Called to Live
A series in the Book of Acts
House Group Leaders Notes
Intro to the series:
With a new chapter soon to begin in the life of the church we’re going to spend some time looking at a short section of the Book of Acts. In particular we’re going to look at some of the ways in which the early church lived out their calling to a life of radical missional discipleship.
As we read and pray through the passages we’ll take some time to stop and ask the question:
‘As someone with the same calling, how does the experience and way of life of the early church relate to and inspire my call to live as a radical missionary disciple?’
Week 3: Living Together. Acts 2:43-47
Housegroup leaders notes for this series will not involve a lengthy commentary on the passage. Instead i’ll give a short outline commentary and then offer a number of questions that might work well as discussion starters.
I’d encourage housegroup leaders to keep the question above in mind and attempt to centre the bible-study around it. Additionally I’d recommend spending some time in each session praying for members of the group, particularly with regard working out what it means to live as a radical missional disciple in their particular context and with the challenges and opportunities that they face.
Commentary on the passage
In this weeks short reading from Acts we see a snapshot of the continuing life of the fledgling church. These early days were marked by awe at the ways in which God was at work demonstrating his grace and love through the apostles in signs and wonders. We might summise that they were lived with a great sense of 'togetherness' as the new community gave form to it's call to be the embodyment of Christ. We read that:
The believers held things in common - i.e claiming ownership and therefore first rights to things was not a priority
They liquidated assets in order to support oneanother - i.e long term capital provision was deemed less important than the meeting of present and often pressing needs
They met in the courts of the temple - i.e they didn't extract themselves from thier old haunts and former places, they lived out the new life in the same place as the old.
They ate together in each others homes - offering hospitality and open welcome was a hall mark of thier life
They continued to praise and worship God - how could they do otherwise
They enjoyed the favour of all the people - i.e they were not set in tension with or in opposition to those amongst whom they lived, they didn't differentiate themselves negatively in order to be different, rather they lived the communal life of the Kingdom and this 'good life' carried favour.
It wouldn't always be so, in the not too distant future the tide would turn against them, accusations and lies would be spread, blame would be apportioned, and the church would come under attack...but not yet.
Some questions to start us off…
In what ways might we give expression to the life traits that the early church demonstrated?
What are the key challenges for us in this?
What might help us to do these things?
What might i need to change in my life in order to do this?
How might this further deepen the fellowship of the church and promote the gospel mission to which we're called?
Some prayer prompts:
Pray for members of the group as each of us seeks to model our life on the call of Christ
Pray for the carrying of favour with those around us as we live in an attractive and 'good' way
Pray for an attitude of generous hospitality to pervade our church fellowship
Simon Butler, 15/06/2015