Lakeside Church

Luke 8:19-21

These questions are connected to the message, “The Church’s Family Name” from October 24, 2021. You can watch it here.
Dive In: Read this passage slowly (Luke 8:19-21) in an unfamiliar translation of the Bible (e.g. New Living Translation or The Message). When you soak in this passage, is there a phrase that grabs you?
  1. This is a VERY challenging passage. It’s easy to think that Jesus is being hyperbolic or that he was saying something other than what it seems he’s saying. If Jesus means what he says here, what is your initial response or feeling?
  2. Have you ever been hurt by church or by other Jesus followers? If you’re comfortable sharing, what was the outcome? How did it affect your confidence in or trust or sense of safety with other Jesus followers, with your church? Were you able to come back from that?
  3. If you’re comfortable sharing, have you ever hurt another Jesus follower, even inadvertently. What was the outcome? Did reconciliation prevail? Did you see redemption?
  4. Share if and how the church has been family to you.
  5. Is your understanding of “church” more about “a place you go” or “a people you are?” Which do you think is the predominant understanding in our current context and what is the impact of that?
  6. Paul says that the measure or test of our true worship is the quality of the church’s life together (1 Corinthians 11). Is that the metric you’re used to? If not, what are some of the other rubrics that we use to gauge “success” in worship?
Digging Deeper: 
1. The word for “church” that Jesus used — ekklesia (Matt 16:18; 18:15,17) — is not a religious word. Rather, it came from the political arena — a building-less, secular, governmental institution of people committed to embedding the values of Rome into the social fabric of their city-state. It was a word that would have alarmed his disciples since the current ekklesia was a despised oppressive regime. Why do you think Jesus chose this word when he could have used other words like “temple” or “synagogue?” (See Bonus content in the newsletter on Wednesday for some other juicy details).
Act on it:
  1. Try changing your vocabulary. Instead of saying I’m going to church (that would be like saying “I’m going to family,” try saying, “I’m going to the church building” or better “I’m going to meet with the church or my family.”
  2. As you think of Jesus followers around the world (Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, China, etc.), how might thinking of them as you would your immediate family (parents, children, siblings) impact your prayers for them? Perhaps this is a spiritual exercise you could try this week.