7 Letters to 7 Churches: Being the Church God Intended Us To Be
Week 1 – Understanding the Book of Revelation / Sermon-Based Discussion/Reflection Questions
7 Letters to 7 Churches: Being the Church God Intended Us To Be There is a fascination about the book of Revelation in the Bible. We get preoccupied with what we don’t understand, but within this letter are 7 letter to the early church that are very clear about what is important. As we explore these letters to the early church, and 7 churches written to specific churches, we will find what God what values in His people who gather together on Jesus’ mission to reach all people and make disciples.
Week 1 – Understanding the book of Revelation: This week we looked at Chapter 1 of the book of Revelation in the Bible. This book can be confusing and difficult to understand due to the nature of prophecy, specifically unfulfilled prophecy, due to the frequent use of imagery, but what is clear is that it reveals to us who Jesus is, how it all ends and who we are to be as we live waiting for Jesus’ return.
*For a NEW GROUP meeting together or a group with new people, or a group that has had a long time not meeting together, you can use these Ice Breaker Questions to get people talking and start making connections.
**For an EXISTING GROUP without a lot of new people, feel free to use or adapt the 3 ice breaker questions below but also spend some time catching up with each other by sharing highlights and challenges since you last met. You may also want to have everyone share a hope for your small group for this Spring.
- ICE BREAKER 1: “Unique Introductions”
Have everyone introduce themselves this way:
- A) A UNIQUE GREETING (Example: Hi, Hello, Hey, Aloha, Bon Jour, Greetings, What’s up, etc.) Everyone has to have a unique opening greeting line. No repeats. Must be a unique greeting word or phrase that has not already been used by someone else during this ice breaker.
- B) Name and a 1-MINUTE BIO of who you are (include any family info, what you do during the week, what you do for fun, and how long you have attended Live Oak)
Example: “Hi. My name is Doug Halcomb. I’m Senior Pastor at Live Oak, married to Jennifer, 2 kids, Jean & Graycia. And I Graduated from Tech in 1993. For fun I like enjoy movies, music and I’ve attended Live Oak from 1993- 2004, and again since 2012.”
- ICEBREAKER 2: “Lightning Round”
Start with the leader and ask a question that is either an “either/or” type question or a “what is your favorite___________” fill in the blank type question.
Example: Beach or mountains? TV or Movies? Favorite movie? Favorite food? Favorite hobby?
- Each person in the circle answers the question with the one who asked the question answering last.
- Then, the person to the right asks their own “either/or” or “favorite” question.
- Each person in the circle answers that question with the person who asked the question
- answering last.
- Go all around the circle until everyone in the circle asks a question.
- This gets everyone talking and participating.
- Try to keep the pace up and keep a lightening round type of feel with quick questions and quick answers.
- ICEBREAKER 3: “Hopes for our Small Group”
Have everyone share why they were interested in joining a small group AND what they might be hoping to experience in this small group.
- What are some reactions you have heard to people who talk about the book of Revelation?
- What has been your experience in reading the book of Revelation?
- READ: Revelation 1 and make observations about the passage. What stands out to you?
Doug encouraged us to ask 2 questions when reading the Bible, including Revelation:
What does this reveal to us about who Jesus is? So, what does Revelation 1 tell us about who Jesus is?
What does this tell us about who we are in Christ? So, what does Revelation 1 tell us about who we are in Christ? (see Revelation 1:5-6 and anything else in Chapter 1)
- The challenge given to the 7 churches who read the Revelation initially was a call to “patient endurance”. READ: Revelation 14:12.
What does this verse tell us that “patient endurance” looks like?
What does “patient endurance” look like in your life?
- In Revelation 1:19, Doug pointed out that John, even though he had seen Jesus many times before, including the Risen Jesus, on this day, John experienced the risen King Jesus in a way that wrecked him and changed him. When was the last time you experienced the risen King Jesus and it changed you?
*Doug challenged us to read Revelation one chapter at a time by doing the Live Oak Bible Reading Plan. As you do, look for two things: Who is Jesus? And Who does He want me to be and respond based on what I read?
And remember, if you see something you don’t understand and it isn’t clear, be curious and dig in, but most importantly, look for what is clear to how God wants you to respond.
- NEXT STEPS:
Everyone has a next step to apply what we have learned. What is your next step? Be specific.
MEMORY VERSE: *Challenge yourself or your group to commit this verse to memory:
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”
*If you are a new small group, spend some time making plans for the semester and casting a vision for making this small group a community to build, not just an activity to attend. How will we build this group into a community.
Spend some time praying for each other.
Revelation 1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Luke 24:25-27; Matthew 24:36; Mark 13; Acts 2:17; Revelation 4:12; Matthew 24:14