Online Connect Group // Renewed // Week 2
Posted June 27, 2020 — Lincoln Berean
June 28, 2020 // Coming Together: Part 2 // Ephesians 4:1-6
Welcome to the second week of RENEWED!
This summer, we plan to come together to know Jesus, be more like Him and help others do the same. On Sunday, we focused on the first part of that statement: come together.
Ryan challenged us to think about what kind of people we’re becoming and the character of our gatherings. The church is a people, not a place and when we gather on Sundays or throughout the week our gathering should increasingly look like Christ himself. This week in your groups, spend some time thinking through how our community moves toward reflecting Christ.
We don’t provide a lot of space for your answers to these questions, so we suggest having a journal handy to write down your thoughts. You’re not expected to have time for all these questions during your online meeting, but we encourage you to reflect on them and jot down thoughts on your own.
Getting to Know Each Other (Suggested time: 30 min)
Begin your group time by learning more about each other. If you need them, here are some questions:
- What’s your favorite summertime activity?
- What’s a movie that you have watched over and over again? Why?
- What are some ways in which you have experienced God’s love for you? How has He brought about good in your life?
Begin to transition into group discussion.
1) Invite someone to open the group in prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items:
a. For God to reveal His truth and love for the group
b. For openness to each other and God’s voice
c. For friendships to deepen and grow
2) Invite someone else to read Ephesians 4:1-6 to the group.
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
Please complete these questions prior to your group’s meeting time.
1) Read Ephesians 4:1-2. The first half of Ephesians (chapters 1-3) is a reminder of what Christ has done for us and who we are in Him. In chapter 4, Paul begins to explain how we’re to live out of the new life Christ has given us.
How does the rest of this passage help us understand what Paul meant by walking (living) in a manner worthy of our calling?
2) In verse 2, Paul mentions four qualities that characterize those who are walking in a manner worth of their calling: humility, gentleness, patience and love.
- Humility is seeing myself in a proper light – as one who is entirely dependent on God. In order to have humility, empowered by the Spirit, we must renounce self-centeredness.
- Gentleness is being kind, careful and strong in the midst of chaotic division and anger. In order to have gentleness, empowered by the Spirit, we must renounce harshness and violence.
- Patience is endurance – the ability to wait out something tedious without getting upset. In order to have patience, empowered by the Spirit, we must renounce the tyranny of our own agendas.
- Love is a willful inclination (choice) to act for the good of another. In order to have love, empowered by the Spirit, we must renounce our rights.
a. Which of the above qualities comes easiest for you? If you’re willing, share how this plays out in your life.
b. Which of the above qualities is hardest for you to live out of? How come?
3) Read verses 1-6 again. Paul mentions one more thing in verse 3 that is crucial to coming together as believers. He says to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Paul indicates that we’re already one in Christ. He doesn’t say to become unified – he says to preserve the unity that already exists in Christ.
a. Consider a follower of Jesus with whom you struggle to live in unity.
b. Does it change your thoughts about this person if you view them as one with you in Christ? If so, how?
4) According to this passage, “walking in a manner worth of your calling” is walking (living) in a way that promotes community and unity in the body of Christ. We’re tempted to think that Paul is telling us to live out these qualities (humility, gentleness, patience, love) in our individual lives, yet Paul emphasizes the need for relationships that preserve unity. .
a. Has living in community been helpful to your growth in Christ? If so, how?
b. Has your experience of living in community with others made it challenging to grow in Christ? If so, how?
c. What’s one thing you can do this week to begin “walking in a manner worthy of your calling” in one of these areas (humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity)? If you’d like, share with your group and ask them to pray for you.
Group Prayer (Suggested time: 10 min)
Prayer is an important part of each Online Connect Group. It’s natural for some to be reluctant to pray aloud; others are so comfortable that they can unintentionally take over the prayer time. Continue to deepen your relationships through prayer as you gain trust with one another.
Take a few moments to prepare a prayer request. Consider the areas you need to grow, receive help or show love. A significant part of “coming together” is being open and honest with our lives. Sharing can be scary, but it also invites others to be present in your life!
Share short prayer requests and be mindful of needs throughout your discussion. Hosts will wrap up your time with prayer; pray aloud if you’re comfortable, but everyone enters into prayer as you reflect together.