Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: The Exciting Church…
Week 5: …is Gainfully Employed
1. We’re talking in this series about what makes a church exciting. Church is actually Jesus’ idea. It’s how he planned to get his redemptive work done in the world.
What drew you to want to attend church?
2. Community of Hope’s mission statement is: “We exist to interest disinterested people in Jesus Christ, and grow together into fully devoted followers of him.” Pastor Dale shared mission statements from some of the world’s most successful companies. What is the reason for having a mission statement?
3. Jesus gave his own personal mission statement in Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” What do you notice about Jesus’ mission statement?
4. If the individuals who are part of a local church don’t regularly feed themselves on God’s Word throughout the week, that local church becomes susceptible to what Pastor Dale called “infections”. What are some “infections” that a church might develop in that situation?
5. John Ortberg, in his book, Soul Care, wrote about the importance of each person feeding and caring for his/her own personal soul. What are some things you are currently doing to care for your soul?
The Church is meant to be a place where we can both breathe in and breathe out.
6. What does Pastor Dale mean by “breathing in”? What are some ways you have experienced “breathing in” through our church?
7. Read Ephesians 4:11-13: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
What does Pastor Dale mean by “breathing out”? What does this passage say about both “breathing in” and “breathing out”?
8. Read Ephesians 2:4-10: But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions– it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
9. What do you learn in this passage about “breathing in” and breathing out” spiritually?
10. Read verse 10 again. What does it mean to be “God’s handiwork”? What are some of the implications of the truth that you are God’s handiwork?
11. What does it mean to that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works”?
12. The phrase “which God prepared in advance for us to do” reminds us that every single Christ-follower has been called to live a life that is “on mission”. How are you doing at living your life “on mission”?
13. What happens to a person, who only ever breathes in spiritually – and never breathes out? (Meaning they attend lots of Bible studies and worship services, and read the Bible, but they never serve.)
14. What happens to a person, who only ever breathes out spiritually – and doesn’t breathe in? (Meaning they serve in many ways at their church, but they don’t feed themselves spiritually.)
15. God calls us to do both – breathe in, and breathe out. When you do both of these in balance, God’s work gets done, not only in the world, but also in your heart. Describe how you are currently doing with regard to keeping a balance of both breathing in and breathing out in your spiritual life.