Below you will find all of the questions to explore in conversation at your house churches for the month of February, 2016. Our theme is ‘crossing the line’ and, as you’ll see, we spend the first couple of weeks setting up our rhythms for the year. You’ll also find links to the podcasts that you can listen to each week. It should be an interesting first monthsas we seek to align our actions with our espoused beliefs and explore one our core disctinctives as a community: standing with the other!
House Church #1 – Rhythms Diagnosis – 7-13 February
- Have a read through Open House’s ‘Big Ideas’, ‘How We Get There’ and the ‘Collective and Individual Rhythms’ slides in the Rhythms Guide. What stands out to you? Do you get what we’re trying to achieve as a community?
- Spend some time completing one or both of the rhythms diagnostics
- Share with your house church the areas you think you’re doing pretty well in and the areas that you feel you’re struggling with.
- Have a read through the Rhythms Ideas together. What are some ideas that excite you? What are some of the ideas that scare you?
House Church #2 – Rhythms Goals – 14-20 February
- Hopefully by now, you’ve been able to complete the diagnosis of where you’re at in terms of aligning the rhythms of your life with the values of our community, and also had a chance to think through what the rhythm of your ideal life looks and what some small and realistic goals are that you can make for 2016. Spend some time creating a few goals and sharing with each other.
- In our conversation starter, we talked a lot about the ‘lines’ that our society draws to try and keep things ordered and moving in the direction of the aims of a Western, consumer, capitalist society. What are some of the ways that our society’s lines might get in the way of you living out the kind of rhythm you hope to?
- It’s not only that society draws lines, we also draw them around ourselves. We define ourselves as this type of person, not that type of person and we doubt and question whether we’re good enough. In what ways What kind of lines the lines that we draw around ourselves and the lines we draw that prevent us from engaging with others.
- What are some of the other barriers that you might face as you try to live out a more intentional life?
- How can we, as a house church community help each other to get our lives in rhythm and to help each other keep taking steps forward towards the kind of life we hope to lead?
- Have you setup a regular rhythm for how you will listen to the podcasts and read/hear the conversation starter?
House Church #3 – 21-27 February
In this week’s house church, we’re going to be launching into our conversation based on the first two podcasts from The Meeting House’s Crossing the Line series: The Imitation Game and She Came At Noon.
- Read John 4:1-19
- What ideas stand out to you? Why?
- Jesus was willing to drink from a religiously “unclean” cup and sent his disciples into a Samaritan town to purchase religiously unclean food. What might be some implications for our lives today?
- What advantage do you think there is in Jesus initiating his conversation with the Samaritan woman from the point of his weakness and vulnerability (Will you give me a drink?) as opposed to starting with his power and truth (I can quench your thirst forever)? How might we follow in his steps on this point?
- Jesus is having a culturally scandalous conversation with a woman (also see verse 27). What might be some implications for our lives today? E.g. 1) None. He is God so he can get away with that stuff. 2) We shouldn’t worry about appearance in our relationships. 3) Something more?
- The Samaritan woman first saw Jesus as a man, then as a prophet (then eventually as the Messiah). How might we help people who see Jesus as a prophet or a wise teacher (e.g., Muslims, and others) to see Jesus’ full identity?
- Why do you think Jesus brought up the woman’s marital life?
- Who are your Samaritans? This should be a safe place to be honest. Who would you prefer not to love proactively? Who would you prefer to avoid?
House Church #4 – 28 February – 6 March
In this week’s house church, we’re going to be launching into our conversation based on the third and fourth podcasts from The Meeting House’s Crossing the Line series: The Big Reveal and Eating Like Jesus.
- Read John 14:21-38
- What ideas stood out to you? Why?
- Do you think the woman was trying to divert and distract Jesus away from her personal life by raising religious issues, or do you think she was pressing in to learn more from this “prophet”?
- What do you think Jesus means by saying “salvation is from the Jews”? How should this effect our interaction with Jews, Judaism, and/or Israel today?
- If someone asked you what it means to worship God “in spirit and truth”, how would you explain it?
- What are some situations when it might be helpful to talk exclusively with your own gender? What are the benefits of having honest and intimate relationships with the opposite gender? What are some relational principles in bi-gender relationships that can help maximize blessing and minimize risk?