Gathered and Scattered: Episode 3 – Discussion Guide
I wonder if this might be a moment where, when what is known and familiar seems stripped
away, if we may become a more potent and beautiful church.
This happened in a different way in the early church. We read in Acts chapter 3:
The New International Version Chapter 2
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their
homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of
all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We are instructed in Hebrews 10 not to give up meeting together; that we need to prioritize
being together, praying for one another, make confessions, forgiving one another and spur one
another to love and good deeds.
Hebrews 10:25 NIV
…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one
another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
In the midst of the chaos and confusion of today, and by the way, whether we’re in a pandemic
or not there will always be chaos and confusion in the world;
“…those of us who follow Jesus have the remarkable opportunity to literally rebuild society by
reforming the ‘extended family’”…not centered on blood or ancestry, but on Jesus! Our
commission as Christ-followers, is to compassionately reach out to those around us, invite them
to join us in community, share the story of the gospel, make disciples, and gather them into
families to follow Jesus together.” —Mike Breen, Leading Missional Communities p. 5
As the people of God, our lives are meant to be shaped not by the culture around us, but by the
work of God in us. Part of following Jesus is spending time with him and growing in character
and competency so that who we are is a greater and greater reflection of Jesus and we are able
to do the things he did.
Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead is credited with once saying
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed [people] can change the world.
Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
What about this quote resonates with you? What is challenging about it?
In his book Beautiful Resistance: The Joy of Conviction in a Culture of Compromise, Jon Tyson
“What Bonhoeffer was doing had to be stronger than what Hitler was doing with his army.
Discipleship must be stronger than cultural formation. Loyalty (to Christ) must be stronger than
compromise. This must be stronger than that. The times called for a beautiful resistance.
Such a prophetic stance was in some ways laughable. Bonhoeffer’s seminary was small and its
season was short (3 years). The German Gustapo would close the seminary in 1937. In many
ways it was a feeble joke compared with the power of the Third Reich.
But it was a prophetic seed of a faithful church. And over time, as Jesus promised, that small
seed grew and bore fruit. Today the Reich is a shameful memory, Hitler is in the grave, and the
German church is repentant. But the fruit of Finkenwalde (where Bonhoeffer and his students
lived together)—the community, the vision, and the work—has gone on to share a vision of
Christian discipleship that has inspired millions.
Bonhoeffer was right. This must be stronger than that. This was stronger than that.”
Let’s not be convinced this is a time where we, the church, are settling for a lesser expression or
experience. Let’s view it as a moment of strength. A moment to get back to the heart and core
of who we are called to be: a family on mission.
Questions for Reflection:
• As you’ve heard this today, what do you think God might be saying to you right now?
• And, what do you think God might want you to do in response to what He’s saying?
• Who are you going to share what God is showing you?
• Ask someone today, what’s the greatest need I can pray with you about today? And
then pray with them!
Ephesians 3:18–19 NIV
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in
your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.