How to prepare for Sunday 1.16.11

Though our study of Radical is official over, the Experiment continues throughout 2011. This Sunday we move from our gathered time together back to our small group experiences with our re:gifted series.

Have you ever heard someone start talking about spiritual gifts? Have you ever considered who has them or why? This Sunday we'll begin inductively considering every aspect of spiritual gifts within our small groups.

Consider this from the material that we'll be using (we have extra copies if you'd like to purchase or you can purchase them through our Amazon site):

Many churches these days seem to place a great deal of emphasis on creating seeker-friendly environments, implementing membership growth programs, building a phenomenal multimedia ministry, and bringing on board "big-vision" staff members with charismatic personalities.

Who is really being glorified in all of this: God or man?

In our efforts to package church into something exciting, we may have overlooked one of God's key provisions for our growth and maturity: spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are a necessity in the ministry of every body of believers. All of us, as Christ followers should be working together to strengthen the body, to produce unity, to be lights shining in the darkness, to bring glory to God. This is done through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, through the gifts that He gives us.

As preacher A. W. Tozer wrote, "These are not natural talents merely, but gifts imparted by the HOly Spirit to fit the believer for his place in the body of Christ. They are like pipes on a great organ, permitting the musician wide scope and ranged to produce music of the finest quality. But they are, I repeat, more than talents. They are spiritual gifts. We have yet to see what God would do for His Church if we would all throw ourselves down before Him with an open Bible and cry, "Behold thy servant, Lord! Be it unto me even as Though wilt!"

The book of Ephesians sets it up perfectly. The first chapter are all about who God is. Two and three are about who you were and what He has done through the Gospel. Chapter four begins a series of "walking" passages; a life that has been transformed by the Gospel walks it out. This Gospel-motivated and enabled life is lived through serving the body, the faith-family.

If you have time, you may want to read through these first four chapters of Ephesians before Sunday.

Pray that God would open your eyes to behold marvelous things from His Word (Psalm 119:18).

This is a great time to reach out to folks that  you haven't seen in awhile. It is also a great entry point for people that have never checked out what we're doing; so prayerfully consider who the Lord is leading you to invite. Feel free to use the facebook invite to get the conversation started with your friends.

We will be having two ladies only classes, one guys only class, and one co-ed group. Begin thinking through which environment would best suite you. We're going to try to limit the size of the groups.