This Present Darkness- Wk 2

PRESENT+DARKNESS.jpg

Talk It Out- This Present Darkness, Wk 2
These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group.

*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

-       If you could live in a past time period, which one would you want to live in?

-       What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

*Weekend Recap:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

There is a FIGHT for our lives! Satan’s desire is to: kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) God didn’t leave us alone to fight on our own.  As we continue to take a look at spiritual warfare, we took a look at the armor and weapons God has fashioned for us.

Ephesians 6:13-18 NIV (look up and read as a group)

 What are the pieces of armor/weapons?

1.     Belt of Truth: the believers integrity

2.     Breastplate of Righteousness: the believers purity

3.     Shoes of Peace: the believers tranquility

4.     Shield of Faith: the believers certainty

5.     Helmet of Salvation: the believers sanity

6.     Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word): the believers victory

*Discussion Points:
Which piece of armor is the hardest for you to “put” on? Which piece is the easiest?

Spiritual warfare is real, yet often times we approach it as a child. We come armed with “childish” armor rather than the armor and weapons that God has provided for us.

Do you find it hard to take spiritual warfare seriously? Why/Why not?

How does one continually arm themselves with the armor of God?

*End in Prayer:
Read through Ephesians 6:10-18 as a prayer. Read it slowly out loud. As each piece of armor is read, symbolically put on that armor.  This can be done as a group prayer or individual prayer.

Challenge one another to begin each day this week by putting on the Armor of God. Take 5 minutes of your morning to prepare your heart and mind to walk with God’s full armor on.  Continue to take the time to pray through all circumstances this week seeking God on all things. Connect with each other and encourage one another as you go through the week praying and putting on the whole Armor of God.  

 

This Present Darkness- Wk 1

PRESENT%2BDARKNESS.jpg

Talk It Out- This Present Darkness, Wk 1
These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group.

*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

- If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, who would play you?

- Say you’re independently wealthy and don’t have to work, what would you do with your
time?

*Weekend Recap:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

There is a FIGHT for our lives! Satan’s desire is to: kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) This month we will be taking a look at spiritual warfare and taking some exerts from Frank Pereti’s book, This Present Darkness.

“Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (TPT)

 How do we equip our selves to engage in this fight: PRAYER!

1.     Pray with faith (James 5:13-18)

2.     Watch what you say (Luke 6:45; Proverbs 4:23)- Speak Life

3.     We have to DO- what are your actions representing?  

*Discussion Points:
Read Ephesians 6:18-20

What is prayer?  [definition: a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God] – simply talking to God

What are some practical ways you pray? [lists, written prayers, short prayers, long prayers, etc....]

Is praying hard for you? Why?

How can you make prayer more important in your life? What are steps you could take to pray more? 

*End in Prayer:
Take some time to pray together as a group- share requests/needs/praises.  You can pray in smaller groups of 2 or 3, or all together. Take turns praying for one another and encourage one another to pray throughout the week for all things.

Challenge one another to take the time to pray through all circumstances this week seeking God on all things. Connect with each other and encourage one another as you go through the week praying.  

Vision Weekend

Talk It Out- Vision Weekend- For Everyone

These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group. 


*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

- How long have you been attending 2911? How did you hear about the church?

- What is your favorite memory from 2911 over the past year? (a memory serving, a message that really spoke to you, an activity you were part of, etc...)

 

*Start Thinking:

2911 began as a vision given to Pastor Mark while in the back of a van on a mission’s trip. It started out in their living room and has grown to its’ current locations, across two campuses. 

“When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.” Proverbs 29:18 TPT

 

Read out loud the vision Pastor Mark received: 

The Church I See

I see a church that is full of relentless love, grace and power.  

Unrestrictive. Not full of people with personal motives. Filled with people who love to serve. 

Where there is no fear to be who you were created to be. That celebrates the human heart. 

That leads with humility and confidence rather than insecurity and pride. I see a church that is

alive- with laughter. With tears. With joy. With kindness and Galatians 5:2 functioning through it. I see a church where- worship is at the center. Where the power of the Holy Spirit isn’t held back by- time. Schedules. Boring routines or service orders. Where creativity is used to see the power of God not the power of man. This is the church I see. Where every color and diversity... are welcome. Where differences are celebrated rather than diminished. I see a church where the next generation is welcomed, celebrated and put into places of leadership. This is the church I see. Large. Bountiful. Moving beyond borders and limitations. Moving...forward. This is the church I see. I see a church of community, creativity, fighting social injustice- activity. I see a Twentynine:Eleven Church. 

 

We have spent the last 5 weeks discussing Who We Are as a church. Our culture- Community; Creativity; Generosity; Outreach and Love. In order to have a culture we must be the culture.  

 

-Thinking ahead, how can you personally get involved and become part of the culture we live out at 2911? 

 

-What are ways that 2911 lives out the Vision that was given to Pastor Mark?

 

It is important for each of us to have roots. Roots allow growth. Growth within Christ, allows Him to prune, heal, and develop. It allows His light to shine and love to be poured out on us and through us to others. God’s love it not meant for just a few of us, but all of us. 

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV 

 

How can you love God with your heart, soul, and mind?  Is it easy? Is it hard? 

 

The second commandment can be much harder than the first- “love your neighbor as yourself”.  Many people struggle with loving themselves. Insecurities, pride, and selfishness are just a few things that keep us from realizing our full potential in Christ. In order to love others we must realize and accept how much God really loves us! God’s love is unconditional- this means there are no conditions needed to receive his love. He freely gives! 

 

What are ways you can increase the love for yourself? (ex. Spending time in Gods word and discovering his love for you; praying and asking God to speak) 

 

What are ways you can love others as yourself?

