PREPARATION FOR MISSIONS
Text: Acts 10:1-23a
Series: Light of the World

As Christ followers, we are called to fulfil the Great Commission.  How is God preparing you to participate in missions today

Discussion Guide

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
John Piper once said, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” What do you think he means? Do you agree with this quote? Why? How does this quote illustrate the significance of missions? God graciously involves us in His mission to redeem the world. Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions? What is one way you or your Life Group can be involved in missions? How do you plan to carry it out? What could hinder you? Pen down some concrete steps you can take today.

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How can prejudices affect the way we relate to those who are ethnically, socially or culturally different from us? How do you think prejudices arise? How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church? As a Life Group, how can you help one another by correcting or guarding against prejudices?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
For most people, it is more comfortable to stay within their own cultures than to step out and get to know people who are from different cultures. Why is it important to be willing to step out of this comfort zone? How would our willingness to embrace discomfort affect our involvement in missions? What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

Reflection Questions

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions?

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

Community-cation: An interdisciplinary study on the impact of social network and environment on one’s life.

More than just a building or event, the church is a spiritual family where believers journey through life together and grow in their faith. Discover a place where you will know and be known, love and be loved, and celebrate and be celebrated over. A place where you can belong.

PLANT CHURCHES
Series: Unchanging

Planting churches is integral to our vision and we have the privilege to do so in the communities God places us in. Will you tap on the power of the Holy Spirit and partner with Him to fulfil the Great Commission?

1) Holy Spirit As Our Power Source

List the different kinds of power (electrical power, political power, the power of wealth etc) you experience in daily life. What do you think are some common features these types of power share? How are they similar to or different from the power of the Holy Spirit?

What are some situations where a Christian would realise his need for the Holy Spirit? Can you identify with any of them? Share an incident in your life where you really needed the Spirit. How did He empower you? The Holy Spirit is not just for some but all believers (see Acts 2:17-18). Why do you think this truth is important? How does it impact your life?

We partner with the Spirit to fulfil the Great Commission. Inevitably, we will meet obstacles. How then, should we perceive and approach our challenges (see 2 Cor 12:9-10)? We cannot be strong in God until we recognise our weaknesses and learn to depend on Him. Do you think this is an easy truth to accept? Why? If all Christians live by this truth, what do you think it would look like? How do you think God’s glory will be revealed if all of us rely on the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit empowers us for life transformation (Gal 5:22-23). Knowing this truth, how would you encourage believers who feel that they will never be able to change? How can your Life Group encourage one another to be more sensitive to the Spirit and to obey His leading? How can you assure one another that you are no longer bound to the sinful desires of the flesh? Share some spiritual breakthroughs you hope to see as you keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Pray for one another and keep them in the know of your progress.

2) Planting Churches As Our Calling

Why is the Church important (see Eph 3:10)? God may be challenging some of us to not just make disciples of those who live in the same country but also of those from other nations. How can you grow your heart for the people of other lands? If God were to provide opportunities for you to bring the Good News to other countries via say, an internship or overseas job posting, would you be willing to do so? Why?

God can send any of us to plant churches abroad – it is up to Him who He calls. Our role is to ready ourselves if He were to summon us. How do you prepare yourself to be a Christian who is willing to stay but is also prepared to go? What would hinder you from going overseas to plant churches? What are some concerns you have? How does God’s word assure you? How do His promises encourage you?

With globalisation bringing in foreigners to our land, we can even do missions on our doorsteps. Do you encounter foreigners daily? How can you show kindness to them? How can you love them as your neighbour? As a Life Group, how can you witness to them together?

MAKE DISCIPLES
Series: Unchanging

There are many good causes out there, but Jesus has commissioned the church to make disciples (Mt 28:18-20). At Hope Singapore, what does it mean to be a disciple and be a disciple-maker?

1) Discipleship As Our Lifestyle

In the Bible, we often find instances where multitudes of people were drawn to Jesus as He taught with authority and performed signs and wonders. However, Jesus only had a few disciples. Why do you think this is so? Being part of the crowd that admired Jesus was clearly different from being a disciple who followed Jesus. Similarly, it is not uncommon for people to marvel at miracles, hang out at church events on weekends or even agree with the values taught. All these things are beneficial but they don’t make one a disciple. What then, makes a disciple? What are some qualities that distinguish disciples from the crowd?

How does it look like for discipleship to become your lifestyle? Identify one aspect of your life that you can adjust in order to make discipleship a bigger part of your life. What are some measures you can take? What are some obstacles or distractions that draw your focus away from discipleship? How are you addressing these hindrances?

