Day 1: Read Acts 2:42-47. The people described in this community were living life together. In fact, they are intentionally practicing the Three Commitments that are the focal point of this entire Sunday message series: Worship, Community and Serve. It is impossible to separate these activities as you read these verses. From this passage as well as from Sunday’s message, what aspects of this community caught your attention? Re-read these verses. Reflect on your own relationships. What are some examples of this type of community in your life? In the last week, consider who you’ve eaten with. When was the last conversation you had about what God was doing in your life? Have you asked another person what God is teaching them? When did you last borrow or lend something?
Day 2: Recall Sunday’s message and the three-circle diagram. In your journal or on a scratch piece of paper, draw it out. Put yourself in the center and label the circles: outer - Crowd, middle - Group, inner – Best Friends. Begin writing some names in each circle. Consider the different parts of life: work, school, hobbies, Facebook, hunting buddies, teammates, people from church, those who moved away, small group, long-time friends. How about parents, siblings, children, and other relatives. Which family members fit in which circle? Since we have limited time and energy, we can only have so many relationships in our lives. Consider the outer circles. What are some observations or questions that come to you? Is there tension in one of these circles? Are you trying to fit people into your middle circle? How many people would you guess are in your middle circle? Is that too many or not enough? Is someone pursuing you and is God calling you to that relationship or is one relationship taking you away from other important relationships? Invite God into this time. Write down some of your observations and identify a potential next step in community.
Day 3: Come back to the circles you drew yesterday. Take a few minutes to review your relationships. Has God revealed something? Are there any names you wrote down who you’d consider moving from one circle to another? If you haven’t already, list all the people in your inner circle; those who are your closest or best friends. These are the people who know the most about you. You may come up with one name or more than 10. Limit it to under 10. What qualifies someone to be in this inner circle? What do you offer in the relationship and would you be in their inner circle? Do these people bring out your best? Are these the individuals who root for you the loudest? Spend time thinking about these relationships. Again, write down some of your reflections and re-visit them at the end of the day or tomorrow. Ask God for a next step to take. Have a conversation with someone about your insight.
Day 4: Read Acts 4:32-33, I Thess. 2:8. We've reflected on our relationships the past few days. Of the names of people in the circles you've drawn, some have the same heart and mind. Some people in your circles desire to know and become like Jesus. That is how they live their lives. This leads to ask the question. What does this community look like in your life? Do you belong to a group of people who meet together for the purpose of growing, challenging, and supporting each other in following Jesus? It is with these people, intentional conversations happen about how we are living out our faith. If you are currently in a small group, take time to pray for the purpose of the group, not to only consume information or truth but to understand it and use it. Pray for each member and their own journey towards becoming like Jesus. If you are not in a small group, pray that God would show you how or where to find people of the same heart and mind.
Day 5: This week we've reflected on aligning our community with community described in Act 2:42-47. Small group is a great expression of community. Today is about action. If you are in a group already, commit to the people in that group. Find ways to experience the life on life relationship described in Acts. Consider reaching out to a member today or initiate a group gathering. Make a commitment to invest more of yourself in your group this fall. If you are not in a group, consider joining one. Fall small group information is on our website (www.lscckc.org/groups). September 10 and 17, we are hosting Connect U. These two Sundays we invite people to explore LSCC small groups. It is the best time of the year to join a small group. Or maybe you may have some people who you want to pull together to start a group. If you want to talk about the possibility of doing that, contact Patrick Hukriede (firstname.lastname@example.org), Small Groups Pastor, for help in taking that step. Be intentional in your pursuit of community.