What Does God Expect Of Me?
Topic: Vision & the Church Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:12–12:14
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many... Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” - I Corinthians 12:12-14,27 (NKJV)
I Will Be A Functioning Church Member
I Will Be A Unifying Church Member
I Will Not Let My Church Be About My Preferences And Desires
I Will Pray For My Church Leaders
I Will Lead My Family To Be Healthy Church Members
I Will Treasure Church Membership As A Gift
DEMONSTRATING 4 KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF A MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
“But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,…” - I Corinthians 12:20-23 (NKJV)
“… but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” - I Corinthians 12:24-25 (NKJV)
“…but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” - I Corinthians 12:25b-26 (NKJV)
“... And yet I show you a more excellent way.” - I Corinthians 12:31 (NKJV)
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” - I Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)
SCRIPTURE READING: I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27;
Additional scripture references: Chapters 12 & 13 of 1 Corinthians.
Purpose: Is to have the entire church focus on what it means to be an active participant in the congregation & life of Hope Covenant. That together we would address the key commitments of being an active member and our response to living out the mission of Hope together.
Desired Outcomes: That this series would foster a renewed commitment on the part of our people to the ministries of Hope and set a positive tone for this new chapter of Hope’s ministry.
Process: During this small group series we will use the “I Am a Church Member” book by Thom Rainer to guide us through the process.
Other than the church, what organizations have you belonged to? What were the basic requirements of belonging? What were the perks of belonging?
In the book Rainer points to two views of churches by people.
1. Where people; “join churches expecting others to serve us, to feed us, and to care for us.”
2. Where people see themselves as; “placed in churches to serve, to care for others, to pray for leaders, to learn, to teach, to give and, in some cases, to die for the sake of the gospel.”
A CLOSER LOOK:
Read pages 10 & 11 (up to ‘I’m glad you asked.”) in I Am a Church Member.
What strikes you initially about what you just read?
Read I Corinthians 12:27-28. This biblical view of the church is of a body with parts and individual members that make up those parts. Why is this so important for us to understand about the church?
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY:
Rainer uses the idea of a country club membership as one many church members have of their church.
1. Explain how country club membership and church membership are so different? What scriptural references support the differences in church membership?
2. Explain why church membership is a biblical concept, using I Cor. 12 as your biblical foundation.
3. How is the “love chapter” 1 Corinthians 13, related to church membership? Explain using all 13 verses of the chapter.
4. How are the different parts of the body (ear, nose, mouth, hand, foot, eyes, etc.) related to church membership? How do the parts play out in your church?
5. In relation to church membership, why is it important for members to know and use their spiritual gifts? Relate your answer to 1 Corinthians 12.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHT & QUESTION:
This first chapter of the book is; “I Will Be a Functioning Church Member”.
On page 16 the author states, “We who are church members are all supposed to function in the church. The concept of an inactive church member is and oxymoron. Biblically, no such church member really exists.”
What do you think about this statement? Would some people in the church be bothered by this?
In this chapter we encounter another key question. One that you should ask yourself and God in prayer is: “How can I best serve my church?”
Read pages 17 &18 of the “I Am A Church Member” book about The Pledge