Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
God’s plans for believers to influence the world are group plans. He’s designed a system where believers work together with a united purpose, but widely varied functions to accomplish His goals. We call that diverse-yet-unified system, “church.”
2. Bible Verse
1 Corinthians 12:12-19 [ESV] “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ …If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?”
Q. Have you ever felt like a “spare part,” or unnecessary organ in the church body?
Q. List several different functions that people might serve as part of a church. Which ones have you normally considered the most important? Which ones are least important?
Q. Look at the “less important” functions on your list. Can the church survive without them? If so, would it be more effective without the functions, or less effective?
Proverbs 27:17 [ESV] “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
The relationships we build, functioning together in a church, can be some of the deepest and most rewarding in life. They can also lead to some of the deepest and most painful offenses. As we work together, conflict will inevitably come, but we need to use that to spur us on to grow as individuals and as an organization.
Q. Think of an example of conflict between different people functioning as part of the church body. In what ways could that conflict hurt the body? In what ways could it produce growth?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the purpose He has for you as part of the church body. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you work together with other believers to affect our world and grow His kingdom.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
Psalm 68:3 “But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.”
“I’ll Be Full of the Joy of the Lord!”
In our series, “Soul Food”, we continue to find out the key ingredients for a healthy Christian life. This week, we learn that joy is one of those ingredients. A lot of times it is easy for followers of Jesus to lose their joy when bad or difficult circumstances come their way. When tough stuff happens in our lives, we often lose our sense of joy because we’ve forgotten some very important things about the joy of the Lord.
2. Bible Reading
Read: 2 Samuel 6
David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem
6 Again David brought together the best soldiers in Israel. The total number was 30,000. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah. They wanted to bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem from there. The ark is named after the Lord. He is the Lordwho rules over all. He sits on his throne between the cherubim that are on the ark. 3 The ark of God was placed on a new cart. Then it was brought from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart. They were the sons of Abinadab. 4 The ark of God was on the cart. Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David was celebrating with all his might in front of the Lord. So was the whole community of Israel. All of them were playing castanets, harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals.
6 They came to the threshing floor of Nakon. The oxen nearly fell there. So Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God. 7 Then the Lord was very angry with Uzzah. That’s because what Uzzah did showed that he didn’t have any respect for the Lord. So God struck him down. He died there beside the ark of God.
8 David was angry because the Lord’s great anger had broken out against Uzzah. That’s why the place is still called Perez Uzzah to this day.
9 David was afraid of the Lord that day. He asked, “How can the ark of the Lordever be brought to me?” 10 He didn’t want to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom was from Gath. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in Obed-Edom’s house for three months. And the Lord blessed him and his whole family.
12 King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the family of Obed-Edom. He has also blessed everything that belongs to him. That’s because the ark of God is in Obed-Edom’s house.” So David went down there to bring up the ark. With great joy he brought it up from the house of Obed-Edom. He took it to the City of David. 13 Those carrying the ark of the Lord took six steps forward. Then David sacrificed a bull and a fat calf. 14 David was wearing a sacred linen apron. He danced in front of the Lord with all his might. 15 He did it while he was bringing up the ark of the Lord. The whole community of Israel helped him bring it up. They shouted. They blew trumpets.
16 The ark of the Lord was brought into the City of David. Saul’s daughter Michal was watching from a window. She saw King David leaping and dancing in front of the Lord. That made her hate him in her heart.
17 The ark of the Lord was brought into Jerusalem. It was put in its place in the tent David had set up for it. David sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings to the Lord. 18 After he finished sacrificing those offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord who rules over all. 19 He gave to each Israelite man and woman a loaf of bread. He also gave each one a date cake and a raisin cake. Then all the people went home.
20 David returned home to bless his family. Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him. She said, “You are the king of Israel. You have really brought honor to yourself today, haven’t you? You have gone around half-naked right in front of the female slaves of your officials. You acted like a fool!”
21 David said to Michal, “I did it to honor the Lord. He chose me instead of your father or anyone else in Saul’s family. The Lord appointed me ruler over his people Israel. I will celebrate to honor the Lord. 22 And that’s not all. I will bring even less honor to myself. I will bring even more shame on myself. But those female slaves you spoke about will honor me.”
23 Saul’s daughter Michal didn’t have any children as long as she lived.
Q. What happened that caused David to worship God like he did?
Q. How did David show his joy and worship?
Q. What did David’s wife, Michal, say about David dancing before the Lord?
Q. How did David respond? Did he let Michal’s criticism keep him from having and expressing his joy in the Lord?
David had joy even when his wife, Michal, criticized him during his time of worship and dancing. In spite of what was going on around him, David chose to have the joy of the Lord and let no one stop him from showing it. From this we learn that joy is not optional – it’s a command. The Bible says we must have joy – even when the things going on around us aren’t very fun and exciting. And the reason we should have joy in every circumstance, good or bad, is because God is with us always.
Q. What are some circumstances that could cause you to lose your joy?
Q. What can you do to make sure you never allow your circumstances to keep you from having the joy of the Lord?
4. Prayer Focus
Pray that your children will have joy no matter what circumstances they are facing. Pray that they will remember that joy is not optional because they know that God is with them always.