A Community that Multiplies // Acts 2:47; Acts 1:8

In the final message of our series on Defining Community, we examine the outcome of biblical community life: Growth! Healthy growth comes out of healthy community life that actively lives on mission in the world. We’ll also examine the common “threats to community” that undermine that mission and its solution: devoting our lives to Jesus Christ and bringing glory to God in all things.

Passages referenced in today’s podcast:

Acts 2:42-47
Acts 1:8
John 3:16-17
John 17:18

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What do you see as being the biggest “threat to community” that you are most susceptible to?
  2. How might you take responsibility for disarming that “threat” and become a full contributor to the community?
A Community that Multiplies // Acts 2:47; Acts 1:8 // November 19, 2019

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

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.

One Family // Ephesians 5:21-6:9

The gospel brings dignity, worth, and purpose to everyone, starting with our closest relationships: our family and church community. To imitate God and walk in the example of Christ is to mutually serve and sacrifice for one another out of love.

For a more in-depth discussion on the issues surrounding Ephesians 5:21-33, listen to our podcast episode on Authority, Headship, and Gender Roles.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Read Ephesians 5:21-6:9 through the lens of “mutual submission” that seeks to love and dignify others as valued children of God. What stands out to you in the passage?
  2. By understanding this passage as a means of living out the gospel in your family, church, and as a witness of God’s grace to the world, what are the implications for you personally that you need to change in order to follow the ways of Jesus?
  3. What can we learn by Paul’s approach to applying the gospel to his cultural context? How can we do the same? Provide a real-life example.
One Family // Ephesians 5:21-6:9 // May 27, 2019

One Example // Ephesians 4:17-5:20

Imagine if the church saw its primary job to model, pass on, and point to Jesus Christ “in everything” it does. What might the church look like, do, and reproduce?

Our ultimate loyalties, core beliefs, and fundamental values are shaped by those who we respect, follow, and imitate in this life. So if the very heart of our “oneness” in God, the hope of our restored humanity, and the promise of new life and salvation is contingent on following Jesus, shouldn’t we as believers reflect our One example? The call of the Christian is this: When we follow the ways of Jesus, we reproduce Jesus.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Prayerfully evaluate your life based on Ephesians 4:17-5:20. What is needed to ensure that you are modeling your life after Jesus?
  2. How should a vision of modeling, passing on, and reproducing the ways of Jesus transform Christian community and the church?
One Example // Ephesians 4:17-5:20 // May 20, 2019

One Body // Ephesians 4:1-16

The church today continues to struggle with the concept and practice of true unity and oneness in Christ. Contextual distinctions aside, with our churches divided socially, racially, and theologically, how will the world know the true witness of Christ – the union of all things in Him for the glory of His name and the salvation of His people? As we learn in this message, the measure of our spiritual unity determines the true health and maturity of the church.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. If you were to make a list of what determined a “healthy & mature” church, what would have been on that list?
  2. How does “spiritual unity” change your understanding and role of the church?
  3. Based on the list in Ephesians 4:11, what do you think your spiritual gift contribution might be in the body of Christ?
One Body // Ephesians 4:1-16 // May 13, 2019

One Spirit // Ephesians 3:14-22

So who is the Holy Spirit and what’s His role in the unification of the church? This week we learn that just as Jesus Christ is the ‘head’ of the body (the church), the Spirit is the supernatural force that holds it all together. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the very power to our Oneness.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What crowds out or invades your relationship with the Holy Spirit? What might you need to change in order to prioritize that relationship?
  2. How do you see yourself as a member of the church contributing to the greater unity of the body of Christ and fulfilling the will of God?
One Spirit // Ephesians 3:14-22 // May 6, 2019

One New Humanity // Ephesians 2:11-3:13

God’s plan is to unite and restore everyone, everywhere back to Himself, and it’s His intention to use the church to display that plan. But will we join Him?

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Where has the church failed to demonstrate this vision of a restored and unified humanity in Christ?
  2. How can the church move forward in living out its calling and purpose?
  3. What do you believe your role should be in participating in God’s plan to unite and restore everyone, everywhere back to Him?
One New Humanity // Ephesians 2:11-3:13 // April 22, 2019

One Lord // Ephesians 1:15-23

This week we uncover the story of an unstoppable movement grounded in love and its sovereign leader who’s head can’t be severed. This isn’t the tagline for a new movie about a geopolitical uprising, but the very real Kingdom of God and its King who we joyfully serve.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What helped you?
  2. What challenged you?
  3. What implications does this teaching have on my life?
One Lord // Ephesians 1:15-23 // April 3, 2019