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Making It Work at Kettering

Friday, May 13, 2016

Making It Work at Kettering

TEXT: Revelation 2.1-7

The early church grew through unity, evangelism, leadership development, and individual spiritual development. They also grew because of some natural advantages that readily produced success. Today, we can develop these same advantages if we wish to be successful in our work. What were those advantages? What factors made their growth easier to attain?

  1. A widespread enthusiasm of something new.
  2. Freedom from traditional approaches to worship and work.
  3. Spending time with other Christians.

For Your Thought and Reflection

  • Read Revelation 2.1-7. What type of love had the church at Ephesus forgotten?
  • How can we avoid repeating the same mistake?
  • Sometimes congregations create unspoken laws that no one should question or propose changing. Can you think of some examples?
  • What can we learn from how the early church changed its approach in its work?
  • How much time can you devote to being with other Christians?

No One Can Do Everything

Friday, April 29, 2016

TEXT: Acts 6.1-6

What if you had the power to do everything? Think of the things you could accomplish. Sometimes we tell our self that we can do just about everything. We run ragged because we can’t say “no.” What happens when we finally realize we can’t do it all? Or worse, what happens when something forces us to realize we can’t do it all? 

One of the most intriguing facets of Jesus’ ministry was that while He could have literally done it all, He chose not to. He delegated. This he taught His disciples, who employed these principles as they led the early church. If a church does not grasp the importance of delegation, it will limit itself to the size where a handful of people do everything.

Based on what happened in Acts 6, what can we learn about how the early church embraced the concept that no one can do everything? On Sunday, we’ll discuss:

  1. What delegation and division of labor imply.
  2. Important attitudes that are necessary to make this work.
  3. What work is available at Kettering.

For Your Thought and Reflection

  • Read Acts 6.1-6. Do you see an example of delegation and division of labor here? Why is delegating the work inside a congregation so essential?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 12.15-17. What do you think Paul’s point is here?
  • Read Ephesians 4.16. How is the body held together? How does this answer apply to today’s lesson?
  • Do you think our shepherds have to know every detail of the work? Why? Why not? Now, read Acts 6.1-6 again. Does this passage support your answer?
  • What are some facets of the work at Kettering in which you can get involved?

No One Lost in the Crowd

Friday, April 22, 2016

TEXT: Acts 9.36-43

During April, we’ve been looking at how the early church grew. We’ve seen how they were devoted to God (Acts 2.42). We’ve examined how they were devoted to one another in unity (Acts 4.32-37). We’ve also seen how they just couldn’t help but share Jesus (Acts 4.20). 

Sometimes, we may argue over whether a small church or big church is better. Some people get very passionate over it. Some prefer smaller churches because they think if the church gets to large, someone will get lost in the crowd. The size of the local church is not really the issue. There were both large and small congregations during New Testament times. There is no virtue in either type. There is a place for both in the kingdom. Big and small churches grow. Big and small churches have problems with indifferent members and apathy.

We need to examine them and see how they managed growth by making sure no person was lost in the crowd, having their needs go unmet. When we look at the Jerusalem church, we’ll find two fundamental principles:

  1. Leadership development.
  2. They were in each other’s homes.

For Your Thought and Reflection

  • Read Acts 6.1-5. Do you see an example of leadership development here? What did the apostles do? What were the 7 supposed to do?
  • Read Acts 2.46. Do you see personal, one-on-one interaction, or small group interaction going on? Explain. What’s the application for us?
  • Why must we get away from the hireling concept that says we’ve installed shepherds or hired preachers to do our work for us?
  • What are some things you can do this week to get involved with someone in the congregation at Kettering?

They Just Had to Share Jesus

Friday, April 15, 2016

TEXT: Acts 4.12-22

During April, we’ve been looking at how the early church grew. We’ve seen how they were devoted to God (Acts 2.42) and we’ve examined how they were devoted to one another in unity (Acts 4.32-37). Sunday’s lesson will examine another aspect of Acts 4: Even when explicitly told by the governing authorities NOT to speak in the name of Jesus, the disciples went forward doing it anyway. They just had to share Jesus wherever they went with anyone they met. If we want to be victorious, we must grow to this level of discipleship.

Our lesson will consist of three parts. We will:

  1. Examine what we’re up against in society. What are some external and internal forces working against our efforts?
  2. See why the early Christians felt so compelled to share Jesus.
  3. Discover some very practical ways on how you can help point people to Jesus.

For Your Thought and Reflection

  • How do you think political correctness, secularism, and post-modernism are hampering our efforts to share Jesus?
  • How does the fear of failure and being rejected hold us back in evangelism?
  • How does understanding your mission and identity serve as a fundamental in pointing people to Jesus?
  • What are some things you can do to share the good news of Jesus with someone else?

One Heart and One Soul

Friday, April 08, 2016

TEXT: Acts 4.32-37

On Sunday, we’re looking at another aspect of how the early church grew. As you read Acts 4.32, did you see one of the distinguishing characteristics? The church was completely united. They were, one heart and one soul. What does this mean? It is more than practicing the same doctrine and the enjoying the absence of conflict. The type of unity we’re talking about in this lesson is found at a deeper level. 

Our lesson will examine five components of what it means to be of one heart and one soul. What do these things say about the early church?

  1. They understood they were part of something bigger than themselves.
  2. They placed the benefit of the body over their personal wants/desires.
  3. The goals of each individual were subordinated to the goals of the body.
  4. Unity in Christ overshadowed their diversity.
  5. Their unity validated the apostle’s testimony.

For Your Thought and Reflection

  • How can the club mentality permeate the local church? What are some of the problems this causes?
  • What do passages like Romans 12.4-5 and 1 Corinthians 12.12-13 tell us about how we should view life inside the church?
  • What are some things you might be willing to let go of for the betterment of the body?
  • In what way have your individual goals changed since you became a part of the body of Christ?
  • How can our congregational unity become powerful testimony for the cause of Christ?

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