Jesus wants us to go beyond being disciples to making disciples. What are some common challenges that people at your life station face in being disciple-makers? Despite the challenges, many brothers and sisters around us have responded to God’s call to be disciple-makers. What do you think are some convictions that prompted them to respond? Share from your personal experiences or what you hear from others. What can give us greater confidence to step out and make disciples? How can the Life Group be a platform for discipleship? What are the things you can do together to grow as disciples? Share some ideas, devise a plan to execute them.

2) Bible As Our Blueprint

What directs our lives? It may be values taught by our parents, advice given by teachers, wisdom gleaned from books, experiences with close friends, or even tips and life hacks on social media. We all appreciate some handles in facing situations that life sometimes throws at us. What or who do you turn to when you face challenges in life? Why do you turn to them? The Bible is God’s Word, written by human authors inspired by God and passed down through the generations to serve as our ultimate compass for daily living. Why is it important to recognise the divine origins of the Bible (2 Pet 1:20-21)? How does knowing the divinity of Scripture affect our response to the commands in the Bible?

Most of us can easily access online Christian resources such as sermon videos, podcasts, articles and e-books. This accessibility, however, can result in us not studying the Bible for ourselves. We need to read and know the Bible in its totality. How can you grow in the area of reading and studying God’s Word? What commitments can you make to ensure that you become more familiar with Scripture this year?

We are Word-centred disciples not when we memorise verses or follow certain preachers, but when we submit to the authority of the Word. Share some personal stories of how you followed the Bible’s teachings. What were your struggles? What was the price you paid? What was your decision? What was the effect on your life? It is important to God that His disciples are doers of the Word. As a Life Group, resolve together to put into practice at least one thing you learn from the Word every week. Encourage one another proactively and keep one another accountable.

3) Building Leaders As Our Culture

Think about someone you would consider a good leader. Share what makes them good leaders in your eyes. What is the impact that good leaders make on other people’s lives? What are some important qualities that Christian leaders need to have (read 1 Tim 3)? What do you think are the key differences between worldly and godly definitions of good leadership?

God is looking to raise leaders to influence the world for His glory. We want to build strong leaders to impact people in our different spheres. To get started, it is important to grow in the attitudes of FAST – Faithfulness, Availability, Submissiveness and Teachability. Identify one attitude that you would like to work on as a growth area over the next six months. Share with the Life Group for accountability and discuss with your mentor about the practical steps needed to grow in this area. Pray together for all leaders of the church to be Word-centred disciples and to be empowered by the Spirit to love and to lead.

LOVE NEIGHBOURS
Series: Unchanging

Hope Singapore may now be a new movement with a new look, but our vision remains the same. We want to fulfil the Great Commission through loving neighbours, making disciples and planting churches. This week, discover the unchanging values that undergird why we love our neighbours.

1) Gospel as our motivation

Grateful that Jesus died to save us, we want to live in a way worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:27). In your own words, describe what the Gospel is. Why is the Gospel Good News? How is the Gospel a motivation for you? Give an example of how you are driven by the Gospel. When you struggle to love others, how does the Gospel keep you going? What happens if we lose sight of the Good News? How can your LG keep the Gospel as your motivation?

2) Church as our family

Through the Gospel, believers are united in Christ (Eph 3:6). In your own words, describe what family means to you. How is your LG a family to you? In what ways can you contribute to make your LG more of a family? Love in any family often exists in tension. Are you currently going through a tense situation with a fellow believer? How would God see this tension? How would He want you to resolve it (some examples: Mt 5:21-24; Col 3:12-17; Mt 18:21-35)? Identify areas your LG can work on to be there for one another or to build one another up.

3) People as our passion

Being passionate about people requires us to be less self-centred and more others-centred, less inward-looking as a church and more outward-looking. The call is to care for people, not only for their physical well-being but also for their spiritual needs.

Why is it important that the church is inclusive? What are some signs that an LG or a church may have become exclusive? How can your LG avoid that? Consider the people around you who do not know Christ. What do you think are some of their needs? How can you and your LG be a blessing to them? What is one thing you can do as an LG to minister to them and/or proclaim the Good News?

It is important to internalise the aforementioned core values, for they are the invisible markers that guide the fulfilment of the vision and mission of a church.

• Which value(s) do I most connect with? Which value excites me the most? Why?
• Which value(s) do I least connect with or feel less excited about? Why?
• How would it look if the whole church lives out these values? How would the church affect society’s view of Christ?

Let us take time to pray for the church to develop a stronger measure of every value in our individual lives and as a congregation.

If we want to make a difference in the world, we have to be distinct from the world. How should we live so that others will see Jesus through us?

Standing at the start of a new year, we celebrate the birth of our new movement. Our hearts quicken with anticipation as we look ahead: What is our calling as a church and where do we go from here?