Blog Archives: January 2014 — December 2014

11/30/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

December 01, 2014
Oakland LocationSpeaker: Patrick Vaughn Scripture Reading: Psalm 2 and Revelation 19:5, 11-16 
Sermon Title: Presumption and Power What’s your default picture of Jesus? How do the first three verses of Psalm 2 sit with you? Do you find yourself in those verses wanting to throw off the yoke of God and his anointed? How do you feel and / or respond to Jesus’ absolute Kingship? Psalm 2 paints a picture of a world in rebellion against God. The opening rhetorical question, proposes that the primary problem in the world is this rebellion ...

11/16/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

November 17, 2014
Acts 27 - Christ’s Church must voyage on stormy waves, but we can seek courage in our God who saves. 1. Christ’s Church must voyage on stormy waves (27:13-20). - Why do the cosmic powers want to stop Paul from getting the message about Jesus to Rome? When you compare and contrast the climax of Luke’s story of the gospel (Jesus’ crucifixion) with the climax of Luke’s story of the church (Paul’s shipwreck), what is Luke trying to tell us about being individuals and a church that follows in the way of a Shipwrecked Savior? 2. We can seek ...

11/09/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

November 11, 2014
This discussion will look a little different as it is a downloading of both principles and practices. I trust that you can takes these lists and make them work as conversation pieces in your micro-group, community group, or parish. Read Acts 15 through Acts 16:1-5 together. After suggesting last week that the revolution for the church involved three Copernican Revolutions: Salvation is (1) absolutely necessary, is (2) for the whole world, and (3) is by grace alone. We suggested that this grants you and me as human beings dignity. We ...

11/02/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

November 03, 2014
Read Acts 15 together. We introduced Acts 15 as an everything-changed-moment, a “Copernican Revolution” when the sky is painted green and the grass blue. Gentiles were coming to faith in Christ, and the Jews who had come to know Jesus as their Messiah didn’t know what to do with this! Many of them suggested out of deep conviction that these new Christians should be circumcised and must keep the law of Moses. Look at the emphatic language of v1 and v5: CANNOT be saved unless circumcised & MUSTbe circumcised (more on that later) and required ...

10/26/14 Sermon Discussion Questions

October 26, 2014
Acts 8 - The church’s mission is to help outsiders interpret a book, discover a person, and receive a tattoo. 1. Interpret a book - “How can I understand the Scriptures unless someone teaches me?” (8:31). What is your plan over the next 6-12 months to receive teaching about the Bible? Who are the seekers in your life to whom God is sending you to discuss and interpret the meaning of Scripture? 2. Discover a person - “Who is the prophet talking about?” (8:34). When you think about Jesus reading, memorizing, quoting, and alluding to  Isaiah ...

10/19/14 Sermon Discussion Questions

October 20, 2014
Acts 6 is the turning point in the book of Acts where it seems the church is moving from a start-up to an “institution.” The church is “increasing rapidly” (Acts 6:1), and with growth comes change. Change involves creating structures that must be institutionalized. We often revolt against institutions, and are often rightly suspicious as they can inappropriately wield power and control, causing injustice and inequity, causing collateral damage upon regular people, societies, and the natural environment. But institutions are critical and ...

A Parish Becomes a Worship Location

October 16, 2014
“Have you guys thought about what God seems to be stirring up over in Lamorinda? I know it is not in your original vision for developing connected congregations along the Berkeley-Oakland BART corridor, but I think you should pay more attention to what is happening there.” These were the words of our friend Sam Wheatley as we talked in a coffee shop back in 2011. Sam left his pastoral responsibilities in Salt Lake City for a few days to consult with our congregation, leaders, and staff on how to build out our parishes, worship locations, ...

10/12/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

October 13, 2014
Berkeley Speaker: Jason Yum
 Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:17-20 and Acts 5:17-42 
Sermon Title: What in the world is the church as community (suffering)? Jesus’ Name Will Not Be Silenced What reasons, both good and not-so-good, keep you from speaking the name of Jesus aloud to people with whom you interact? The apostles have been profoundly impacted by their time with Jesus, and the Angel of the Lord tells the apostles to “tell all the people of this new life” (Acts 5:20). How has God profoundly impacted your life in the past and more ...

9/28/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

September 28, 2014
Jesus wants big prayers that are less predictable, more biblical, and radically missional. 1. Less predictable - Who do you typically pray for and what are you typically asking God to do? How might you shift from the bottom half of the Lord’s Prayer (daily bread, forgiveness sins, deliverance evil) to the bigger, more important prayers in the top half (Father, your name, your kingdom, your will)? 2. More biblical (Acts 4:24-28) - Of the seven verses of this prayer, five are devoted to who God is, what God has done, and what God has said ...

9/21/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

September 22, 2014
The resurrected Jesus continues to reveal his surprising power and stunning promises. 1. Surprising power (Acts 3:11-16, 21) - The raising of Jesus from the dead unleashed a power in the world that raised the lame man to his feet and points us ahead to the final healing/restoration of all things. In what ways might your parish expect the power of the resurrected Jesus to effect transformation, strength, healing, wholeness, and completeness among our neighbors and neighborhoods? 2. Stunning promises (Acts 3:19) - The resurrected Jesus ...

