Lesson 5 - Community
Meeting together and serving one another in the church body
The goal of this lesson is to make Christian family and friends a priority for the new believer?
Many people live their lives alone and try to escape from certain groups of people. Young people often don’t connect with their own families or classmates at school. Whatever the case, God wants us to find love and acceptance in his family (the church).
A great place to start with community is knowing the basics about a person. Have each group member bring pictures to the meeting that will help the group get to know them – pictures of family, favorite hobbies, friends, pets, house, or whatever. Take about 30 minutes (you may only have time for one person each week) to get to know each person in the group. Ask lots of questions and really seek to know the details of the person’s life. Do they live with their parents, are their parents divorced, do they have siblings, grandparents, hobbies, things they hate, favorite music, favorite foods, etc.
These questions will help bring out a person’s basic feelings toward the idea of community. Don’t be surprised if some views of community and church are negative. Some church communities and families and even real families are not attractive and loving. Listen carefully to those views and then lead the group respectfully to God’s truth in the next section.
Acts 2:42-47 – This is the description of the first group of Christians ever. Before this time, there was only the people of the nation of Israel. Since the nation rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God decided to add another group of people to his family. In this new family group, it was not necessary to be a part of the nation of Israel (a Jew). The only requirement was a personal belief in the work of Jesus Christ (that is, in his life, death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins).
In these verses, we get a view of how that first group of believers lived and worked together. This passage is often used as a standard and an example of what true community entails.
Key Questions to Answer
In question number 4, the concept of “having all things in common” is mentioned. This could be confusing and seem to imply that they sold all their possessions and lived together in one place or some sort of commune. However, a better understanding is that the first believers did not view what they possessed as just their own. They were willing to share everything they had with everyone else in the family. If someone needed something else, they were willing to sell their possessions in order for that person in need to have money to buy what was necessary. This is real community and the right attitude toward possessions.
These are not small skills to practice! These principles can be complete opposites of our normal attitudes. It might be a good idea to ask your group members which of these 5 skills is the simplest for them and which is the most difficult. This could open some needed discussion.
You may also want to plan an activity together to live out one of these skills together this week.
This week, we see Laura from Romania hanging out with her girlfriends and Mišo from Slovenia driving his hot Renault. Laura’s video is definitely for girls; she talks about how being there for each other is an important aspect of community. She also talks about the need for accountability. Mišo talks about as a new Christian he was alone for the first year and did not understand that he really needed to be around other Christians to grow in a healthy way. He realized in the end that he needed to be around other Christians. Again, watch both videos beforehand and think of some key questions that could help the group remember this lesson.
Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Through the Week Study: Remember to ask how the readings went for the past week. It is likely that you will have to go back (to the previous lesson) and help them choose a different and better time or place for their daily time with God. You may also want to follow up by choosing a question from the daily readings and see how they responded during the week.