When we gather as a group, these are some ways we ensure the best group discussion:
We make the circle safe by staying honest and transparent - leave the masks at the door.
We keep it inside the circle. Each person’s story is theirs alone to share.
We look to the Bible for wisdom and truth, and work together to let it shape how we see the world.
We don’t try to fix each other in front of each other or give unsolicited advice. We lovingly save hard conversations for private moments.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
The whole Bible is full of illustrations - pictures of the Kingdom of God that help us live in a new way and become the people that God created us to be.
Doors are a rich image that show up all throughout the Bible. John Ortberg talked about how God has always been, and always will be, a God of the open door - inviting us into lives of unlimited opportunities to do good and make our lives count for eternity.
Remember, the questions are not a checklist to be completed, or in the perfect order! They’re simply guardrails to help you have a natural discussion about what we learned on Sunday.
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
The door is a rich image that can hold different meanings for different people. What does the image of a door conjure up for you personally - especially in regard to God, church, or faith?
The Opened Door
Read Revelation 3:7-8 together. This is a unique image of a door because someone has opened it. John said that opened door is symbolic of boundless opportunity and unlimited chances to do something worthwhile - chances to do good and make our lives count for eternity.
How does that image of an opened door fit with the understanding of God that you’ve had over the course of your life?
CONNECT WITH THE MESSAGE
The mission of God
The mission that God has always given his people is to go and bless. Go away from your comfort zone where you’ll have to trust God, and bless others by enhancing their lives with the blessings God has given you.
Everyone has a mission for their life - a primary driving force that is shaping our decisions. When you look at the world around you and what you’ve been taught, what are some of the missions that are driving people’s lives? What about your life?
How does this mission of God to go and bless challenge the missions that the world offers us?
Who you become
Open doors are about opportunities and possibilities, not guarantees. Who you become as you walk through the door is very often more important than which door you go through.
John said that decision-making is an indispensable part of how God forms our character - “you choose” is often God’s will for our lives. How does it make you feel that God would so intentionally give us decisions like this?
Never a guarantee
Going through an open door is never a guarantee that life will be easy, because God has never called anyone to do something simple. He just promises that saying yes will be worth it, and that He will go with us.
John said that we often shut doors because we don’t “feel peace” about it - but peace only lies on the other side of obedience. Do you ask God to change your circumstances more than you work to find Him IN your circumstances?
Are there any situations going on right now that you are trying to do that in and having trouble?
The best way to learn to discern large open doors is to practice a lot with small ones - every moment has a door because God is always with us, and that means everything is a chance for us to learn together.
What big, intimidating decisions in your life have paralyzed you?
Have you ever thought of the smallest moments in life as a training ground for the big ones? What would that look like in practice? What would your life look if you lived like that?
Stuck with God’s plan B
John said that we have to reject the myth that if we choose the wrong door once, we are stuck with God’s plan B for the rest of our lives. God is always a God of the open door - not just the one time that you missed or messed up.
How does regret play into your life with God and keep you from listening to Him and joining His mission to go and bless?
John said that the Jonah complex is the strange tendency we all have to resist our destiny. Can you see ways that you’ve done that in your life? What might you be resisting now?
Open doors start where you are
Open doors start where you are - not where you want to be, should be or think you ought to be. That means today is our day. Our mission is to go and bless, to walk with God and love those beside us as we love ourselves.
So where are you now? What is the space that God has placed you in right now?
Where does someone’s life need enhancing around you?
What are you going to do about it?
Jesus was incredibly compelling! He up-ended the religious system of his time and showed the world what God is like by the way he lived, taught, died… then lived again! Read Matthew as one big story and get a better perspective of just what Jesus was like and how he taught!