Community Part 4 – A Call to Shepherd One Another: Sermon Guide

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our January 26, 2020 message, Community Part 4: A Call to Shepherd One Another. For more from this series, check out Better Together.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Do you have the contact information for your community group’s Shepherd and Director? If not, email community@watermark.org to find out.
  • Which of the six reasons your group might be struggling that David shared are most true for your group?
  • Which of the eight ways your group can grow that Brian shared can your group activate on in the next week?

Summary

What marks the relationships with the people in your life you are closet with? Are you committed to others, and do you have anyone that is committed to you? As we continue our series, Better Together, Beau Fournet, David Leventhal, and Brian Buchek teach us why Watermark is so committed to community, why your community group might be struggling, and how to help your community group grow.

Key Takeaways

  • We are committed to community because Scripture commands it of us: 1 Peter 5:1-2 & Hebrews 13:17.
  • All 21 of the pastoral epistles talk about shepherding the flock.
  • When we talk about shepherding the flock, we are talking about: Personal shepherding; longing to get time together; mutual encouragement; calling out sin; leading each other to repentance; and bearing burdens.
  • Watermark’s structure of care looks like:


  • Your community might not be better together because you are confused on what “community” is...supper club, book club, and reporting about life. Community is about life on life and processing life together.
  • When we read Scripture, we must remember that the New Testament epistles are almost always addressing a group of people...not individual people.
  • Your community group might not be better together because it’s not a priority.
  • Your community group might not be better together because you’re not biblically literate. Todd Wagner teaches on the importance of counseling each other biblically.
  • Your community group might not be better together because you struggle to be courageous.
  • Do you lean in when you see something in your brother or sister that’s not consistent with Scripture?
  • Your community group might not be better together because you confuse preferences, convictions, & sin.
  • Sin: These are universal items that Scripture is clear on—chapter & verse.
  • Convictions: These are beliefs, informed by Scripture that deal with sin but on a personal level, not a universal level. Things like school choices for kids (public, private, homeschool), drinking alcohol, how much to spend on a house, being alone with a person of the opposite gender at work, attending a wedding where you don’t think the couple should get married, etc.
  • Ask questions to help flesh out motives and then allow for freedom on convictions. Remember that it’s okay if someone has a conviction that’s different than yours.
  • Preferences: These are decisions where there is complete freedom within Scripture. Folks read their Bible, pray, process & then decide.
  • No one likes to be micro-managed. In matters of clear sin—call for repentance. In matters of convictions and preferences—ask thoughtful questions…pray for each other and then be free.
  • Your community might not be better together because you think it’s too hard & not worth the effort.
  • Living in biblical community is hard. Of course it’s hard…it’s hard because you are a part of it! We are not home yet...we are strangers and aliens in a foreign land.
  • As communities of believers, we should be increasingly fruitful and increasingly Christ-like...that is the expectation Scripture places on us.
  • A lot of our community groups at Watermark—where God wants us to be thriving—are just OK. And just OK is not OK.
  • The common denominators of our healthiest groups are made up of members who take initiative in their relationship with Christ and with one another.
  • Prayerfully and openly discuss with your group. Nothing should be off limits. Constantly evaluate how you are doing at being and making disciples.
  • Loop in your Community Shepherd. They are there to help and serve you. Every member in the group—not just the leader—should know who the Community Shepherd is.
  • Proactively address what’s hindering your group.
  • Answer the three community “feeding” questions every week: How are you feeding your soul? How are you feeding your flesh? How are you feeding others?
  • Use the resources we have available for you (listed below).
  • Start a daily text chain with the men or women in your group. If you just catch up once a week you are not living in community.
  • Schedule time away together—even if just for 24-hours.
  • Stay committed. Don’t hit eject, and don’t buy the lie that isolation is easier or better...it’s not!
  • If you think your group needs to disband, please contact your community Shepherd and Director. We always want Community Shepherds and Directors to be part of these conversations and decisions. Always.
  • If you feel stuck at any point in your community group (community@watermark.org) or the membership process (membership@watermark.org), please email us! We are here to help.
  • As the body of Christ, we must take seriously the call to shepherd one another.

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