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January 10, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
This weekend, we continued "Undivided,” a special three-week series happening alongside dozens of other churches in South Florida. In this second message, Pastor Doug Sauder shared how Jesus unites us as a community for a purpose! We learned all about this great purpose, what can happen when the Church is united, and how we can live on mission right where God has placed us.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your group! Check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
Click below to watch this past weekend's message in its entirety.
Below you’ll find a recap of the key discussion points from Pastor Doug’s message and a few questions to reflect on and consider with your family, your circle of friends, or in your group.
Ice-Breaker: Share a time when you worked with others to accomplish something. What were you trying to accomplish? How was the experience of working with others?
KEY VERSES: Matthew 28:18–20, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:23
MAIN THOUGHT: A Divided World Needs a United Church
DISCUSSION POINT: When the Church is united, we bring life, hope, and peace into the places and spaces in which we operate, but when the Church is divided, we’re weak and less effective. But what we must remember as we come together, as we engage with one another, is that what unites us is greater than what divides us—because JESUS unites us! Despite denominational differences, we can stand united as brothers and sisters supporting, praying, serving, and loving one another as we remember different churches reach different people. This is the power of diverse expressions. We must also remember we’re better together!
Last week, we discovered that unity is not uniformity—the more diverse the Church is, the more we point beyond ourselves to the reality of heaven. Why? Because heaven will be filled with brothers and sisters of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
The Church is the hope of the world. We represent God’s voice, His hands, and His feet. We are called to speak the language of hope into a hopeless world . . . a world that desperately needs us to be the Church!
Discussion Question 1: Why is the Church so much more effective when there is unity? How have you seen this to be true?
KEY VERSES: Acts 13
MAIN THOUGHT: Unity Is Key to Our Mission
DISCUSSION POINT: In John 17:16 (NIV), Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” And just as He was sent on a mission, He has also sent us on a mission to make disciples, to preach the gospel to all people, and to share the good news of salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ. And in order for us to see the greatest impact of this amazing mission, unity is key!
You see, unity is revolutionary. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. So much of the world is polarized, divided, at odds. Lines are constantly drawn in the sand; there’s an “us” vs. “them” mentality. But the Church must be different! If people look at the Church and see unity, peace, joy, faith, hope, and love, they will be drawn to Jesus, the giver of those things! That’s why we must be a respite from the division. We must be a sanctuary for those seeking peace. Representing God as His voice, hands, and feet, together we can be peacemakers, peace diffusers, and agents of hope, help, and healing.
Our unity will impact countless lives both in eternity and in the here and now! We must be one so we can win souls!
Discussion Question 2: In what ways can our lives be attractive to those who don’t know Jesus yet? How does our unity play into that?
KEY VERSE: Acts 15:1
MAIN THOUGHT: Unity Is Worth Fighting For
DISCUSSION POINT: What’s at stake? Our witness to the watching world, our effectiveness as evangelists, our credibility as Christians, and our reputation as the redeemed of God. So, how are we doing with this in our community? How can we continue to create an ecosystem of gospel unity and cooperation?
Discussion Question 3: What steps can we take to grow our impact in our community? How does unity and our Christian witness factor into it?
KEY VERSE: Matthew 12:25
MAIN THOUGHT: The Devil Fears a Church United
DISCUSSION POINT: The devil is the accuser and sows division. He knows that a house divided cannot stand—or accomplish its mission. So, he relishes in instances of division and disunity that cause the Church to become more inward focused and, in turn, less effective. He desires to see believers distracted and divided by minor things, by non-essential things, by worldly issues like politics.
So, what can we do? Our strategy must be to stop playing defense and go on the offense! We must unite our house. It will take work to break through and minimize issues we’ve created mountains out of. It will take Spirit-filled grace, patience, wisdom, empathy, and intentionality. But the amazing and eternal results will far outweigh the efforts needed on our part.
Discussion Question 4: This week, consider areas of disunity you see in the world, in the Church, and even in yourself. What is standing in the way of unity and love in these areas? What steps can we take to build greater unity in it?
WALK IT OUT
Pause: Is there someone in the Church you need to connect with for reconciliation and restoration in order to experience deeper unity?
Ponder: Do you see unity as important as Jesus does? How has your view of unity been alike or different from what we see in Scripture?
Practice: This week, Pastor Doug challenged us to join him in praying for unity, that we may “be one so we can win the lost.” Take time each day this week to both pray for unity within the Church and to live it out in your own life.
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
Discussion Question 1: Do you work better when on a team, like teammates do when playing a sport? Do you think the same can happen for the Church if they work together?
Discussion Question 2: How can the way you act and treat people make them want to believe in Jesus? How does getting along with others show them who Jesus is?
Discussion Question 3: Can you think of ways we can show those around us what it is like being friends with Jesus?
Discussion Question 4: Can you think of things that keep people from being friends with each other? Why do people not like each other? How can we be nicer to each other?
Come along with us and dozens of other churches in South Florida as we take a 21-day journey exploring the mission of the Christian community and how we can live on mission. Discover what biblical unity looks like and how we as a community of believers across denominations can be used by God to draw people to His Son. To subscribe, click here.
Concluding our "Undivided" series, special guest Dr. Ed Stetzer of Lifeway and Wheaton Bible College will join us to unpack how unity in the Church demonstrates the love of Jesus to those who don't know Him. We'll examine the message of reconciliation and how we’re called to live it out and share it with others. We’ll end our time together by partaking in communion together!
We look forward to spending another awesome weekend with you!
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