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WEEK 4- MATTERS OF THE HEART

Have you heard of David Livingstone? David Livingstone was a famous medical missionary that was born in Scotland in the early 1800s. He tried to be a preacher but was horrible at it. Someone suggested he become a doctor, which he did. Imagine that- becoming a doctor was the back up plan in case he couldn’t handle being a pastor. Ahh..those were the days.

David had a huge burden to share the gospel, so he went to Africa where he preached about the grace available in Jesus, and he tried to abolish the slave trade there. Several decades later he got very sick and died.The Africans he had served were so loyal to him that they carried his body 1000 miles back to the coast so it could be shipped back to England for burial. And his body was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey. But the people around him did something very peculiar...see, before they carried his body away they cut it open and removed his heart. they placed it in a tin can and buried it in that very spot under a tree, where a memorial still stands to this day. For they said, “his body belongs to England, but his heart will always be in Africa.”

I wonder what someone might say of us today? “Here lies Bob. Though his body may be here, his heart really belongs to fantasy football.” What are the things that your heart is passionate about? What do you treasure? Is it worth it?

Jesus said that whatever it is that we treasure, our heart will be there. Our passions, our emotions, our energy, our effort...they will center around and be loyal to the thing(s) that we treasure most. We must make sure that our treasure is noble and worth it.

“There is treasure buried in the field of every one of our days, even the bleakest or dullest, and it is our business, as we journey, to keep our eyes peeled for it.” Frederick Buechner

ICEBREAKER:

(STORY CARDS) Which picture best describes your heart right now? (your emotions, passions, or things you care about most deeply)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Matthew 6:19-21

  1. When you hear Jesus say, “Don’t store up treasures on earth,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
  2. If someone looked at your calendar and at your bank statements and knew nothing else about you, what would they conclude about what is most important to you?
  3. There are two commands here - stop doing one thing and start doing another. They both are required. What is something you need to stop treasuring and something you need to start stockpiling? (These could be tangible or intangible things)
  4. Do you think you tend to lead more with your head (reason/logic) or your heart (emotions/passions)?
  5. How can these parts of our nature be helpful or hindering?
  6. Can you think of a time when you made an important decision based solely on how you felt about it? How did that go?
  7. What about the reverse? Has there been a time when you weighed the options and made a choice, believing it was best, even if it wasn’t what you felt like doing at the time? How did that go?
  8. Re-Cap the David Livingstone Story (above.) Where do you want your heart to be buried? (When all is said and done, what do you want to be known to have been passionate about?) 

WEEK 2-3- COMMITTED LEADERS AND COMMUNITY IMPACT 

In the past 30 years, there’s probably been more books written on leadership than any other topic. It’s easy to see why. John Maxwell once wrote, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” 

The Bible has plenty to say about the topic as well. We see great leaders in the Old Testament, from Moses, Miriam, Ruth and Joshua to David, Daniel, Esther and Isaiah. In the New Testament, Jesus, the ultimate leader, takes a group of ordinary people and raises them up to be world changers.
Paul has plenty to say about leadership, and encourages followers of Jesus to use their spiritual gifts to serve the church and the community. Read Romans 12 as a point of reference.

As Area 10 continues to grow, our need for people to step up and lead is greater than ever. In the book of Acts, as the church grew, they developed and empowered leaders. That leadership development was a catalyst for further church growth. We need people not only to step up and serve within Area 10, but also people to continue to lead out and serve the city of Richmond. 

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave the Great Commission. He said, “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” 

We are trying to live out the Great Commission in our context of Richmond, Virginia. We need bold and passionate leaders to step up and serve this city! Check out http:// www.area10church.com/serving/#partners to see a list of our community partners in the city and email Nicole Farr at nicole@area10church.com for info on how to plug in! 

