Weekly Belong Group Lesson
Series: Christ’s Gifts
Icebreaker: What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
This Sunday our Bishop began new sermon series entitled, Christ’s Gifts. Each member of the Godhead gives gifts to humanity. While the Father gives motivational gifts that shape our personalities, and Holy Spirit gives operational gifts for us to demonstrate his presence and power, it is Jesus who gives spiritual gifts and authority for the sake of building his Church. These spiritual gifts that come from Jesus are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and these five gifts are referred to as the five-fold ministry. Through this series we will unpack the role of each of these five gifts, and ultimately be built up in our faith to go forth and do our part in serving the Kingdom, as well.
I. The Role of the Apostle
a. Ephesians 4:12-14 outlines a very specific purpose for the five-fold ministry gifts of Christ, that is to equip and edify believers. Another way of putting it is all apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers serve to prepare and empower believers to continue maturing in their walk with Christ. There is protection under the five-fold ministry, along with direction, guidance, preparation, and encouragement.
b. What many believers struggle to understand is that we don’t all hold a church title, but we are all called to some measure of ministry. We all have workplaces, families, classes and communities that we are called to reach, and different means of reaching those assigned to us. The five-fold ministry gifts are put in place by Jesus to help us discover the places we’re called to, develop the gifts within us, and fulfill the purpose of God for our lives.
c. When speaking of apostles, specifically, their role is to build and to send (Luke 9 & 10). Apostles are sent to certain places by God, with a message to deliver, and the presence of Jesus follows. Apostles then train up those who are under their care so that they can be sent to the places they are called to. This sending requires submitting first, and submitting requires honor and respect.
d. When we submit to the authority of the apostle in our lives we get into position to be trained, to be built up, to be prepared, so that we may be sent out and sustained where we are sent. It is a terrible thing to see people who went out on their own and had a weak character revealed after their fall. There is a covering and an authority that comes with being equipped and sent.
Have you ever been assigned a role that just wasn’t a good fit for you? Maybe you had a job or took a class that really wasn’t your speed; who or what helped you navigate that difficult time?
II. What Every Believer Needs
a. Again, every single believer is assigned to ministry in some capacity; we all have places to be sent to be a light and a witness for Jesus. Understanding your unique calling, your unique gifts, and developing your character is all influenced by the people around you. The right relationships are so necessary for us to mature and overcome our areas of weakness (Proverbs 27:17). Distant mentors and motivational messages are great, but close personal relationship is required for discipleship and equipping.
b. Patience is also essential to the life of every believer. The Bible is full of testimonies of people like Abraham and Moses who were called by God at one time, but waited years and years before stepping into that place (Hebrews 6:15). God is going to take his time preparing us for the things he has planned. What He will not do is send us out when we are ill-equipped and prone to running away at the first sign of challenge. We must patiently endure the process that is attached to our calling.
c. Lastly, and sadly a key that is widely overlooked in our modern age of social media ministries, every believer needs the Church. We all need to be part of a local community of believers because that is where our relationships and equipping come from. It is in the Church that we get connected to spiritual authority, people that can raise us up and later send us out when we have been fully prepared.
d. Jesus gave gifts to his Church to help us grow into the people we need to be to take up the spaces he has called us to. It is through relationship with church leadership and patience in the preparation process that we all get into position to carry the ministry forward (Acts 13:1-4). The responsibility is on all of us, but Jesus gives us gifts so that no one person is stuck carrying an impossible burden.
GriefShare: Grief is one of life’s most difficult journeys, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you, or someone you know, has lost a loved one you can begin your journey from mourning to joy through GriefShare at City Church. Meetings are held every Saturday at 9:00 AM in the District Pastors’ Office. For more information please visit citychurchnola.life/GriefShare.
Become a Member: Remind your group members, family, and friends that they can now join our church family at any time by visiting citychurchnola.life/membership and completing the online membership application.
Grow Classes: Grow classes are now in-person! If you’re looking to take your next steps in Christ you can join us at 9 AM on Sundays for one of our four Grow Workshops. Please visit citychurchnola.life/growworkshops to register.
Wednesday Morning Prayer: You can participate in corporate prayer every Wednesday morning at 7 AM on Facebook. Join us each week as we continue to pray for our church, our city, and our nation.
City Life TV: You can watch our Bishop deliver thoughtful messages throughout the week. Tune in to WHNO, channel 20, Saturdays at 10:00 PM.
Please continue to report your in-person and virtual group meetings!
By using the same email you would normally receive, you may update your group information and report your weekly meetings.
If you need help with reporting, please contact your district pastor.
Have an amazing and spirit-filled group!
College & Young Adult Lesson
There will be no college lesson this week. Please follow along with the general lesson and have a powerful, spirit-filled group!