 

What are ways you can love others better?

 

We love because He first loved us!  (1 John 4:19)

 


*End in Prayer: 

Take a moment and reflect on God’s love in your life. Thank Him. Ask for an increase of love. If you struggle with loving yourself, ask God to help you to see yourself the way he sees you. Ask him to help you knock down the walls of pride and selfishness.  

 

Have someone lead the group in a closing prayer. Challenge one another to take the time to love someone this week. 

 

 

Who We Are: Week 4

Talk It OVER…Who We Are - Week 4

These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group. 
*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

-How can you be a part of the churches vision?  
-What are ways that you are creative? Are you using that gift now? Why or why not?

*Start Thinking:

God is a creative God. He is the master storyteller and he has penned each individual into his story. He has carefully and thoughtfully made us into who we are today. No detail goes unnoticed when God made you.

We do it through love, community, outreach, creativity, and generosity. These five things work together to create a place where everyone is welcome, and they find a place to call home. 

God is a grand artist. He loves to be creative and right in this moment he’s creating something beyond spectacular in you.  

1. We are penned out by the creativity of our God

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

God took something that was nothing and made the brilliant blue of the skies and the greens of the earth. He made brilliant colors on animals, insects and reptiles. When God created, he didn’t leave any detail unnoticed. 

2. We serve a God of the New. 

Lamentation 3:22 “The steadfast love of the lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are NEW every morning; great is his faithfulness.”

Every mercy that God gives is new, and his faithfulness always comes through. 

Too often, we would rather stay in the OLD. Ways to check to see if you are stuck in the old:

-You never feel happy, and always have a feeling of unfulfillment.

-You have a complete and total feeling of discontentment.

-You feel lonely and shame

-You complain

Complaining and cynicism. You find that you always have something to complain about no matter where you go or church you are at. Nothing seems right. Familiar words like, “The music is too loud,” “No one greeted me,” “I don’t like the colors of the walls,” “So, and so shouldn’t be serving. If they only know what they did.” 

This constant thinking only keeps the chains of the old wrapped tight around the wrists. Letting go seems so much harder then. Letting go means your mind gets renewed, and the chains are broken. Walking in freedom means that even if you don’t agree on something, you still smile, and serve and worship Jesus. 

When it comes to creativity you don’t have to be a grand artist, musician, or singer, you just have to be you. God is weaving you into his tapestry with brilliant colors. You are a grand masterwork that God loves to show off. 

Don’t be like the Israelites who always complained about every little thing and would rather be in bondage. God did so many amazing and good things for them that he had to constantly remind them of all the miracles he did for them, yet they still chose to disobey. 

Hang on to the victories that God brought you out of and use them to propel you forward. Reflect the character of God: His Love; His justice; His faithfulness; His mercy

*End in Prayer: Here are ways to close your group in prayer. 
Father, I ask that you take our hearts so that they reflect the very characteristics of you. When people look at us, let them see you. Take my tapestry God and weave my story into it. I want you at the center of it. Help us to be creative in our lives, ministry, work, and community.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Who We Are: Week 1

Talk It OVER…
These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group.

*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

-How would you define the word culture?

-How did you hear about 2911? Who invited you? How long have you been attending?

*Thoughts and Discussion: Review of the Weekend’s message
2911 Church started out in the living room of Pastor Mark’s house. A handful of people grew into a community which continued to invite others in. The growth of that once small group has brought 2911 church into a community of 2 locations, with a total of 5 Worship Experiences a weekend.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
”For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

2911 was founded on this verse. We believe that there is a Plan, a Hope, and a Future for everyone!

As our community has continued to grow over the years in numbers, it is important that we continue to grow as mature believers. That every individual be strong in their call and life purpose in Christ. This happens through culture. Our culture at 2911 consists of: Community; Outreach; Creativity; Generosity; Love.

This past weekend we began to look into our culture by first looking at the power of COMMUNITY. How do we keep our community close as we continue to grow?

Acts 2:42-47  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

 1.)     We start by CREATING A COMMUNITY THAT SEEKS GOD TOGETHER.
We have a moment to worship together and seek God’s word together. When one of us feels left behind, there are others around us that can help lift us up again and encourage us.

What are ways that we seek God together at 2911?

2.)     LET’S CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT TRULY BECOMES MATURE ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.
We can have a “breaking bread” moment through a small group experience. We have a large variety of small groups for you to get involved with.

What are some ways that we help take care of the needs of one another?

3.)      LET’S CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT REACHES OUT TO TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS OF THE GREATER COMMUNITY
When we reach the hurting, broken, and lost and minister to those needs, God’s heart is blessed by our actions. He loves when we help is people. It truly is the very core of his heart.  

How are we reaching others around us at 2911?

4.) LET’S CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT LIVES LIFE TOGETHER.
God is a loving and relational God. We can take a look at Adam and Eve and see how he longed for community with them. They’d all three walk the garden of Eden together. Talking and hanging out.

God wants the same idea for us. When we are closed off and isolated, it’s easy to get lost in our hurts and feelings. Satan wants nothing more to divide the church and keep us feeling alone. He knows that when we are together, we are a mighty force that can’t be broken.

How can you be a part of the culture of 2911? How have you benefited from involvement at 2911?

*Close in Prayer: Close your group in prayer. 
Father, I ask right now that you help us with the idea of community and building relationships with other believers. If anyone feels lonely right now, God I ask that you pour your love over them. Help our eyes to focus on those who are in need. Help us to be open to the continual growth of your church and always be welcoming as we were once welcomed. In your name I pray, Amen