week 4

Week 4 - Servant







This week we continued our “Who Is This Man” series looking at the Gospel of Mark, Mark’s account of the life of Jesus, to answer the question, who is Jesus?  We covered Mark chapters 8-10 where the focus is on Jesus reeducating the apostles about the mission of the Messiah and the nature of true discipleship.  In Mark 8:29 Jesus asks the apostles, “Who do you think I am?” Peter rightly responds confessing that Jesus is the Messiah.  It becomes clear however in Peter’s response to Jesus when he predicts his suffering, death and resurrection that he still fails to understand what it means to be the Messiah.  He rebukes Jesus. Suffering and dying does not at all fit with his picture of the Messiah.  


Peter, like others, envisioned a political, geographical kingdom where Jesus, as king, would overthrow Rome.  A kingdom based on power and wealth.  Even those closest to him still did not comprehend the nature and mission of Jesus and the values of living in the kingdom of God, with God in charge of their lives. This is highlighted multiple times in this portion of Mark.  


Mark 9:33 

They came to Capernaum.  When he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the road they had argued about who was the greatest.


Jesus, for the second time, has just told them he will suffer, die and resurrect and they are arguing about who will be the greatest in the kingdom.  


In Mark 10:33-34 Jesus tells them for a third time that he will suffer, die and resurrect. Immediately after hearing this James and John ask for an elevated position in the kingdom. “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”  


Mark 10:42-45

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.”


Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.


“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Jesus explains that the way of the world, the way of power and status, will not be so with us.  He defines greatness in a whole new way.  In the kingdom of God, joy and greatness is found in serving, humility, giving and sacrifice.




Have you ever had to submit to someone in a position of authority that lorded it over you? Talk about that experience.


In contrast, have you worked for someone who influenced by kindness and love rather than power and authority? How did this make you feel?


Tell about a time you found joy in serving.


This week Scott asked us to have a conversation about two questions.  Please take some time to discuss these in your group.


How do you define greatness?


What has that pursuit of greatness gotten you?


Tell about a time in your life when your definition of greatness shifted.  How did this change your life?




Pray that we would not strive for greatness by seeking power, wealth and authority. That instead we would seek to live in humility with a focus on serving others.




Pray that as a church we would reflect the love of Christ in the way we serve others.  That we would not live by the standards and values of the world but instead would live surrendered to God, reflecting the character and conduct of Christ.




Take a moment to thank God for the successful launch of 23 new churches in people groups throughout India that are completely new to hearing about Jesus. Pray for our FCC global partners, MidIndia Christian Mission, as they seek to plant a total of 50 churches by 2020. Pray for these new followers of Jesus to remain bold and encouraged in their faith, sharing the hope of Jesus with their friends and families.

Week 4 - The One





This week Scott wrapped up our Hot Mess series by talking about dating and romantic relationships. Although this does not directly address the stage of life that all of us are in, the relational principals are universal, and can apply to marriage, family, friendships, and other close relationships in our lives.


Scott talked about the fact that most people who date, fall into one of two categories. They are either looking for someone who will fulfill them right now, or they are looking for the "right one." "Right Now" daters are consumer daters. They are looking for another person to give them what they desire. They are constantly trying to extract something from the person that they are dating. "Right One" daters are also consumers. They are looking for the person who will complete them. They are looking for "Mr. or Mrs. Right." They buy into the myth that once they find the right person, life will be perfect.


Healthy relationships are not using people for our short term needs. They are not about finding the right person. They are about being the right person. They are about striving to love like Jesus, and growing and maturing for the benefit of others. 


Look up and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-11



Just for fun, tell us about your most disastrous dating relationship or "crush" story. 


Although our main topic has to do with romantic relationships, most of the following questions fit the context of any relationship in our lives. Keep that in mind, and don't hesitate to discuss these questions in different relational scenarios.


Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who was looking to you for something that you could not provide?


Have you ever looked to another person for the kind of fulfillment and completeness that can only be found in Jesus?


