Questions and going deeper resources
Connect On one of your frontlines this week, look out for an opportunity to see—feel–act (also, of course, asking for God’s help as you do so).
- In what way do you recognise your need for community? When is community at its best/worst?
- What are common types of communities that people belong to? How is Christian community distinct?
- What do you love most about Christian community? What do you find most challenging or difficult?
Read Acts 2:42-47
- How is the Bible ‘bookended’ by a vision for humanity involving community? (cf. Gen 17:7-8 & Rev 21:3-4)
- In the account of the early church in Acts 2, what stands out for you? What indicates that this wasn’t a club, commune, or cult, but something more?
- In what ways was relationship with God—and with one another—central to the early church? How should that be expressed in the life of the local church today? How have you experienced that?
- In what ways was God at work inwardly in the life of the community? Have you experienced this in the life of our community? How would you like to be part of expressing this more?
- In what ways was God at work outwardly through the life of the community? How have you witnessed this in the life of our community? How could you be part of expressing this more?
Read James 4:1-10
- Was community always easy in the early church? Is it always easy or straightforward today?
- What does James suggest is the root cause of division, disagreement, or disunity? What can help us to bear with and spur one another on? (cf. Hebrews 10:24-25)
- How can withdrawing from community be a result of hurt, disappointment, or harm? How can withdrawing from community be other times caused by a more ‘consumerist’ approach?
- Do you ever withdraw from the life of community? Why is this the case? What might help?
- In what ways is it unhelpful to expect either “perfection” or “too little” from Christian community?
- In what ways do we both need others and are needed by others? How have you experienced both?
- What is the future of Christian community? How are we a signpost and foretaste of that future?
Apply What is one way this week you can help nurture our community in the likeness of God’s vision for it?
On Your Front Line this Week
What opportunities do you have this week to demonstrate kindness? Pray for opportunities to show God's kindness.
- Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org
Listen, Watch, and Read
- Listen: “Introduction to Christian Community” by Tim Keller
- Listen: Previous Series from St Bart’s, “Life Together”
- Read (Chapter): “Community” in “Resilient Disciples” by Rick Hill
- Watch: “The Future of the Church” by N T Wright
- Read (Book): “Gathered Together” by Karl Deenick (Borrow from the St Bart’s Library)
- Read (Research): Swinburne Study on Loneliness
- Read (Research): “Australia’s Changing Spiritual Climate” by McCrindle Research
- Read: “You’re Only Human” by Kelly Kapic (also available in the library)
- Read: “Between the Tick and the Tock” by Michael Jensen
- Read: “Becoming Friends of Time” by John Swinton (also available in the library)
- Listen: “Whole” Series by St Barnabas on Broadway
- Listen: “Being Human” by Redeemer
- Watch: “Being a Body: With Sam Allberry” by Single Minded Conference