NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (Feb. 16) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. This sermon is the third in a four-part series entitled Giving.
To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this sermon series, or this particular sermon in a series.
To explore and emphasize the importance of our giving of our means.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this morning’s sermon. Words underlined are stressed in the Greek.
• Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. (1 Corinthians 16.1-3 NRSV)
• Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” [Ex. 16.18] (2 Corinthians 8.10b-15 NIV)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. Name something, big or small, that you saved up for a while to acquire or do.
2. On a scale of 0-100, score yourself as to how you are about finishing things you start.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this morning’s sermon.
2. Read 1 Cor. 16.1-3 closely. When are the funds saved? When is the money collected?
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. What is the significance of saving funds specifically “on the first day of every week”?
2. Some say: “This text teaches we can only give to ‘the saints.’” How do you respond?
3. Nowhere is “God” or “Jesus” named in the texts above. Where is God in all of this?
4. “The goal is equality.” What would it look like if Christians achieved this goal?
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Over the next four months, “put aside and save” some money to give to a ministry in this church family you believe has some needs (i.e. – your own “special contribution”).