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Missional Community: God's Idea


Listening Guide for the video "Missional Community: God's IDea"

 

Missional Community is God’s idea, not a new trendy one

  • Modern famous visionaries, like Jeff Vanderstelt and Francis Chan have made it more popular in recent years, but it’s not a new idea, instead it’s returning to the original early church model as seen in Acts.

  • Missional-community is God’s design for believers in Jesus who then
    • receive new gospel-identities,
    • belong to new gospel-communities and
    • invest their lives on gospel-mission.

Joining the Story God is Writing with Agape Moms

  • Agape Moms began and is sustained by the conviction in God’s word, empowering of the Holy Spirit, and fueled by prayer.
  • The Story of Agape Moms highlights the personal, spiritual and logistic challenges that you will also likely and uniquely face in the same three areas.
  • Convictions formed out of God’s Word sustain us over seasons of hardship
  • Agape Moms is not a structure we can copy, it is a work of God first in us, and then through us, as the Gospel continually bears fruit.
  • Don’t rush this training session and this season of digging into God’s word!

The Biblical Foundation of Missional Community

  • These scriptures below inform and inspire every aspect of Agape Moms
  • Agape Moms is an “arm” of the church or body of Christ.
    • The first goal is to reach not-yet believing moms with the good news of Jesus by first welcoming them into our gospel-community where they can hear the gospel and begin growing in their faith.
    • The next big goal is to invite them to join us at one of our churches, or return to a church family that they already have roots in.
    • Agape Moms is not "a church" in the traditional sense, however we know that a church isn't a building, people make up the church. So, Agape Moms is an extension or "arm" of the church, which we call a missional community, that embodies the values and activities of the early church.

ACTS:

Chapters 1 & 2 summary:

  • The book of Acts is a collection of stories of how the early church began.
  • The promised gift, the Holy Spirit came upon the believers, both men and women, in the first chapter. This was the first time people were given direct access to God and the power to share the good news with the world, by His indwelling Spirit.
  •  A prophecy from Isaiah is quoted stating God had always planned to pour out his spirit on all people, both men and women in the last days, which includes moms! We are all called to make disciples, wherever God has placed us. 
  • The Holy Spirit transformed scared and hiding disciples into those who brought 3,000 people into the Kingdom in one day by the strength of the Holy Spirit. We also must rely on the Spirit to do God’s work, not on ourselves. 
  • These stories all build to our key text, focusing on the central aspects of the early church and what should also mark our gatherings in Jesus’ name.

ACTS 2:42-47

  • Apostles teaching = the gospel (The New Testament wasn't written yet)
  • Fellowship means gathering for Jesus-centered purposes
  • Breaking of bread- remembering death and resurrection
  • Prayer- sharing your struggles, and praying for others
  • Wonder and signs of the “big A” apostles
  • God still does miracles today, but we pursue Jesus before we pursue signs and wonders.
  • Ministry of the  “big A” Apostles, those who were directly commissioned by Jesus to inaugurate the church, looks different than what we see today. It was a special time in history, like other special events in scripture (think burning bush, one time, not all of time occurrence)
  • Had everything in common-when Jesus is the main thing, the petty things mean so much less! Agape means unconditional love, this is a cornerstone.
  • Sold their property and gave to all who had need- as our identities change and we gain an eternal family, our views on our stuff change too.
  • Meeting together daily- Church or Agape Moms isn’t a formal gathering, it’s a lifestyle born out of a new identity. It’s being vs. doing.
  • They gained favor of all the people, people being saved- the gospel explodes in our hearts and spills out into every aspect of our lives, in what we call, living on mission for Jesus.
  • Living on mission for Jesus in our everyday mom lives means investing in relationships with those who don’t know Jesus.
  • Loving God and loving others goes hand in hand
  • Living on mission means living for Jesus instead of ourselves, its surrendering small moments in our days, focusing on others around us and naturally sharing the good news of Jesus out of the overflow of our hearts and lives
  • As we live on mission and love people, we will gain the favor of the people, and we will see the Lord add to our number daily those who are being saved, as we’ve seen with Agape Moms.

This passage inspired every aspect of Agape Moms:

·      Gospel-Centered in all we do, every study, application and activity

·      Prayer- prayer cards, prayer throughout, prayer updates on our page.

·      Lifestyle of being together- goes beyond the formal meeting time.

·      Agape Bins: the sharing of belongings, is modeled after the early church

·      Agape Family worship night: was modeled after the early church.

·      Including children: Jesus said let the little children come to me, and since we are the family of God, we think it’s important to include them.

·      Caring for the needs both inside and outside the group, walking through dark times, welcoming new babies, monthly nursing home visits and more.

·      Living on mission in our everyday mom lives, and as we share the love of God and the good news of Jesus, seeing God add to our number daily.

 

EPHESIANS:

2:8-10: Salvation immediately propels us to Mission

  • Verses 8 &9 are the gospel message, and verse 10 immediately turns our attention towards our unique makeup- God made us the way we are on purpose, and for His glory!
  •  Celebrating and embracing our gifts and strengths instead of comparing or coveting others is essential to accomplishing God’s purposes for you.
  • “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called!”
  • Feeling inadequate or afraid is normal and actually a good thing, because it causes us to rely on God’s strength all the more. God will fill our gaps!
  • The gospel propels us into mission, and we each have a unique gifting and unique purposes that God prepared in advance for us to do, for His glory!  

 

EPHESIANS 4:11 & 15:

Christ is the head of The Body, and all of us form the different parts, as we move together on mission for Jesus, we reach people for Jesus!

  • Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (shepherds), and teachers
    • Which gift/s do you have?
  •  Empower others to join the mission of Agape Moms, especially those who have different gifts so the Body can be more effective
  • Shared and varied leadership is God’s design and a cornerstone of Agape Moms, which we’ll cover in another session.
  • Take a spiritual gifts test, pray, and speak with trusted friends or your coach to help you uncover your spiritual gifts if you aren’t sure
  •  2 Corinthians 12 covers more of the spiritual gifts

 We’ll revisit this passage in a session called "24/7 Gospel" as we unpack God’s purpose within the Body to speak the truth of the Gospel in love, helping us mature in Christ.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.)  How have your ideas or expectations about what church and Agape Moms should look like been enhanced by this study of Acts and Ephesians so far? Why is it so important that we base our ideas off of scripture and not church tradition/ past experience?

2.)  How have your ideas about how the body of Christ works together been shaped by this study?

3.)  How do you view your unique gifting and the fact that God has prepared good works in advance for you to do? Does this excite you? Scare you?

4.)  How does the encouragement that God empowers you with His Spirit to accomplish everything He’s calling you to do speak into your fears, or even your tendency to rely on yourself instead of God?

5.)  Who does God want you to build relationships with that don’t yet know Jesus?

6.)  How can your team pray for you?  What lies is the enemy speaking to your heart? How can we praise God for what He’s doing in your heart and life?

 

WORSHIP:

Spend some time worshiping Jesus alone or with your group by opening up the song "Tremble." This song speaks to the fears many of us are likely experiencing. I love the lyric “Jesus you make the darkness tremble, Jesus, you silence fear.” There are moms we know right now who are living apart from the hope in Jesus and it is such a DARK place. We KNOW the remedy who overcomes all our FEARS, the fears about our insecurities, our fears to step out and build relationships and our fears to launch new groups, and his name is JESUS! Let’s worship and exalt the name of Jesus now.