Ocean-Deniers and Build-a-Bear Believers

Hebrews 10:35-11:1 (9.24.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      In what ways have you seen churches lean too far into the “Encounter” corner?

·      In what ways have you seen churches lean too far into the “Wrestle” corner?

·      Where have you see these two areas interact in a positive, life-giving tension?

Bringing It Home

·      Do you personally resonate more with the “Encounter” or “Wrestle” end of the spectrum?  Why?  How might you increase your capacity to hold the other side closer?

·      What would it mean for you personally to seek to hold this tension in your daily life and spiritual journey?

Of Insurrection & Instagram

John 16:7 (9.17.17 Sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      In what ways have you witnessed churches leaning too far into the "Rebel" corner?

·      In what ways have you witnessed churches leaning too far into the "Create" corner?

·     Where have you witnessed these areas in life-giving tension?

Bringing It Home

·      Which side resonates most deeply for you?  Why do you think that is?

·      How might you increase your capacity to hold the other side closer?

·      What would it mean for you to personally seek to hold this tension in your daily life and spiritual journey?

The Trinity Experience

(9.10.17 sermon)

·      Did you see/hear anything in the congregational responses to the Listening Tour questions that surprised you?  If so, what, and why?

·      How have you seen each these 4 key qualities of Trinity manifested in the life of our community—(a) Rebel, (b) Create, (c) Encounter, (d) Wrestle?

·      In what ways have you experienced healthy tensions as life-giving?  Under what circumstances can tensions turn destructive?

 

For the Love of Kombucha

Psalm 42 (9.3.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What place does desire have in the Christian life?

·      Do you believe that desire can be changed?  Have you ever had an experience where you did something that altered the shape of a desire?

Bringing It Home

·      Do a spiritual status check—What is your current level of hunger/thirst for God?

·      Which of the tips Meghan offered for increasing spiritual hunger do you think you personally might benefit most from practicing?  Why?

Accidentally Married

Romans 6:1-11 (8.27.17 sermon)

 Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      If you have been baptized, when and why did you make this choice?  What did it mean to you at the time?

·      How has what it means to you to belong to Jesus deepened or changed over time?

Bringing It Home

·      What do you need to hand over to Christ that currently belongs to you?

·      What that belongs to Christ is he inviting you to more fully share?

Always Eat the Pie

John 2:1-12 (8.20.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Hebrews 12:1-2.  (a) What do you see as the link between sacrifice and joy? (b) What sacrifices do you need to make in order to take hold of the joy before you?

Bringing It Home

·      Have you lived in such a way that others would describe your life as being grounded in joy?

·      What practices of celebration are common in your life right now?

How to Tell Jesus from a Ghost

Mathew 14:22-36 (8.13.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Matthew 17:14-20.  (a) Why do you think Jesus is so frustrated in this story?  (b) Why do you think the disciples failed?

Bringing It Home

·      Where are you being called to die today?

·      What would it look like for you to walk today in the power that raised Jesus from the dead?

Loving the Hard Ones, part 2

Romans 12:1-2, 9-20 (8.6.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Discuss Romans 12:19-21 as a strategy for dealing with difficult people.  Where have you seen this work?  What, if any, are its limits?

Bringing It Home

·      What stories have you been telling yourself about the difficult people in their life and the reasons for their behavior? Are there any other ways the dots could possibly be connected?  Is there any information you might gain that would alter your judgment about them?

·      Where is love currently requiring you to set a limit with someone?

·      Where do you need help in carrying someone’s mat?

Loving the Hard Ones, part 1

Matthew 5:43-48 (7.30.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      How have you seen love go wrong when someone uses it to fill to their own internal need or acts from a sense of spiritual obligation?

·      What does it mean to practice humility in the context of loving difficult people?

Bringing It Home

·      Where, in well-intentioned efforts to love other people, have you contributed to false stories about them or yourself?

·      How do you work at keeping your emotional reality from becoming entangled in someone else’s?

Facebook, Dinner Parties, & Dark Secrets

Philemon (7.23.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What is your longest lasting friendship?

  1. How/when did it start?
  2. How has it lasted so long?

Bringing It Home

·      What areas of your life are you keeping closed off in order to avoid the pain of vulnerability?

·      What would "seeking first the kingdom of God" look like in your life right now?

·      Do you feel like you have enough "dark secret" friends?

  1. If not, what can you do today to seek those relationships?

The Good Fight

Ephesians 4:1-3, 25-32 (7.16.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      How have you see conflict operate as an engine of growth in your life? 

·      What are some strategies for engaging conflict well that you’ve learned from your own experience?

