We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. 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.
It’s our last week before starting our journey in the new building on Walker street!
In our series, Neon, we’ve looked at some extraordinary “neon light” stories: Daniel, Esther, and now Nehemiah. But before there was Daniel, there was Nehemiah.
Around 445 BC, the city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Babylonian King. The wall of Jerusalem was destroyed and everything inside it (palaces, homes, etc.) was now rubble. The Jews were exiled, and though they were allowed to go home, there was no home for them there.
Nehemiah is the perfect parallel story for our new adventure. He was praying big and it all started with a construction project to rebuild the city's walls. Nehemiah was hurting when His people’s city was destroyed and despite those people being strangers, he wanted to serve God by doing something to rebuild their homes.
- Have you ever done a staycation in Ventura? What is one thing you recommend/love doing here?
God Has A Job For You
Nehemiah was the cupbearer for the king, which meant his entire job was to taste wine in case it was poisoned. But Nehemiah was more than that! God gave him the gift of courage and a heart for people. He had a lot of talents God wanted to use.
Has God ever used your gifts and talents outside of your career before? How?
God is working in our community and the individual lives that make up our community.
Have you ever experienced or witnessed something in your life where there was no way you could’ve pulled it off on your own? What did God do?
17 Prayers of Nehemiah
Moses said in Exodus 33:15, "If your presence does not go with us, do not send us." Jodi pushed this a little further and said, “if the resources and power of the Creator of the universe [are] available to us, WHY WOULD WE TRY TO PULL IT OFF ON OUR OWN?”
Do you invite God into every single decision you make? Does being dependent on God bother you?
FOLLOW UP >>> What do you think would change if you asked and expected for every decision you make?
Knowing The Mission
In Nehemiah 7:66, he wrote down his prayer results: “So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah, in addition to 7,337 servants and 245 singers, both men and women.”
Have you ever recorded, or written down, the results of your prayers? How do you give God credit for the prayers in your life?
God may not be visible with plain eyes, but he is always at work.
Luke 11:11-13 says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
In return, God wants us to relate to Him, give Him credit, thank Him, and praise Him.
Why do you think our perfect God wants us to give Him credit when He doesn’t need it?
Giving Credit to god
God very much engages with us like we are His small children. He doesn’t need us to say thank you, but wants us to be thankful people. He wants us to be thankful and see the Giver. He wants us to remember what’s important in life.
We were made in God’s image, which means, we can assume we are like God. Do you like to be thanked? Do you like to be valued? Do you like to be praised for being extra awesome? So does God. And He deserves it.
- Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Father, thank you for using me for Your will. Thank you for every time our church building was used to rebuild lives after tragedy, and for every prayer that was answered during our time here at 2875 Elba Street. I am so grateful for how you’ve blessed me! I pray for you to use me to build our new building up for your glory and on mission for the kingdom of God.
Mission is moving this week! When we get there, there will likely be a rush of interest from new people - and that means we have a huge opportunity to help people stick around!
Connection with others is what makes people feel at home. It’s not the coffee, the message, the music, or the comfy seats - it’s the people.
So for the next few weeks, we are going to stretch ourselves!
Introduce yourself to someone new at church next week.
I.e. Hey! My name is ___ we haven’t met before!! Have you been around Mission long? Or are you new?
*Try to look for someone who is like you in some way that you can picture getting to know better.