Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Community
Posted by Karah
CONNECTION POINT: Families can love Jesus together.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Companies spend millions of dollars each year creating experiences that leave people excited and wanting to come back. The early church was known for a culture that was far richer than anyone could create. They were known for their love—a love that reflected Jesus Christ. People experienced a culture within the church saturated in true community and love. Their example in Acts 2 is a challenge to continue that reputation and be a church immersed in a culture of love.
Concept: Unstoppable Community
Genesis 26:1-6, 12-33
LIFE POINT: God told Isaac to stay in the land, and Isaac did what God said. Isaac planted many plants in the land, and these plants provided the food he and his family needed. Not only did Isaac have lots of food, but he also had many animals. He had so much food and animals that some people did not like him. These people filled the wells with dirt so Isaac would not have water. Isaac needed the water for his family, plants, and animals. Isaac moved to another area and dug another well. Again, some people stopped up his well. Three times Isaac moved, but those who didn’t like him filled the well with dirt each time. Isaac moved again, and this time no one bothered him. Isaac met with the people who did not like him, and they agreed to be kind to each other. Now Isaac had water in the wells again.
LIVE IT OUT: Briefly tell your child about the story of Isaac being kind to his neighbors. Ask your child how your family could be kind to one of your neighbors. Use his ideas to perform a kind deed for a friend. Remind your child that God helps people be kind to others.
Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45; 32:1-23; 33
LIFE POINT: Isaac had twin sons named Jacob and Esau. One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from hunting and was really hungry. He traded the birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Years later, Jacob and his mother tricked Isaac. Isaac gave a special blessing to Jacob! When Esau found what had happened, he was so angry that He wanted to kill Jacob. Jacob ran away to his uncle’s house in another land. After many years, Jacob wanted to go home. Jacob sent his brother a message that he was coming home. He told Esau that he wanted to be forgiven. Esau went to meet Jacob. Jacob thought his brother might harm his family. Jacob prayed, asking God to rescue him. When Esau saw Jacob, he hugged Jacob and kissed him. Esau accepted the gifts from Jacob. Jacob was forgiven!
LIVE IT OUT: God loves every member of your family. Help your child understand how much God loves
families. Help your child write about treating family members with respect. Use the first part of Ephesians 4:32 as every other line.
THE POINT: Christian community is a powerful reflection of God’s love. What aspects of church life have been meaningful to you? When have you seen the power of prayer in your life? How can being generous with those around us be a part of our lives and not something we keep separate? Discuss the following quote:
“The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.”1— Paul David Tripp
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Encourage your student to develop a prayer list for family, friends, and teachers and pray with them each day.
• COMMUNITY: Set aside time with your student to help develop godly community in your home that leads to serving one another, safety to be honest about struggles, and times to celebrate and value them the way Christ does.
• CULTURE: Discuss how your student can be intentional about living in community this week. How will your student live out his or her faith by intentionally living in community?
1. Paul David Trip, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2002).