Title of Sermon: "The Body of Christ"
Passage of Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-16
"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."
This is a passage about the health and growth of the body of Christ, the church.
1. Ephesians 4:11 lists some of the gifts of Christ to his church: the evangelist, the pastor (shepherd), and teacher. According to Ephesians 4:12, what is the role of these church leaders?
2. Some unhealthy models of leadership and church growth have taken root in the American church: the pyramid; the bus driver; and the concert performance model. Can you relate to any of these? What is the biblical model, according to Ephesians 4:12?
3. The verse talks about each of us being equipped for "works of service." Have you seen examples of this at Lake Baldwin Church? What are some ways that people express their gifts in the context of our mission?
4. According to Ephesians 4:13-14, we are all called to embrace spiritual maturity. What are some characteristics of spiritual infancy, according to v. 14? According to 1 Corinthians 3:1-3?
5. According to 1 Peter 2:2, we are to long for the Word of God as a newborn longs for milk. As we grow, God wants us to long for the meat of the Word. How would you assess your hunger for God's Word? What would it look like for you to make space for more biblical teaching, such as an adult class?
6. According to Ephesians 4:15-16, Christians grow when they are engaged in community. Yet there are many forces that push us toward isolation. What are some of these forces?
7. What are some of the benefits of community, according to Ephesians 4:15-16?
8. Small groups at LBC are set up to encourage gospel community, gospel growth, and gospel service. Which of these would you like to see strengthened in your small group? In your personal life?