9/14/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

September 15, 2014
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 Speaker: Bart Garrett Scripture Reading: Acts 3:1-11; John 10:22-33 Sermon Title: What in the World is the Church…in worship (praising)? Series: What in the World is the Church? What’s the point of the Sermon Discussion Question Guide? The worship service is not something that we make up. Rather, our worship is grounded in catholic church history, with a presbyterian and reformed accent. Yet, there is one component missing in our Sunday worship that would be considered a weekly element in many reformed ...

9/7/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

September 08, 2014
Date: Sunday, September 7, 2014 Speaker: Bart Garrett Scripture Reading: Acts 2:41-47 Sermon Title: What in the World is the Church…doing week-in and week-out? Series: What in the World is the Church? Questions: 1) What’s the point of the Sermon Discussion Question Guide? The worship service is not something that we make up. Rather, our worship is grounded in catholic church history, with a presbyterian and reformed accent. Yet, there is one component missing in our Sunday worship that would be considered a weekly element in ...

8/31/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

August 31, 2014
1. Evangelism is everywhere (Acts 1:8; 2:14) - In what ways have you been evangelized recently in commerce, culture, and politics? In what ways have have you and your friends sought to convert one another to a new thing that could make the world a better place?  2. The best evangel on offer is JC (Acts 2:14-41) - As you reflect on Peter’s Pentecost sermon, which of the following facets of the diamond are most brilliant and most dull for you? Events (crucifixion and resurrection) Witnesses (OT prophets and NT apostles) Promises ...

8/24/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

August 25, 2014
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014 Speaker: Bart Garrett Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-15; Ephesians 3:16-21 Sermon Title: What in the World is the Church...going to be with the Holy Spirit Series: What in the World is the Church? Questions: 1) What's the point of the Sermon Discussion Question Guide? The worship service is not something that we make up. Rather, our worship is grounded in catholic church history, with a presbyterian and reformed accent. Yet, there is one component missing in our Sunday worship that would be considered a weekly ...

8/17/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

August 19, 2014
Date: Sunday, August 17th Speaker: Kyle Brooks Scripture Reading: Acts 1:12-26 1. If you had to use 2 adjectives to describe how you feel about institutions, what would they be? Why? What about the institutional church? 2. If you are at all cynical about leadership, does it tend to be outwardly directed (“look at how bad those leaders are!”) or inwardly directed (“God could never give me that responsibility!”)? 3. Have you ever hurt by a leader like the apostles were when Judas betrayed Jesus? How do you process that abuse of power ...

8/10/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

August 11, 2014
1. Keep Christianity weird (Acts 1:3) Had you been with Jesus and his disciples during this 40-day period, what are some of the ways you would have needed him to convince you that he was risen from the dead? To what extent have you undertaken a Scriptural and historical study of the empty tomb, the eye-witness accounts, and the birth of the church? What are your biggest concerns about engaging your friends, neighbors and co-workers with the message, “Jesus is alive”?   2. Keep Christianity edgy (Acts 1:8) The story of Acts shows us ...

8/3/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

August 03, 2014
Date: Sunday, August 3, 2014 Speaker: Bart Garrett Scripture Reading: Psalm 8, Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-8 Sermon Title: What in the World is the Church? Series: What in the World is the Church? Questions: Non-Christians Looking In: 1. Talk about some of the observations, opinions, and convictions that you bring to the Church. Discuss some of the potential baggage (your past church experiences and history). Are you currently highly committed? Marginally involved? Tentatively curious? Mildly skeptical? Deeply wounded? Any combination of ...

7/27/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

July 28, 2014
Date: Sunday, June 27th, 2014 Speaker: Patrick Vaughn Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:10-20 Sermon Title: Jesus Satisfies What does it mean to be content?How does your definition compare to how Paul speaks of contentment in this passage from Philippians?Are you satisfied in life? What do you depend on to satisfy you?What do you think are “the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” that Paul speaks of in Philippians 4:19? How have you experienced those riches in your life?How has God met your needs? How is he meeting you needs?Patrick ...

7/13/2014 Sermon Discussion Questions

July 14, 2014
Date: Sunday, June 13th, 2014 Speaker: Patrick Vaughn Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:2-12 and John 17:21-26 Sermon Title: The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Jesus 1. What are you most proud of or value most? What are some of your greatest achievements? What role do these play in your faith and self-worth? 2. Paul has an impressive religious resume (e.g. pedigree, credentials and achievements Phil. 3:5-6). This resume was the cornerstone of how he related to God. Yet he calls this resume garbage. Why? What is most important to Paul in ...

God's Favorite Organization? The Local Church

June 17, 2014
Last Thursday night was a very moving evening for me. Nearly 500 people gathered at Beebe Memorial Church on Telegraph to attend “Race and Faith,” the topic of Project Peace’s Annual Speaker Series. Some of you will already know this, but Christ Church birthed Project Peace in 2007 as a product of our desire to partner broadly with other churches so we could then more deeply serve our East Bay community. Last Thursday night was a beautiful picture of that dream becoming a reality, but that is not why I was most moved… I was moved on my ...

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