DEV 23FN Blessing Others

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Session 23: Blessings Those Around Us

In this session participants will discover practical ways that building a movement of churches and fellowships can result in positive change in society through blessing communities.

Heart of a Leader (40 min)

  • Worship together in the big group
  • Have participants get into groups of 3-4 people and discuss the following:
    • What are you learning and how are you abiding in Christ through word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
    • What unresolved conflict do you have?
    • What areas of your life is obeying God a challenge?
    • What happened as you trusted God with your goals from our last meeting?

Vision Casting for the Heart

Read Luke 9:28-31. Friendship and loving support of others is an essential component in the long and challenging journey of following Jesus. Without the encouragement, support and accountability of others we are far more vulnerable to spiritual attack and discouragement. Even strong, gifted, deeply spiritual leaders need to build around them the support of an inner circle of close friends. Jesus modelled this for us. In the midst of all the crowds who followed, all the disciples who listened and served with him, he invested deeply into the 12 and even more so into three of that close circle, Peter, James and John. In Luke 9:28-31 we see that three were invited to share in the high point of his transfiguration when Jesus was …...and again in Mark 14:32-36 we see the same three were invited to go further with Jesus to share in the darkest hardest hour as he prayed in the garden before his betrayal. Read Mark 14:32-36. Jesus deliberately took his closest friends with him to share the experience of his highest and lowest moments, his joys and his fears, struggles and victories. He wanted and needed their support, prayer and encouragement. In the garden of his tears he said “My soul is overwhelmed with sorry to the point of death...stay here and keep watch with me.” Strong leaders know their need for others and cultivate their inner circle of ‘garden friends’. Who are your ‘garden friends’ and what can you do to grow them further?

Celebration of Faithfulness (20 min)

[NOTE: Celebrate Faithfulness in the large group so that all can benefit and be encouraged.]

  • Give opportunity for participants to share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.

Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others (45 min)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

  • Have everyone return to their Iron on Iron small groups, draw their network of missional communities and churches then share and evaluate with their group.
    1. What is going well?
    2. What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
    3. What are possible solutions from the other group members?
    4. What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
    5. Where will you start a new group or church this month?
  • Have everyone set goals for improvement from their evaluation and share their goals with their small group. Then have them pray for one another.

New Lesson (45-60 min)

Relevant Topic: Why is it important and helpful if we know what the bible teaches about the identity and authority of every believer to do works of service and make disciples?

  • Have participants get into new groups of 4-5 people (or they can continue in their Iron on Iron groups)
  • In the following sections, each group assign verses to each participant. Each participant will then read the passages below and tell what they learned.

Discovery Bible Study – Blessing Others

Definition of Neighbor: Luke 10:29-37

Impact of the Kingdom: Luke 4:18-19

Doing Good: Titus 2:11-24; Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Philippians 2:3-4

  • After they have all shared their assigned verses, have each person in the groups share:
    • What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?

Summary: The lawyer asked Jesus a question about “who is my neighbor?” But Jesus turned the question around and answered “who are you a neighbor to?” We have been practicing Prayer, Care, Share because we believe it reflects God's desire that people experience the tangible love of God through us. Most of the time we think about applying Care with individuals we want to lead to Christ. That is a good desire. However, the example of the Good Samaritan shows us that we may need to take even greater steps to show God's love and impact our communities.

As new groups and churches are added, our care and love for the community can take an even broader form. We can begin to help with issues that impact the entire community.

Preparing for Mission

  • Have participants form small groups based on geographic locations and decide how they will apply this lesson

Brainstorming a Seed Project for the Community

Examples of possible projects:

  • Suburban and Urban: out of school youth, drugs, teen pregnancies, job preparedness, small scale industry or vocational training, care for aging populations, day care, tutoring, how to parent, marriage and family problems, crisis counseling, language aptitude or cultural adjustment for immigrants, etc.
  • Rural: lack of jobs and skill training, proper sanitation, water, lack of education, need for cooperatives, poor literacy, youth programs, relief and development, etc.

Step 1 – Discover the needs by asking the people who live there

Step 2 – Choose a focus to work on

Step 3 – Plan together with church members and execute the plan

Group discussion

  • Who would be the best people to talk with to fully understand the needs and challenges of your community?
  • What questions would you want to ask them to know how your churches and fellowships can bless the community?
  • Based on our present knowledge of the community, what do you think are the needs and concerns?
  • Which of these needs could we help address with the resources we presently have?
  • How will you involve your church in planning a community project?

NOTE: For a simple planning guide to conduct a seed project in your community, refer to the Seed Project Planning Guide

  • Write “I will by when” statements. Include “Who will you teach this lesson to?”
  • Practice any additional skill that the leaders need in leading their groups or starting new ones

Sending the Laborers

  • Reinforce the overall vision: a church or faith community for every 1,000 people
  • Spend time in prayer:
    • committing everyone’s goals to the Lord.
    • for God to raise up a movement of churches.
    • for more laborers to come out of the harvest.