Week Six & Seven - How Can I Make the Most of My Life?

Week 6, Part 1


Week 7, Part 2


These two weeks are so, so important. The previous five weeks focus on Jesus’ story and power in spiritually impacting us and our world, generally. Now, it’s time to get specific about how we partner with him in our individual lives. Followers of Jesus should imitate him, living out of a posture of service in their homes, workplaces, churches, and community at large. In every sphere of our lives we’re trying to align ourselves with Jesus’ mission of restoration, renewal, and redemption. These weeks especially focus on decompartmentalizing our lives and truly letting Jesus become the authority figure of every area. That means his influence extends into our daily, moment-by-moment life.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

Ideologically, these are very similar weeks. Use your book to help guide your discussion, but below are some important ideas to bring up in both meetings.


Purpose in the Church

The church (ekklesia) was created to be a community that regularly meets to accomplish God’s mission on the earth. It’s not an organization that is primarily comprised of paid staff that serves attenders. NO! Professional pastors are useful primarily as a way of expediently empowering the rest of the people gathered to connect with Jesus and be pastors/leaders/servants themselves to everyone in their lives during the rest of the week. Pastors aren’t on Jesus’ mission anymore than YOU or anyone else in your group is called to be.

The church is primarily regular followers of Jesus that huddle up at the beginning of the week to spiritually serve each other, so they can serve others.

Naturally then, we must rely on the whole church to create the best experiences for everyone that comes to meet with our church community. Most of what happens at Discovery is accomplished by “volunteers.” Their not so much people serving the organization though, but rather “partners” in the same mission of God.

It’s so important for people following Jesus to engage in a role within the church meeting and efforts. It’s not the only way to serve, but it is a crucial way to serve. Why?

  1. Spiritual needs are of primary importance for every area of our lives. From manual labor to teaching, there are a variety of roles to help provide the best possible weekly experience for any guest to encounter Jesus.

  2. Serving side-by-side is one of the best ways to develop meaningful relationships (this quote by C.S. Lewis says it all, in my opinion.)

  3. This is not the staff’s church. This is YOUR church and THEIR church. Our church is led by a group of non-paid leaders for that reason.

This week we want to invite everyone in Rooted Groups to join us in the ways that we serve each other to strengthen our community to better live out our purpose everyday. It will be accessible three ways:

  1. Under the “MORE” tab in our app. Click “GET INVOLVED.”

  2. Under “COMMUNITY” is the menu on our website. Click “GET INVOLVED.”

  3. We will provide a paper copy at Prayers & Pointers (Sundays @ 10:40 AM, MSA Auditorium close to the vending machines)

Please encourage your group to consider serving the church in some capacity that goes along with their natural talents and cultivated skills. Use some intentional time in your group both weeks to open up the form in the app or look at the printed form and respond if they’re interested in finding out more information about serving in some are. If they’re already serving, have them look it over and mark what they’re already doing before turning it in.

These leadership roles are great starting places to engaging Jesus’ mission through Discovery Christian Church. Here’s the link to see it for yourself.


Global Mission - El Salvador 2019

A life-changing experience is to contribute to God’s mission in a different context than our own. It stretches your view of the world, helps you understand the similarities among all people, and challenges the way you live daily.

We will be holding an informational meeting on April 14th immediately following 2nd service for a trip to El Salvador to work with our partners tentatively 8/29-9/4. If anyone in your group is have them RSVP to the meeting by emailing Travis. Point them to the event description on our Events Page.


Shalom

Rooted identifies God’s goal as Shalom. Typically, when we read the word “peace” in most translations of the Bible, this is the idea to which it’s referring. It’s more than just the absence of conflict, but the complete integration of people, their network, and everything non-human to which they’re connected. God created a perfect ecosystem that has been hijacked and damaged by the Sin-infection in our world. When we reestablish the wellbeing of that system at any level, we’re contributing to the restoration of Shalom. I like the words like “health” or “wellbeing” more than “peace.”

Shalom is a broad goal but can have very specific, important implications:

  • A family connecting and enjoying life well.

  • A business running ethically from top to bottom.

  • A healthy bodies.

  • Responsible farming or mining practices.

Check out this video form the Bible Project that describes Shalom really well. Feel free to use it in your groups.


