Groups Focus: Engage the World
ENGAGE THE WORLD
Engage the world around us through Missions – we bring the good news of Christ by serving others, with the perspective that God has equipped each person and group to meet needs right where they are
Key verse: “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” – Matthew 25:37-40
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells an incredible parable about the final judgment. In this parable Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, the righteous from the unrighteous. We know that believers are only righteous because Jesus is righteous. Through his sacrifice we stand blameless before the throne. Yet something interesting happens next. Jesus commends the righteous for their actions towards the least of these.
This turn is fascinating for a variety of reasons. For one, the righteous didn’t realize the impact their actions had. They weren’t serving the least of these for favor in God’s eyes or acclaim among men. They were serving these people because they saw someone in need and knew they could help meet that need.
The second interesting thing is that the goats, those who are not covered by the blood of Christ, didn’t serve those in need. What we see then, is that serving the least of these is a natural outflow of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This wasn’t an act to gain righteousness, but instead a lifestyle that results from becoming a new creation in Christ. If we are in Christ, we should be serving the least of these.
As a group leader, this reality is even more vitally important. Not only are you called to serve, but also to lead others to serve. How did Jesus inspire such service among his followers? He certainly taught them about serving others, but more importantly he showed them. Jesus consistently served the marginalized in his community, treating widows, women, and children as just as important as men. Jesus, in a surprising act of humility, even washed the feet of his disciples.
Next week we begin the alignment, “Love Starts Here”. During this series our desire is that your group will serve your community together. For more help with how to make this a reality, head over to faithpromise.org/missions. How awesome would it be if Knoxville began to view Faith Promise as the church that cares enough about them to serve them? We also hope you, as a leader, will take this season as an opportunity to serve your group. Teach them how to engage the world by showing them.
Questions for Reflection
- Why does God care so deeply about the least of these?
- Why is serving the marginalized a natural outflow of a relationship with Christ?
- How can you, as a group leader, encourage your group to engage the world?
- How is your group going to engage our community through Love Starts Here?