1) What negative thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “church?” What positive thoughts?
2) Last week we talked about sanctification –AKA “Holiness” – John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement once said “You can no more be a Holy hermit than a Holy adulterer” – what does he mean by that? Have you seen this to be true in your life, or in the lives of others?
3) Read Hebrews 10:22-25, why are church gatherings necessary for believers?
4) The word church can have lots of different meanings. The word we use comes from a German word that could be interpreted “house of God,” but in Christian theology we don’t believe that God resides in our church buildings. The Greek word that we translate as “church” in the Bible is “ecclesia” ἐκκλησία – which at the time referred to a democratic gathering of Greek political leaders. Given this information, what is the difference between “a church” and “the Church?” (also known a the universal church, or the ecclesia.) Why is it important to know the difference?
See: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=g1577 for more info on the word ecclesia (as well as any other greek words you have questions about)
5) Read Acts 2:42-47 – what would you say were the goals and purposes of the early church? How is this different from the modern, American church?
6) Jesus preached to thousands during his ministry. Why do you think he chose 12 to spend more time with? Do you have someone discipling you?
7) Throughout the new testament there is one word that is translated as “disciple” or make disciples, mathēteuō, as seen in acts 14:21 where it says “after preaching and making many disciples…” And the word didasko as in acts 15:1 where Luke talks about the false teachers who came to said that all Christians had to go through the Jewish right of circumcision to be saved. What do you think the difference is between making disciples and teaching?
8) Read 1 Tim 2:1-2 – What does this passage tell us about our roles as disciples?
9) If you are being poured into by people who are discipling you, are you discipling anyone else?
10) How are you engaging with a gathering of believers at least once a week for worship and discipleship? What next step can you take? Serving in a church? Discipline others? How can this group help?