Exile Community (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Exile Community,” which is the final part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 5.

  1. We conclude our series, “Exiles,” on 1 Peter by looking at chapter 5. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak into your life, and then read that passage aloud.
  1. Peter draws his letter to a close by discussing some final matters about the life as God’s exile community on earth. He begins by addressing “the elders among you,” which is a reference to the leaders of the church. What does Peter call these leaders to be and do in verses 1-4?
  1. What should motivate these leaders of the church, according to verse 4?
  1. With verses 5-6, Peter turns his attention to the rest of the church. It is most likely that “you who are younger” is less a reference to age than it is to the rest of the church who are not seen as ‘elders’ or leaders. What does Peter call the rest of the church to do in relation to the elders? What do you think this means?
  1. What should the defining attitude of the church be according to verses 5-6? Why?
  1. What do you think it means to “clothe yourself with humility”? What is one way you could clothe yourself in humility this week?
  1. In verses 8-11, Peter contrasts the work of the devil and the work of God. What is the work of the devil in relation to the sheep and the shepherds (compare to verses 1-5)?
  1. What should our response be to the work of the devil?
  1. According to verses 10-11 God is at work in the middle of all of this. What do we know about God and what can we expect from God?
  1. What does it mean to you that God will work with and for you according to verses 10-11?
  1. The personal greetings of verses 12-14 remind us that Peter himself lives as an exile (“in Babylon”) and is surrounded by others who are living out the exile faith-life with God. His summary statement is found at the end of verse 12. What is it and what do you think it means for you?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study today or through the entire “Exiles” series? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

Exile Community

Exiles Series Gfx_Web HeaderThis past weekend at Eastbrook Church I concluded our series “Exiles: A Study of 1 Peter” by looking at chapter 5. I spent a good deal of time talking about the first four verses which offer the distinctive exile understanding of leadership.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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||40days|| week five: follow the Leader

Leadership is a hot topic these days. Go into any bookstores and you will find hundreds of books on leadership. Being a leader is different depending on the setting. It is one thing to lead a race with many in pursuit of you but it is another thing to lead a team where you facilitate others working together toward a goal.

Unfortunately, what is often neglected in the discussions of leadership is the secondary concept of being a follower. Even to read ‘being a follower’ may conjure up negative ideas in our minds. But as we continue our ||40days|| journey, our interaction with Jesus must move from being our own leader to letting Him lead us, from trying to lead everything to learning to be His follower.

When Jesus began His public ministry, we read of John the Baptist identifying Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Time again and again, we encounter John directing people’s attention to Jesus in this way.

It is only natural that eventually even some of John’s followers wanted to find out more about Jesus. So, we read Read More »

The Changing Ministry with Single Adults?

At the end of August, I posted about an article in The Economist looking at the increase of single adults internationally entitled “Singletons: the attraction of solitude.” There was a lot of great dialogue around that post which, if you missed it, was really enlightening about church ministry to singles.

Just yesterday, I came across another article from Leadership on this topic entitled “What Happened to Singles Ministry?” The author, a staff member of a church in San Diego, writes about the changing face of ministry to single adults in church settings.

Here are some major premises shared in the article:

  • Singles don’t actually want to be part of a singles ministry.
  • “Singles’ needs are best addressed in a segregated setting” is a faulty premise.
  • Singles ministries that focus primarily on the needs of singles emotionally destabilize the group.
  • Segregated singles ministries are more susceptible to becoming emotionally toxicRead More »

Leadership Forum – April 30, 2012

This past Monday night at Eastbrook Church, we gathered together for our quarterly Leadership Forum. I am so thankful for all those who came together for this important time to look at vision and direction.

Our focus for this gathering was on multiplying at every level, in particular developing ministry leaders at the church. We talked about the need to multiply disciples and ministry leaders if we are ever to be a part of God’s work in reaching more people through multiplying churches or sites. I utilized 2 Timothy 2:2 as a basis for our discussion of the reproductive principle we see in nature (e.g., seeds to plants to scattering seeds) and in the ministry of Jesus Christ (e.g., selecting twelve, sending twelve, sending the seventy).

We discussed the challenge of taking action versus waiting on God in prayer. We discussed the variety of ways that we can reach out to develop others.

My challenge to everyone present was that each of us pray that God would lead us to at least one other person whom we could pour ourselves into so that they might be able to do what we do in ministry.

You can view the slide presentation that accompanied our discussion below.