Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston

Series: Friend Request

Week 1: Activity Log                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

1. Icebreaker: Imagine you had a photo album documenting moments in your faith journey. Describe one of your favorite pictures or a person in that album, and the impact it had on your life.

2. Author Justin Whitmel Early has said, “The modern world is a habit-forming machine….”  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

3. Try to memorize our series verse, Acts 2:46: Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

4. In this first week of the series, we looked at a picture of the early church (and community) found in Acts 2:42–47: 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.// 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. // 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. // 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. // 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, // 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

5. What questions or thoughts come to mind as you read this passage?

6. We see a few characteristics of the early followers of Christ and the early church: Spiritual Maturity (Community of Hope–Priority #1): The Greek word for “fellowship” in Acts 2:42 means “partnership.” How might this understanding inform how someone approaches growing in their faith?

7. Pastor Dale pointed out that maturity in the faith is not the same as longevity in the faith. In what ways can equating the two ideas be dangerous for Christ followers?

8. Passionate Worship (Community of Hope–Priority #2): In Acts 2:44, what do you think is meant by the phrase, “had everything in common?”

9. Serving the World and Sharing their Faith (Community of Hope–Priorities #4 and #5): What are some ways that the church today can emulate the example of generosity and compassion displayed by the early church in Acts 2:45 and Acts 2:47?

10. Authentic Community (Community of Hope–Priority #3): The early church gathered in large groups to celebrate and joined in small groups to care for one another. What might hinder people from doing either of these nowadays?

11. Pastor Dale said we have settled for “crowded loneliness” rather than authentic community.  What did he mean by this?

12. We acknowledge that depression is real and should be appropriately treated. However, clinical psychiatrists Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz argue in their book, The Lonely American, that much of what people think is depression is actually “chronic loneliness.” Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? Why?

13. Justin Whitmel Early, author of The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction, has said, “This technological life that was supposed to free us has enslaves us to meaningless lives of distraction….” Social media is not inherently bad.  However, talk about some ways that social media can damage our relationships if it’s not handled well.

14. What factors may keep someone from pursuing genuine relationship and community with others?

15. We are created with a connection requirement.  As you consider your daily schedule and routine, what are some ways you can make more time for genuine community?

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