Belong Group Lesson

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Weekly Belong Group Lesson

Spring Semester (January 15, 2020)

Title: Heaven's Credit

First Fruit


Icebreaker: Can you remember your first time on a roller coaster? What were the requirements before you could get on the ride?


This Sunday our Bishop brought clarity to the principles of first fruit offerings. As we begin to navigate this year of double and this decade of difference it is important that we understand how this vow to give God our first and best is tied to our capacity to receive. Let's increase our faith, increase our giving, and watch God increase us in ways we could not imagine.


Malachi 3:6-10


I. What is First Fruit? (Proverbs 3:9)

a. A first fruit offering is what you give to God at the beginning of a thing.

b. First fruit is a vow that you make to God: you offer him your first and trust him to bless all that comes later (Romans 11:16).

c. First fruit represents original intent. God gave his first and only Son to redeem us back to him: to bring us back into the relationship He intended to have with us.

d. First fruit contains both a tithe and an offering: our tithe sustains a future blessing, but the additional offering of our first and best puts a demand on heaven for more immediate blessing.


Discussion:

Do you get on a ride wondering if it's safe, worrying about how it operates and the mechanics of it all; or are you just thinking of the fun it will be and not worrying about how it all works?


II. Tithes & Offerings: Obedience vs. Abundance

a. Tithe is the measure laid out for us by God. He requires the first ten percent of our increase as an act of obedience.

b. Offerings are the measure determined by us. How much we're willing to give indicates our level of faith. (Luke 18:18-23)

c. When we move beyond tithing into offering we transition from obedience to abundance. This is where our faith is activated and we can receive the blessings of God (Malachi 3:10).

d. As we give of ourselves, not just our finances, we begin to see God do a work in us that equips us to sustain the blessings He gives to us.

e. God will not bless us with what we cannot handle (2 Peter 3:9). We must show ourselves faithful before receiving the increase God has for us (Luke 16:10).


Discussion:

Do you let out a sigh of relief when you get off a ride? After the adrenaline rush are you eager to try a bigger, more exciting ride, or are you looking to quit the park all together?

How can we fuel the excitement of following God? What things make us want to quit serving and giving all together, and how can we combat those things to keep pressing forward to greater purposes?


***The Power of One:

**God wants to use each of us individually to reach someone and connect them to the local church.

  • As you spend intimate time with God, allow the Holy Spirit to identify someone for you to reach out to.
  • Make intentional time to spend with this person. Show interest and involve yourself in their hobbies. Reach out at least once a week.
  • Invite them to Sunday service and church events. Don't be discouraged if they decline the invitation; continue to be a friend and look for opportunities to connect them to the church. Remember, evangelism is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Look for opportunities to hangout with them and get them connected to others in the ministry. Once they do visit the church, be sure to get them connected to as many people as possible.
  • Invite them to get personally involved in ministry and build community within the church. Don't stop reaching out after they come to church.

*If we all commit to doing this we will see the church more than double by the end of this year!


REMIND:


Grow Workshops: Remind everyone that Grow Workshops take place every Sunday at 10:30am in the Grow Quad. You can register for 1 or all 4 classes on the website under NEXT STEPS or here: Register for Grow Workshops Here.


Home Visitation Ministry: If you know anyone who is a member of City Church but is unable to attend Sunday services and needs a home visit from one of our pastors, please contact Pastor Andrew Benson at [email protected]


Membership: Invite those in your group that love City Church and would like to make City Church their home officially to sign up today simply by texting "Join" to 504-500-0809.


Invite: Invite those that attend your group to church if they do not have a church home as well as encourage your group to invite others to join you every Wednesday.


Prayer of 3: There are at least 3 people we are believing that will have an encounter with God and enter into a relationship with Jesus. We have a form that we will use to write down these names and keep them before us as we pray. We highly encourage you to print a copy of this sheet and give a copy to the members of your group as well. (Download "Prayer of Three" Form Here)


Upcoming Events: Keep up with other events on the City Church event calendar at citychurchnola.life to share with your group as it relates to your group members.


Belong Group Leader Prospects: Anyone can become a belong group leader. If you have anyone in your group that has potential or desires to have their own group, please email their contact information and target audience to [email protected]


REPORT:


Please do not wait until tomorrow to report your group - do it tonight.

Check your email for a meeting report email that you can submit quickly and easily.

Do not hesitate to call the church at (504) 246-5121 if you have any issues with reporting your group.


Have an amazing and spirit-filled group!