Community Guide for the Week of Jan 24, 2021
Matthew 20v17-28 : “Whoever wants to become great”
The Community Guide below is based on Sunday’s teaching continuing from the Gospel of Matthew. As your whole Community gathers (online or socially distanced), use the Community Guide below to give shape to your night together.
Begin by Practicing the Lord’s Supper Together (5 minutes)
Begin your night by partaking of the bread and the cup together. Have each person bring their own Communion elements. To facilitate your time, you can either ask a member of your Community to come ready with a short prayer, liturgy, or scripture reading, or assign someone to read this prayer we’ve provided below and spend a moment in silence before continuing:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console, to
be understood as to understand, to be loved
as to love. For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Emotional Health Check-in (15 Minutes)
Take a few minutes to do an emotional health check-in with your Community, creating space for each person to answer the question below:
- What is bringing you joy right now? What feels heavy?
If the need arises, spend a few minutes praying for one another, asking God to meet needs and help each person carry what feels heavy right now.
Scripture Reading (5 Minutes)
Assign one reader to read Matthew 20v17–28 aloud for your Community. After reading, spend 30–60 seconds in silence.
Read this Overview (2 Mins)
From a young age, we are encultured to be ambitious. We are taught to work hard, to do well in school, to get into the best college, to climb the corporate ladders to get the best job, all in an effort to achieve and succeed. We are taught to look after our own interests, because no one else will. In other words, we are driven by ambition, with the expectation that we will gain position. This can lead us to feeling entitled to benefits and gain.
Yet, in the kingdom of God, everything is upside down. Jesus taught his disciples that more than ambition, their deepest motive was to be love; that rather than expecting an elevated position, they ought to take the place of a servant; and that rather than being entitled to the good life, that they would only follow him into resurrection life if they were willing to follow him in his death. In other words, Jesus taught us that greatness is not found in success and ambition, but in service.
So how do we follow Jesus into servanthood? We make a choice—often daily—to serve and pursue the lifelong discipline of becoming servant-minded people, giving away our lives one action at a time.
Debrief this Sunday’s Teaching (15 Minutes)
With that in mind, work through the following discussion questions as a Community:
- Where do you see ambition at work in your life? Does that ever influence your relationship with God?
- Have you ever had mixed motivations for serving? If so, what are they?
- What hinders you from serving other people? (busyness, fear, etc.)
- What joy do you think could be had in serving other people?
Prayer (10 Minutes)
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, that we might be a people who lean into our Father and who yearn to hear his voice. Ask that God would stir up within us a desire to be with him in prayer and to serve him and our neighbor in love.
Practice For The Week Ahead: An Act of Service (10 Minutes)
This week, decide on a simple, tangible way in which you could serve someone else this week. To start, spend a few minutes brainstorming as a Community asking, “Who is someone you could serve this week and how can you serve them?” It could be buying someone a meal, babysitting their kid, helping with a project. Whatever it is, make it something you can commit to. Share who and how you want to serve before calling it a night.
And as a way of remembering that we are aiming not just for acts of service, but to become people who are servants, pray that God would transform your heart and that you might become a servant.