In this final sermon in the Better Together series, John, Adam, and Todd help hash out how a genuine biblical community operates. What is its source of fuel, and how does it run?
1. John talked about the importance of devoting daily (John 15:5). This is the foremost of Watermark’s 6 core values of biblical community, because it is from this that are we able to do everything else (pursue relationally, counsel biblically, etc.). Apart from abiding in the Vine, Jesus Christ, we cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit. Using the metaphor of a phone and its charger, John talked about two misconceptions of devoting daily. Which of these do you most often believe? 1) Thinking that we have a life-time charge after trusting in Christ for salvation, and therefore daily devotion is not needed, or 2) Thinking that limited charges—those 15 minute quiet times— are sufficient while neglecting to commune with the Lord throughout the rest of the day?
2. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 and Ephesians 5:18. What are some steps you can take to give God precedence (priority and preference) in your life and devote yourself daily to Him? How can you do this at your workplace? At your home? In addition to Scripture reading and meditation, what are other ways you can devote yourself to the Lord throughout the day?
3. Adam talked about 4 ways to move from just being in a group to experiencing genuine biblical community. Which of these 4 ways do you need to put in to practice in order to give and receive the LOVE that God intended for His church? What does that look like?
L: Latest information. Hebrews 3:13. Each person works hard to stay connected with one another.
O: Offense. Galatians 6:10. Each person feels like it’s his or her responsibility to take initiative in confession, connection, and care for the group.
V: Vital relationships. Romans 12:10. Each person views the relationships in the community group as vital, realizing that while these are not the only relationships they have, they have priority. They also consider these relationships as God’s provision for them.
E: Expect to work. 1 Thessalonians 4:1. Each person in the group is not looking to coast, but rather expects work and reject the status quo, constantly committing to be about God’s kingdom business and grow in Christ-likeness.
4. Todd pointed out that the Church is made up of a collection of individuals. If individuals have problems, then community groups have problems, and ultimately the Church has a problem. With this in mind, if everyone read the Word of God like you do, how would we as a Church be doing? If everyone pursued relationally like you did, how would the Church as a whole be doing? Going through each of the 6 core values of biblical community, ask how the Church as a whole would be doing if you were the one setting the pace in each of these core values. What does this realization drive you toward? (Hint: If it is not a desperate need to abide in Christ, think again!)
5. Todd referenced an article from the Babylon Bee that suggested that the lyrics to the song “I Surrender All” should be changed to “I Surrender Some” in order to be more in line modern Christianity. Because we are all part of the same body (1 Corinthians 12), this incomplete obedience (which is disobedience) also affects your entire community group. Rather than enable yourself or your CG to maintain an “I Surrender Some” faith, how can you encourage them to faithfulness?