Series Inspired by “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan
- Week 1: God’s Church (ch. 1 – 3)
- Week 2: God’s People (ch. 4 & 5)
- Week 3: God’s Example (ch. 6 & 7)
- Week 4: God’s Mission (ch. 8 & 9)
Series Big Idea: Re-discovering God’s purpose and plan for his church
HOW WE’VE GOTTEN IT WRONG | When Church is Like A Zoo
- Illustration: The Movie Madagascar
- The Caged Church: Tamed, Safe, Feeding, Comfort – “so churches build bigger and nicer cages. We renovate our buildings to look like the wild while making sure everyone is comfortable inside” – Francis Chan
HOW WE GET IT RIGHT | The Church Is About the Glory of God
- God’s Glory is the Goal – Not Us (Revelation 4:11)
- Even our salvation is about God’s Glory (Isaiah 48:9-11)
- God is Sovereign and Doesn’t Need Our Help
- QUOTE, AW Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy
“Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God that is precisely what we see. Twentieth century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God’s free determination, not by our desert nor by divine necessity.
Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…
Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his listeners, not only for the heathen but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for want of support. I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.”
- The Empowered & Sent Church (Matthew 28, Acts 1:8)
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE | The Church on Mission Together
- Equipping the Church vs Being Over-Protective (Ephesians 4:11)
- Releasing the Church vs Controlling the Church (Matthew 28)
- Encouraging Boldness vs Comfort (Hebrews 10:24, Acts 4:29-30)
COMMUNITY GROUP QUESTIONS
- The church is primarily about God, not us. What does this say about God?
- How do you feel about the truth that God is perfectly sovereign and doesn’t need our help?
- Read AW Tozer’s quote. How have we assumed we were helping God personally or as a church?
- In what ways have you seen or experienced the church becoming more like a cage in a zoo vs encouraging and empowering the church to go into all the world?
- How do we as a group prefer comfort over boldness as we meet as a community group?
- Would our group look different if we actively depended on the Holy Spirit’s empowering to boldly engage our community on mission together?