the sermon or through the adoption video? What was He doing in your heart? Were you convicted? How? Was there a longing in your heart to do something? What was it?
Break up and ask God to give us His heart for unborn children and for their parents. Ask for forgiveness in any places that we have self-righteously condemned those who "do not know what they do" and for our indifference toward abortion.
Grace and mercy come from God... “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. - Zechariah 12:10 We need the same spirit of grace and pleas for mercy again. Ask the Lord to pour out a spirit of grace once again on our church.