The Power of Community

The power of community

In a world where people feel increasingly lonely, how can we help those who are wrestling with feeling lonely have the opportunity to feel included? Join us as we conclude our “Lonely?” series. Listen as Paul Kiss unpacks 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 as we explore community and belonging. We have the amazing privilege of showing the world how to combat loneliness – through living as the body of Christ.

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Lonely: The Power of Community

Speaker: PaulKiss
Date: February 23, 2020

We have the amazing privilege of showing the world how to combat loneliness – through living as the body of Christ. Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:14-16; Philippians 2:3-4, 12-13

1 ¦ Community.

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
● Understanding ourselves: Start with community instead of the individual, vs. 12.

2 ¦ Diversity.

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:14-21
● Understanding ourselves: Start with community instead of the individual, vs. 12.
● Community defines the individual.
● Our diversity only makes sense within the context of community, vs. 20.

3 ¦ Unity.

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:22-27
● When healthy perspective is in place, (community – diversity – unity), then each person/member of the body will be cared for.
● When a person feels cared for, and that they can also care for others, they will feel like they belong.

“We encounter Jesus best through community. Pay attention to Jesus, the head of his body, the Church. If you do, then you cannot ignore the body, the congregation. We have the amazing privilege of showing the world how to combat loneliness – through living as the body of Christ. Understanding the importance of the body to which we belong is to see the value of community as the basis for our daily rhythms of life.”

 

Warming Up:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using “body” imagery to describe the church? What are some other helpful metaphors to use in describing the Church?
2. A body without a head is a gruesome thing. How does the church become gruesome when it lives separated from its head – Christ?

Discussing and Learning:

3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-21 together. Paul puts the emphasis on the body first, before the individual parts. What are the implications of this emphasis, as it relates to how individualism affects the Church? (How does individualism harm the body)?
4. How does the Apostle Paul suggest replying to someone who doesn’t feel like they belong to the body, (12:14-17)? As it relates to loneliness, how might this metaphor be helpful?
5. Context is key. Chapters 9-11 instruct the Church to seek the benefits of others so that everyone feels like they belong to the community. How does that change the way you read chapter 12?
6. Chapter 13 shows how love must be the foundation of everything we do. In a world where people feel increasingly lonely, how can living out the reality of Paul’s invitation in chapter 12, be an attractive thing to offer many people?

Making it Real:

7. (Individually) – 1 Corinthians 12:27 states that we are each part of the body of Christ. In light of all that this passage teaches, how well are you doing at living in such a way that the body of Christ, to which you belong, is of major importance in your life? After pondering this, share with the group as you are comfortable to do so?
8. What needs to change in your life so that the body, and Christ the head, has primary importance? How could this help combat loneliness for everyone?
9. This teaching places high value on community and belonging. What can we do to ensure that those who wrestle with feeling lonely have the opportunity to feel included? (Remember that we each need to be part of a mutually giving and receiving relationship to not feel lonely).

1. Watch the following TED talk by Johann Hari. Consider how a healthy Christian community could fulfill everything that Hari is suggesting in his talk: [watch here]
2. If you’re lonely or not, consider how placing a high commitment on being part of the Church can help both you and others. How could this also offer our world a model for experiencing a fulfilled life?

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