"The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve." John Stott

ICEBREAKER: 

No Story Cards Needed:  When you hear the word “leader”, who is the first person that comes to mind? Why? 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

Read Acts 4:8-13

  1. Based on verse 13, what qualities made Peter and John great leaders in this situation? 
  2. How can boldness be a great or necessary trait for leadership? What are some other ways to be bold? (other than just our speech) 
  3. How could boldness also be a liability? 
  4. Where’s an area in your life or a relationship in your life where you need more boldness? What’s holding you back? 
  5. John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” How have you seen that play out in your life? (yourself, career, family) 
  6. What’s an area in your life where you’d like to have more self-leadership? (health, finances, boundaries, etc.) 
  7. Read Romans 12:3-8. As you read through this list, think of which ‘spiritual gift’ (or gifts) seems to fit your passion and skill set. How can you use those gifts to provide leadership at Area 10? In Richmond? (Or, how are you already doing this?) 

Some Examples:
Hospitality - Meal Teams, Prayer Team, Greeters, Ushers, etc.
Teaching/Discipleship - Working with Children or Youth, Small Group Leaders, etc. Preaching/Evangelism- Starting Point Leaders, Starting Point Connectors, etc.
Administration - Helping out w/ Database, Social Media, Curriculum Editing, Birthday Cards, etc. Mercy- Serving with our Local Community Partners, Follow up with Prayer Requests, etc. Generosity/Help- Picking Up Supplies for Frontline and Children’s Teams
Leadership - Team Coordinators, Team Coaches, etc.
Healing/Creativity - Video Team, Stage Design Team, Musicians, Tech Team, etc. 

If you aren’t already serving at Area 10, and would like to find out what opportunities there are, please fill out this form. (You can also use the Area 10 App and under REGISTER icon, select “A10- Plug Into A Team.”)


WEEK 1- CHANGED LIVES

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the 2016 Fall Semester of Small Groups at Area 10!  It's our prayer that over the next few months your group becomes a safe space where meaningful conversations about God and life can take place.

Over the next few weeks, we'll take a deeper look at the three major areas that Area 10 uses to measure our success-  Changed Lives, Committed Leaders, and Community Impact.

As we forge ahead in this next season at Area 10 with the Capital Campaign and expansion of our facilities, we want to remind ourselves why we exist in the first place. We want to focus on how this expansion increases our ability to see God change lives and impact the community of Richmond.

Over the past 8 years, we’ve seen God use Area 10 to change countless lives. We’ve experienced hundreds of baptisms, seen every area of our ministry grow and expand, watched God heal marriages, families, and deepen the faith of many.

According to Ephesians 3:14-4:3, God uses the power of the Holy Spirit (3:16), the person of Christ within us (3:17-20), and the encouragement of the faith community (4:1-3) to help believers grow in their faith. As you get to know each other this first week, be open to sharing how God has used these elements (Jesus, Spirit, Church) to impact your own faith and story.

Paul doesn’t say “always try to be right,” but rather asks us to “be eager to maintain unity,” something that takes a little bit of work and intentionality and a whole lot of grace. We must learn to move beyond our first impressions of people, hear their stories, and strive for unity in the midst of differences.

As a reminder, don’t feel pressured to get through each and every question during your time together. Use them as a guide to explore Scripture and share life with each other.

GROUP TIME

ICEBREAKER: (Story Cards) What picture do you think best represents someone’s first impression of you?

(If you don’t have Story Cards, just phrase the question: What do you think is the first impression people have of you? Do you think it’s accurate?)
 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

READ EPHESIANS 3:14-4:3

  1. What people or events in your life have influenced your picture of God the most?
     
  2. In this passage, Paul connects our lives being changed to the power of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus in our lives, and consistently being part of a faith community. What do you think is the connection between investing in relationships with others and growing in your relationship with God? Why do you think God set things up that way?
     
  3. In what ways have you seen someone’s involvement in a church community change who they are? (the person could be you)
     
  4. Have you ever judged someone based on a first impression only to change your mind when you heard more of that person’s story? What was it about their story that changed your mind?
     
  5. How do you think sharing your story with someone might change their first impression about you?
     
  6. What are you hoping to get out of the next 12 weeks together? (greater friendships, deeper faith, greater understanding of Scripture, etc.)