Our Individual Purpose

This discussion is meant to start a conversation surrounding an individual’s purpose. We can be really narrow-minded sometimes about our role in the world. Day 5 of Week 6 will hopefully help begin a journey of discovering the way God has uniquely wired an individual to partner with him in bring shalom.

The most important idea that most Christians need to understand in these weeks is that their daily tasks, even in their job, should be aligned with God’s mission. I love the way they illustrate this on pages 123-124, though I don't think it’s complete especially the “Business” explanation. Do your best to help your group begin to see how their daily tasks reflect God’s mission and values.

That’s a tough, creative task, but truly the depth to which God wants to impact our lives. Not enough Christians have tried to understand this for themselves, and because of that, we have few Christians actually living out God’s purposes in their lives. This world would be a more heavenly place if the accountants at PPG, the graphic designers at Allegheny General Hospital, those overseeing international factory conditions at American Eagle, etc. would embrace into God’s mission within their specific opportunities. Oftentimes I think we can connect it to our job descriptions more than we realize. It’s not just about “evangelizing” at your workplace. It’s about transforming your workplace (which can include your home) to be an integrated place that operates out of Shalom and using your daily work to contribute to Shalom in our the world.

Primary Will then Secondary Will. Also, called General Will and Specific Will. Many of us want God’s voice when we’re trying to make specific decisions about where to live and work. Most of those things, God is actually pretty neutral about. He wants us to become a kind of person, more than pursue a specific career. His Will for each of us first focuses around our love for others, our connection with him, and our character. It’s actually pretty clear and he will always emphasize that first in a person’s life. We might go to him asking for a career or parenting decision, but instead he just says, “You are beloved.” That’s just like him. He wants to establish the most important aspect of our lives before he establishes those secondary things. As you encourage your group to seek his voice, remember that most of what he says will be simple, but profound and important.

A great book for further understanding of this is Os Guinness’ (yes, the same family as the beer) The Call.


Gifting

Spiritual Gifts? I don't put a lot of stock into the recent ways some Christians have tried to map out the application of the Spiritual Gifts passages in the New Testament (e.g. see this Wikipedia article for reference). I really think those lists are incomplete and attempts can oftentimes be pretty unhelpful. Feel free to do the ones that they recommend in the facilitator’s guide and have your group report back their findings. For some groups that might be a really helpful starting place.

Most of us generally understand our gifting already through our many years of trial & error, skill-development, and career experience. What few of us understand is how those skills, talents, and natural passions can contribute to the mission of God. That takes a lot of creativity as we embrace God’s mission as our own. Your group is a great starting place for discussions surrounding that.

Here are two resources I’ve found to be more practically helpful in understanding how God has wired us. Unfortunately, to truly explore these, you’ll have to spend some money. Maybe this is something worth exploring in your group in the future.


Week 8 - Generosity

Week 8 (3/24) - All Groups at 6:00 pm at the RLA

Don’t forget that the wee of 3/17 your group is not expected to meet, unless you’re utilizing that flex week. Always consider how your group will be doing their daily devotions at a pace that helps build the habit. Do your best to be clear about those instructions.

“Why are we meeting as a whole group to talk about Generosity?” You might be asking this question. I certainly was. Churches who have done Rooted over the last several years all throughout the country, highly recommend giving some specific clarity about how their specific church financially operates. It gives the church’s leadership a chance to clarify how important giving is for their specific community and how that giving is used.

More importantly, money is a sacred idol for most people. That’s true for modern Americans, in a society that’s built on capitalism and consumerism. Not that any of that is evil at all, it just grants money a lot of power in our lives. Jesus’ appearance on the planet was perfectly timed, as economies were increasingly moving toward a money-based economy (rather than goods-based) and were more interconnected than ever. His teaching about money was extensive. Look at this quote from a leadership and financial teacher, Howard Dayton:

Jesus talked much about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.

We want to make sure we get this conversation right and have everyone on the same page. Christians are only giving at 2.5% of their income right now. If they would only double this we’d be able to substantially address most, if not all, preventable suffering. That’s particularly a helpful as we remember the week 4 conversations. “Where is God is suffering?” Maybe part of the question is “Where are we in suffering?” Check out this article again that we gave you all during our Pilot Rooted Experiences.


Todd Ransom