We are kicking off the new year and a new season of Service Groups with a deep dive into the gospel of Mark! Jim will be preaching through Mark later in the year, but we are encouraging our groups to journey through this short but exciting gospel together over the next several weeks. We will be using the “Discovery Bible Study” as a method for our discussions and posting study guides (like the one below) monthly.
Check back for monthly discussion guides & resources!
In many ways discussing the virtue of excellence encapsulates all that we have been studying this year in our endeavor to grow into the character of Jesus. Virtue, itself, can be defined as “moral excellence.” As a virtue of Jesus, excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. In his benevolence to us, God gave us his very best, his one and only Son… a lamb without blemish or defect. Indeed, Jesus is that sinless lamb of God given for the sin of the world. As God gave us his very best, we owe him no less than our very best.
Yet, it is all-too-easy to fall into the trap of “just getting by” or, when it comes to church, “going thru the motions.” We want to avoid the trap of mediocrity by always endeavoring to put our faith into practice with the very best of our efforts… to excel in all things (2 Cor 8:7). This month we want to “up our game” and talk about ways we can give to the Lord our very best and put our faith into action with an even greater degree of excellence!
Gratitude is the virtue of being thankful and ready to show appreciation for (and to return) kindness. There are two essential components: (1) that feeling of warmth and appreciation for a person or thing and (2) the expression of that appreciation to that person (or to God).
This month our groups are discussing the virtue of gratitude, a virtue demonstrated not only in the life of Jesus, but also throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments.
What are you most thankful for? Have you expressed your appreciation to the appropriate person… or to God?
Generosity we defined as the virtue of giving good things to others freely, and abundantly. The two key components of that are, one, the giving of GOOD things. It doesn’t have to be money. It can be time, energy, support or any number of good things. Two, it is given “freely and abundantly,” no strings attached and without expectation of anything in return.
For the month of September we are focusing on the character virtue of creativity… often demonstrated in Jesus’ unique way of teaching, the parable. Join us this month as we endeavor to be more like Jesus in creatively teaching God’s truth and sharing his good news message with our community.
Steadfastness is the virtue of being fixed in direction, firm in purpose, unwavering, resolute in faith.; steady; solid; unshakeable; unflappable! I love Aesop’s story of the tortoise and the hare! Who would have thought, at the beginning of their race, that it would be the slow and steady tortoise crossing that finish line first? The hare was so much more talented, so much faster and so… distracted by the things of the world (not to mention his own hubris!)
This month, we are challenging ourselves with the pursuit of the virtue of steadfastness. Join us!
WE ARE BACK! Service groups have resumed meeting (check with your group leader about times & plans) and for the month of June we will be talking about the essential character component of “Selflessness” which is so needed in our world today!
How can we make an impact on our community for Jesus? By BEING Jesus to our community and demonstrating the character of Jesus to those around us each and every day. Join us as we strive to develop the virtue of “selflessness” like Jesus.
Throughout the month of March we are going to be focusing on the virtue of kindness. It is that quality of friendliness, generosity and consideration for others that is so important as we engage our community with the good news of Jesus. Even more important, it is the way we share with others the goodness we have received in Jesus!