A Community of Prayer // James 5:13-18; Acts 2:42-47

A New Testament church is a community of devoted followers of Jesus who pray – together! Not only is prayer a common practice for common life, but it’s also a means of powerful transformation and restoration. The Kingdom of God is made real and breaks into darkness when the community of the faithful come together and prays over hardships, illness, and sin. A community of prayer is not a community with good sentiments, but a community with real power.

Passages referenced in today’s podcast:

Acts 2:42-47
James 5:13-18
Matthew 6:7-13
1 Kings 17-18

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Do you have a story of a time when you have seen the power of prayer at work among followers of Jesus? Write it down in three or four sentences and plan to share it.
  2. How can we as a community continue to make prayer a central practice? What might you change or improve?
  3. Do you have a hardship, illness, or sin that needs to be shared or confessed? Who should you reach out to this week and ask for prayer?
A Community of Prayer // James 5:13-18; Acts 2:42-47 // November 12, 2019

Listen or watch past teachings, learn more about Restoration Church in Lake Zurich, or connect with us at http://restorationlz.org.

A Community that Feasts // Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The early church loved to eat together! But their feasts were more than after-service potlucks for the purpose of socializing. For them, table fellowship was a tangible expression of the gospel and the presence of Christ among them, rooted in the historical roots of God’s redemptive plan for all people. This week, we’re examining the practice of “breaking bread” together and why – in its purest form – is the central, unifying participatory act of creating and cultivating authentic fellowship and worship in a discipleship community.

Passages referenced in today’s podcast:

Acts 2:42-47
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Exodus 12
Luke 22:7-20
Revelation 19:19
Genesis 1:29-30

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is one new thing you learned today that you could share with someone else?
  2. How should understanding “table fellowship” reshape someone’s view of and participation in community?
  3. How could we as Restoration Church (or any community of disciples) grow in our practice of making the gospel visible, shared, and experienced at the table with others?
A Community that Feasts // Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 // November 5, 2019

Listen or watch past teachings, learn more about Restoration Church in Lake Zurich, or connect with us at http://restorationlz.org.

A Community as Fellowship // 1 John 1:1-7, Acts 2:42-47

(Updated with the correct audio.)

This week, we continue a closer look at the New Testament church and what it means to be a community devoted “to the fellowship” (Acts 2:42). What is biblical fellowship and what are the theological implications for sharing life with others? And more importantly, how does the gospel intersect with our understanding of this new life together in community as a means of restoring life with God and others?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might your “common life” with God have implications on your “common life” with other believers?
  2. What are the common barriers to participating in the fellowship with the body of Christ?
  3. How can we as a church community become a model fellowship for others?
A Community as Fellowship // 1 John 1:1-7 // October 29, 2019

A Community of Disciples // Acts 2:42-47

As a next stop on our journey in defining biblical community, we’re closely examining the New Testament church. This week, we take a closer look at the first church in Acts 2 and what it means to be a community “devoted to the apostles’ teaching” and how we are continuing the practice at Restoration Church.

Additional resources mentioned in today’s podcast:
Ephesiology Podcast: Episode 25 – The State of the Church in America

A Community of Disciples // Acts 2:42-47 // October 22, 2019

Everyday Leadership that Changes the World // James 3

Gospel movements are sustained by everyday leaders. Our pastors, teachers, seminary professors all have an important place in teaching, equipping, and building up believers to participate in God’s redemptive plan for the world. But it’s the everyday leader – the peacemaker – who builds bridges and opens up opportunities for God to reveal Himself to others. Therefore, every believer is an everyday leader in gospel-movements. The following is a message given to the Village Church of Barrington (Barrington, IL) on October 13, 2019 by Pastor Matt.

Everyday Leadership that Changes the World // James 3

Community as a Reflection of Humanity // Revelation 5:9-10

The church as a community is designed to be a reflection of God’s most treasured creation and possession – humanity. From every tribe, language, people, and nation, the church glorifies God when it reflects the diversity of humanity. It’s the promise of the eternal Kingdom and the present reality we seek to create in Christ Jesus as adopted children of God who belong in His community – the church.

Additional resources mentioned in today’s podcast:
Ephesiology Podcast: Episode 20, The Movement and Ethnic Diversity
Ephesiology Podcast: Episode 21, The Movement and Ethnic Diversity (Part 2)
White Awake by Daniel Hill

Community as a Reflection of Humanity // Revelation 5:9-10 // October 1, 2019

Community as Family // Mark 3:31-35

Community, like family, shapes our sense of belonging and identity. The story of God’s restorative work is through community that behaves as a tight-knit family: as the true family of God. So how do we learn to be an earthly family that inspires and shapes one another to find our belonging and identity in God’s eternal family? That’s the focus of this week’s podcast and part of our series, “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others”.

Community as Family // Mark 3:31-35 // September 24, 2019

Why Community? // Ephesians 1:9-10

This week on the podcast we’re answering the question: Why do I need a church community? And, is it possible to have a personal experience and relationship with God apart from others? As we’ll discover, community is rooted deep in God’s nature and is the means by which we experience the fullness of Him in our life. This is part of the series on “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others”.

Why Community? // Ephesians 1:9-10 // September 17, 2019

The Search for Community // Matthew 16:13-19

This week we’re starting a new series, “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others”. We’re beginning by looking at what community is, how it’s practiced in our modern secular culture, and how the Bible offers an alternate story and vision for community life, bonded together in Jesus Christ.

The Search for Community // Matthew 16:13-19 // September 10, 2019

One Mission // Ephesians 6:10-24

Every person is the prized object and target of a spiritual war that we did not invite nor ask to be part of. The war is for the total worship and allegiance of every heart, mind and soul. As eternal Kingdom citizens (the restored body of Christ), our hearts, minds and souls have been rescued, purchased, and saved by Jesus Christ from sin, despair and death in the ways of the evil. But as Kingdom citizens, we’re reminded the war is not over. Instead we’re called to put on the armor of God, because armor is meant for active duty, not vacation.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Based on this week’s passage and teaching, what tactics do you believe the devil uses to infiltrate the Kingdom of God?
  2. What prevents you from putting on the armor of God as a believer in Christ?
  3. What does ‘active duty’ as Kingdom citizens (the restored body of Christ) look like?
One Mission // Ephesians 6:10-24 // June 3, 2019