Welcome to Week 2 of Mission Groups!
I heard so many great things about the first week of groups meeting! Thanks for the way you all have engaged with people and made them feel welcomed right from the outset of this exciting fall session!
INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY CLASSES
:: Monday, September 28 from 6:30-8:00pm (Matthew 8:1-17)
:: Monday, October 5 from 6:30-8:00pm (Matthew 25:31-46)
This is an awesome opportunity you don't want to miss!!! Matt Meyer, who attends Mission and is on staff with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, will be teaching two different Inductive Bible Study classes at Mission - and anyone is welcome!
It'd be great for you to be there, but it would be even BETTER to invite and bring your group! They can also RSVP at missionventura.com/groups/questions.
NEW SERIES: HOW TO HUG A VAMPIRE
We all have vampires in our lives. They’re not the ones with pale skin and blood-thirsty fangs, but there are people who seem to just suck the life out of us. It could be someone we work with, someone who lives down the street or even someone under our own roofs. So, how do we love the people who drain us? How do we handle dysfunctional relationships? Is there anything we need to evaluate about us? Can we heal from wounds that others have inflicted? During the month of October, you’re invited to Mission as we learn together how to hug a vampire!
One of our primary jobs as group leaders is to hunt!
Joining a group is a huge step for lots of people. Living life in circles can be vulnerable, new, and scary. Especially when it's for the first time!
So lets hunt down our people! Hunt them down with warm welcomes, numerous invitations, multiple forms of communication... whatever it takes for them to know without a doubt that they are welcome and safe to come as they are and be a part of a circle.
And personally, at the end of the day, I think we'd all rather be the kind-of-awkward people that relentlessly invite others into community, and into life with God, than the not-so-awkward people that give up when people are hard to get a hold of.
PRAYER REQUEST TRICKS
Praying with and for each other can be an incredibly rich time, but it can also feel superficial, awkward, and frustrating (it's not very rewarding to pray for someone's third uncle twice removed who broke his toe...).
>>> For easy and fun ways to get the most out of your prayer time in group check out this Essentials Training Page! <<<
This week we wrapped up our "Me Too" series with an exclamation point! Mike brought us back to the beginning of the church, as Jesus created it. The church has never been a building; it's always been people, "the called out ones".
Mike then moved to our little slice of Jesus' church, our local expression of the global people of God. Mission exists to help people find and follow Jesus, and that happens through 5 key guiding values. And we all are invited to be a part of the mission together, and partner with God as He works in the lives of people. Every one of us have a people and a place that God is calling us to; every one of us is Mission.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. We passionately love Jesus, ruthlessly eliminate ego, courageously live in grace and truth, confidently know who we are in Christ, unconditionally trust God, intentionally live better stories, and selflessly extend compassion.
These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
*optional fun icebreaker*
- What places have you lived in life? How have they helped shape who you are today?
- Throughout different stages of your life, what has come to your mind when you heard the word “church”?
Read Matthew 16:13-19 together.
In Matthew 16, Jesus is in his last year of ministry. Many of the Jewish people have been seeking after the one who they believe will save them from Rome and return Israel to its former greatness. Some think Jesus might be that savior, some just know there’s something different about him, and some have no clue what to think. But one thing is consistent: everyone wants to know who Jesus is.
(13) When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
(14) They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
(15) “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
(16) Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
(17) Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (18) And I tell you that you are Peter (which means “Rock”), and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
- Not everyone believed or thought Jesus was the Messiah, like His disciples believed. How does that relate to the different ways Jesus is viewed today in our world?
- Based only on what He says here, what do we learn about Jesus’ vision and plan for His church?
- Here are some helpful observations!
- It’s built on Christ himself, not an idea or a philosophy. It’s HIS church!
- It is firm, lasting, and eternal, built on a Rock.
- We have the authority and power of Christ himself. (also Acts 1:8, below)
- Here are some helpful observations!
- How does Jesus’ vision for the church change your perspective on what the church is, has been, or could be?
- Mike said that Mission has “partners”, not “members, and that the church is about the people, not the building. How do those ideas reinforce how God views us and wants to use us?
- How have you taken steps toward “being the church” instead of “attending church”? How has that impacted the way you you think about life with God?
- Eugene Peterson said, “There is something holy about the people and the place that God has called you to serve.” So who are your people? Where is your place? Where has God placed you to “be Mission”?
Try some of these ideas during the week to reinforce the idea that “you are Mission”!
- Write down one of these verses (or even memorize it) and read it every morning this week! See how it changes how you approach your day.
- On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
- You are the salt of the earth... and the light of the world... Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
- Make a personal or family “mission statement” based on Jesus’ vision for the church. Incorporate the people and place that God might be calling you to!
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
"But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
What is Mission?
- Mission is a church
- Church is the people… the “called out ones”
- We are a local expression of a global Church.
What’s the Mission of Mission?
- To Help People Find and Follow Jesus
What makes Mission, Mission?
- Tangible Hope
- Practical Help
- Significant Ministry
- Throw Great Parties
- Kingdom Impact
Does Mission have members?
- No, we have partners
- members have privileges
- partners have responsibilities
Partners at Mission...
How do I live as “Mission”?
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“There is something holy about the people and the place that God has called you to serve."
- Who are your people?
- Where is your place?