Following the teaching we received from Jon on the morning of Sunday June 27 based on 1Peter 2:4-10, here are some suggested questions and discussion points for Small Groups and/or personal reflection (don’t forget to check out the Further Reading points if you want something a but more challenging);

 

Ice breaker

  • Looking at all the project-based TV shows there are available to us to watch (Cash Under the Country Makeover Attic Makeover in the Garden 🙂 ) what’s your favourite show or type of show?

 

Questions

  • Have you ever personally experienced someone who you held in very high esteem being caught up in a scandal?
    • Has such a situation ever shaken you and/or your faith?
      • If your faith has never been impacted by such situations, can you understand and appreciate those who are shaken by such things? How would you encourage someone who is shaken like this?
    • How can a church lovingly uphold scripture and show love in such situations?
      • Do you think that 2Corinthians 7 has anything to say about this?
    • is it wrong to hold servants of God in high esteem?
      • How do we balance respecting and honouring God’s faithful servants with keeping a realistic expectation of the fact that they are fallible humans?
      • What does Galatians 2:11-13 tell you (if anything) about what kind of people can be caught up in error?
    • Would you be willing to share a time when you were a bad witness (no obligation)?

 

  • Who/what is ‘lord’ (supreme) in and for our culture today?
    • What are the challenges of living for a Lord who is rejected by the ‘wise’ and ‘powerful’ of our age?
    • Are you ever embarrassed or reticent to say that Jesus is your Lord?
      • Does 1Corinthians 1:18-31 shed any light or encouragement for you?
    • How do you reconcile 1Peter 2:4 (which itself quotes from Isaiah) with the experience of Christians who have suffered and who are suffering unemployment, being ‘cancelled’ and other discouragements ion their lives?

 

  • We were told about the role of a corner stone – the most valuable, essential and precious stone in a building.
    • What stones can we be inadvertently tempted to make our corner stones (education, friendship etc)?
    • What stones can local churches be inadvertently tempted to make corner stones of their roles (community, tradition etc)?
    • With regard to the preciousness of Jesus to a person;
      • What does this look like internally, privately for you?
      • What does this look like externally, showing out in your life?

 

  • We will never be perfect this side of Heaven.
    • If we are not going to be perfect this side of Heaven, what will we be?
    • Is there a danger that we get more frustrated with the lack of progress in someone else’s sanctification than we are with ours?
    • What are you looking forward to most about the perfection you will know when you enter into glory?

 

Further Reading / Bonus Questions

  • The Roman inscriptions read by Jon were startlingly similar to the kind of language we use regarding Jesus.
    • In what ways is our culture demanding the attention that we would desire to give to Jesus?
    • In what other ways and by what other means does today’s culture want us to divert that which we give to Jesus?
  • In what ways do you think the church (globally and locally) will be called on to help its members who suffer hardship for their faith?
    • If/when such cultural shifts take place for us, what do you think will be different in the church then compared to how the church is now?
    • In a church where one member would suffer for taking a stand where another member sees no reason to take a stand, how would you handle the division?
  • Jon suggested that we can be vulnerable in different situations, such as at night, when tired, when hungry etc. In what circumstances would you say that you are most vulnerable?
  • Have you ever looked at a someone who calls him/herself a Christian, who is suffering for taking a stand, and blamed them for taking an unnecessary stand?
    • Looking back, do you think you were being fair?
    • What would you do in that situation and how would you justify your actions?
    • Where do you draw your lines regarding things that are completely necessary to be consistent with a Christian profession, and those things that are not important enough to make you think someone is making a false profession?