Bringing It Home

·      Explore a current or recent conflict in your own life:

(a) What is the positive opportunity in this conflict? 

(b) What are the core needs—both your own and the other person’s—that lie beneath the surface of the conflict?

(c) How can you engage this conflict in ways that build up (you, the other person, and the relationship) rather than tear down?

Treasures in Heaven, or: How I Learned to Stop Worry and Trust the Jesus

Matthew 6:19-34 (7.9.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What are your thoughts on Jon’s idea of the “Karma gospel”?  Does this seem in your experience like an idea people are tempted to believe? 

Bringing It Home

·      Do you struggle with worry?  If so, how do these words from Jesus speak into this?

·      Has there been a time in your life when a teaching of Jesus felt more real than before?  If so, why?  What happened?

Revolutionary

John 18:28-40 (7.2.17 sermon)

 Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What does Jesus mean when he says to Pilate “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36)?  How does this relate to Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth…” (Matt. 6:10)? 

·      How does Jesus’ revolution challenge our normal ways of thinking about how revolutions work?

Bringing It Home

·      How does Jesus’ way of relating to the powers and authorities of his day shape the way you think about how we as Christians are called to relate to the authorities of our own time and context?

·      How are you participating in Jesus’ “army of healers”?

Let's Make a Deal

Genesis 15:1-21 (6.25.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Romans 4:1-8, 17-25.  What does it mean to be “credited with righteousness” apart from your actions?  How does this possibility push against our normal ideas about religion?   

Bringing It Home

·      How easy or difficult is it for you to receive the message of grace at the heart of the Bible’s story?  Why?

·      What would you tell someone else who was struggling with not feeling God enough for God or for the Christian community?

The Goodness Valve

John 15:1-9 (6.11.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What fills you up spiritually, makes you feel most full awake to God and connected to God’s presence? 

·      Read Ezekiel 37:1-14.  What does it take to stay open to God’s fresh breath?

Bringing It Home

·      How well are you doing right now at staying attached to the vine and open to the flow of life running through it?

·      What stressors in your life tend to shut you down or pull your plug?  What will be your strategy for staying open to God in the midst of those?

Like a Child

Mark 10:13-16 (6.4.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What do you think Jesus means when he says “Listen to me! Unless you welcome the Kingdom of God like one of these kids, you will never, ever be a part of it!”?

·      Read Luke 18:15-30.  This is Luke’s version of the same story. In all three gospels, the story of the rich young ruler follows the story of Jesus and the little children.  How might they be connected?

Bringing It Home

·      Are there “cares of this world” right now that are complicating your life?  What would it mean to let go of them?

·      What is one thing you could do this week to be more “like a child”?

The Paper Tigers' Pit

Daniel 6:1-22 (5.28.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever seen? 

·      Read Daniel 6:1-17 again.  What would you have done in Daniel’s shoes, hearing of this decree?  Why?

Bringing It Home

·      What have you been avoiding doing, or what conversation have you been putting off?  Where is your life currently “bottlenecked”?

·      How do the 5 steps that Meghan suggested for cultivating everyday courage apply to your specific situation?
 

Mixed Signals

Daniel 4 (5.21.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What voices do you trust most for counsel on what God desires, for your life and for the world?  Why do you trust them?

·      Read 1 John 4:1-16.  What does this passage suggest are indicators that a source is trustworthy?

Bringing It Home

·      Respond to the criteria Pastor Meghan suggested for how to discern a true word from God: 

(a) Which criteria do you most frequently overlook in your own practice of discernment?

(b) What other criteria might you consider adding to the list?

Out of the Frying Pan

Daniel 3:1-18 (5.14.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What do you believe you can trust God for?

·      Read Revelation 7:9-17.  The book of Revelation in many places picks up on the imagery of Daniel.  What does this text add to the themes of Daniel 3?

Bringing It Home

·      What is the last thing you did out of loyalty to God that made you uncomfortable?

·      What fiery furnace are you currently standing in (or, alternatively, what fiery furnace is God calling you to walk toward in an act of holy resistance)?

Shattered Dreams

Daniel 1&2 . (5.08.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read John 17:14-19.  What does it mean to be people who serve here in this world, while not truly being a part of it?

·     Read John 17:20-23.  These verses seem to say that our unity will be evidence that Jesus truly was sent by God.  How can we work on being united in our commitment to God's kingdom even while we remain divided on political matters?

Bringing It Home

·      When have you found your identity more in your political views than your spiritual unity with other Christians?

·      What would it look like if Christians were willing to be thrown to "the lions and the fire" by their own political parties because of their commitment to God's kingdom?  How can you embody that commitment yourself?