Engage Church
Engaging God, People, and Culture
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Engage Group Curriculum

Curriculum for Engage Groups. This curriculum is designed for the Engage Groups for Spring 2017. Simply click on the link to view or download the chapter summary.


Engage Groups April 10-13

"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

PREP

Leaders: Be sure to review the Faith in Action you set as a group last week, then continue to the icebreaker question for this weeks study.

Opening Question: What particular day/night that you can think of that you wanted to last forever? Explain why.

PURPOSE

"For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:13-15

One word from Jesus, one encounter from Him, the mission of our life changes. We discover our calling and His purpose. God has a purpose for us all, a calling, a ministry. What a calling is for one person, may not be for another. But we are all called to seek and save the lost. Usually our calling is the place or the people where God gives us a heart for. A burning passion for. A natural desire to minister to those in that particular environment or sphere of society. Some spend a lifetime figuring out their call, some are in the process of refining theirs, and others are fully functioning in their call. The bottom line is that whether we know the certainty or the details of our calling, God makes it clear that we are to "go and make disciples" of all walks of life. So when in doubt, love people, care for people, and simply start to minister to those around us now, and along the way, God will bring certainty and clarity for any specifics.

DARJEELING TOY TRAIN RIDE GAVE MOTHER TERESA’S LIFE-CHANGING MOMENT
Darjeeling Times 09-04

The thing that influenced Mother Teresa the most was the sight of all the poor and starving people dying when she taught as school teacher in Calcutta. This sight had her heart feel pity for them and made her want to help them in some way. Another strong influential factor was the fact that so many people were dying of starvation in front others and that none of these people was taking any action to help them. So she decided that she wanted to help them in any way she could, as she knew that was what God wanted her to do as well. But she did not really decide to do anything major to help the poor at that point. The desire was there, but her "calling" had not yet happened.

Mother Teresa received the “call within the call” during a train ride up to Darjeeling in 1946, for a retreat, she received her inspiration, her motivation, and her deep calling that she would never explained except that Jesus' thirst for love and for souls took ahold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life. Over the course of the next weeks and months, by means of interior locutions and visions, Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love” who would “radiate His love on souls.”“Come be My light,” He begged her. “I cannot go alone.” He revealed His pain at the neglect of the poor, His sorrow at their ignorance of Him and His longing for their love. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community, Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Nearly two years of testing and discernment passed before Mother Teresa received permission to begin.

This journey was so powerful that many seek to relive that changing moment and cover the same steps as Mother Teresa did on that journey. These people simply want to experience what Mother Teresa must have felt then. A changed direction for their life to a cause bigger than themselves, to be a beacon of light to the world around them, and to bring change to this hurting world.

Throughout her life, through her ministries, she cared and gave to the poor people. She cared for the sick, homeless and marginalized. She gave them all the necessities they need to survive. She gave them a better life, and possibility for young people to have a brighter future. Moreover, she went even further and decided to lived among the poor and show others how badly treated they were. She continually express how God is leading her, guiding her, protecting her and that God spoke to her and told her what to do. Throughout this calling, she was inspired, motivated, and strengthen by God, she simply obeyed and fulfilled every part of it and changed the world.

During the years of rapid growth the world began to turn its eyes towards Mother Teresa and the work she had started. Numerous awards, beginning with the Indian Padmashri Award in 1962 and notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, honored her work, while an increasingly interested media began to follow her activities. She received both prizes and attention “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.” The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labour bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God.

Mother Teresa had an encounter with Jesus and it revealed her calling. She named it a "calling within a calling". She had a heart to change the world already, yet it wasn't until Jesus grabbed her heart that it set her ministry in motion. It put her motives, her heart, and passion into action. The same happens to us in one way or another. Once we receive Jesus into our hearts, it should be a matter of time until He reveals the call on your life and your ministry. Our ministry is always based on having a passion for a particular group or a place. Although we may differ from one another on who or where we place our passion, He will always give us the grace for it. Yet, through it all, remember that the basis of this calling is always the same... to reveal Jesus to world around us and to make disciples.

But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;...” Acts 9:15

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

PLAN

Read Exodus 3:1-17. Moses' life can be broken down into three chapters of forty years. In the first forty, he spent as a prince in the pharaoh' s court, but where he also began to develop a heart for God's people by witnessing their oppression. The second forty, as a shepherd, tending sheep and developing his heart to lead and to care for those in deep need. Finally, the third forty, his calling, through the burning bush, to liberate His people. As you read the passage, connect it to our own lives and circumstances and see similarities. Consider the following questions:

  • What was Moses doing when encountering the burning bush?
  • How can you relate this to current situations today?
  • Why do you think God used a burning bush?
  • What are some burning bushes God can use today?
  • God reveals Moses purpose and ministry by saying "He has heard the cries of His people". What would be examples of "cries" of people around you today?
  • God then turns Moses to the actual mission of "delivering them out of the hand f the Egyptians and to a land flowing with milk and honey". In your own words, what do you think this means?
  • How does Moses react to this call? Do you relate? Explain.

PERSONAL: Faith in Action

Leaders take time to discuss what can be done practically to discover or to hear our calling this week or to simply share our message to a specific person that we have a heart for. Be specific.

PRAYER

Pray for clarity, for purpose, for a heart, and/or a calling for a specific person or group of people. Like our study, pray that God would make us more aware of who, what or where we have a passion to minister. Then finally, pray to take action as the Holy Spirit leads and for the strength and wisdom to see each step through. 

Billy Humphrey