These questions are connected to the message, “It’s Not the Size of the Seed but the Impact of the Tree” from Sunday, June 19, 2022. You can watch it here.
- What stood out to you in the text or sermon? What challenged you or caused some “resistance?”
- Has there been a situation in your life when ulterior motives were exposed in you that were shocking? If you’re comfortable, share these with your group.
- What are pitfalls that you think the church in North America has fallen into? What idols do we inadvertently worship?
- What are ways that we as individuals can fight against the attraction of the “big” and the allure of ambition and praise?
Look over the following points on service (from Richard Foster) and mark the ones that are the most likely to be pitfalls for you. Be honest; they are pitfalls for everyone.
- Self-righteous service relies on human effort; true service flows out of a relationship with God.
Listen to his promptings, lean on his strength.
- Self-righteous service is impressed with the ‘big deal;’ true service makes no distinction between large and small tasks.
God often considers the small task the most important.
- Self-righteous service requires external rewards; true service rests contented in hiddenness.
Avoid relying on applause or recognition.
- Self-righteous service is concerned with the results; true service is free of the need to calculate them.
Don’t let your expectations guide you – you may see no external change.
- Self-righteous service picks and chooses whom to serve; true service serves where the need is.
Be careful not to neglect the lowly over the influential.
- Self-righteous service is affected by mood; true service ministers on the basis of need.
Don’t allow your feelings to determine your actions, rather let the service discipline your feelings.
- Self-righteous service is temporary; true service is ongoing.
Compassion is a way of life, not merely an occasional helping hand.
- Self-righteous service is insensitive; true service withholds as freely as it gives.
Be sensitive to what people really need, not merely what you think they need. Listen with patience.
- Self-righteous service fractures community; true service builds community.
Be careful not to let your ‘good works’ become debts that others must repay. Build unity in community.