Have you spent most of your life believing that successful romantic relationships are about "finding the right person," or about two people just making it work?


There is a myth that when a person finds "the right one," then everything will be perfect. Where does this myth come from? What effect does it have on the way we approach relationships?


In his message Scott asked, "Are you the person that you are looking for?" He pointed out that successful relationships happen when we try to BE the right one; not when we try to FIND the right one. What efforts have you made in your life, to be the kind of person who can have healthy relationships?



Pray that in all of our relationships, we will strive to "be the right one" for the people in our lives.



Pray that we will apply this same idea as a church. Pray that we will be the kind of church that Jesus needs us to be for the sake of those we are trying to reach.



Pray for FCC global partners, IberoAmerican Ministries, in the Middle East as they come alongside a refugee community of 125 people. IAM has been able to empower some of these men and women to start micro-businesses; pray that these businesses flourish, for peace and stability in these families' new homes, for hope as they rebuild their lives, and for ultimately each family to know and receive the love Jesus offers.


Week 4 - Broken & Burned


This week Scott wrapped up our Reset series by talking about the story of Nehemiah from the Old Testament. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to find that the remnant of Israel was living in the ruins of their defeat. He gathered them up, moved them to action, and rebuilt the city’s walls. 

While Nehemiah was overseeing reconstruction of Jerusalem’s wall, there were men who tried to frustrate his efforts. Nehemiah’s enemies were driven by their own fear and jealousy. They were afraid of what the Israelites might do if they rebuilt their city. They were jealous that a great work was being done without their influence, involvement or permission. Read Nehemiah 6:1-9, and note how Nehemiah responds to their tactics.


Nehemiah 6:1-9

When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”  Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king  and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”


Have you experienced a time in your life when you became content to live in the ruins of your failure, with no hope of things getting any better?

What tactics did Nehemiah’s enemies use to try to discourage him?


What was Nehemiah’s response when they tried to draw him away from his work?


What was Nehemiah’s response when they lied about him?


Scott said that any time we attempt to do something great, there will be some form of opposition. Have you ever had somebody oppose something you were trying to accomplish?


Have you ever allowed others to lure you away from what is important?


Nehemiah directly calls out his enemies’ lies. Is this something that we typically do today?


Do you presently face any form of opposition? What keeps you from living your best and following Jesus to the best of your ability? What needs to be done to deal with these oppositions?



Pray that we will have faith and boldness to confront the things that keep us from doing what God wants us to do.



Pray that as a church we will identify and deal with any barriers that hinder us from doing great things. Pray that we will focus on the work that God has given us, and that we will not be distracted by any enemy’s tactics. 



Praise God for the amazing impact of last week's FCC India Team as they returned home from their trip with FCC global partners, Mid-India Christian Mission. Pray for the 700 distinct people groups in our global partner's state alone who've never heard the name of Jesus before. Pray for more pastors and missionaries to be raised up and equipped to take the good news of Jesus to these groups.

WEEK 4: Fully Engaged


This week’s message was about the primary purpose of Jesus’s mission here on earth, and the call that is central to everything we do as a church.

Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...

While the church is made up of people who are “found,” its purpose is all about people who are “lost.” When we lose sight of this, our focus gravitates inward. We start to focus on our own experiences, our own preferences, and our own comfort. This is what happened in Antioch, when Christians began to insist that Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved. They longed for the spiritual journey of the Gentiles to look like their own. Ultimately, it was determined that past practices were not beneficial to the process of bringing people to know Jesus. These religious requirements only served as obstacles, making it difficult for people to be saved. Their personal preferences stood in conflict with the mission of the church, and the church leaders did not allow these preferences to stand in the way.

Regarding the issue of whether or now Gentiles should be required to undergo circumcision, James said this...

Acts 15:19

"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.



What are your personal preferences when it comes to church? If our services and events were designed around your own personal tastes, how would we do things differently?

When you talk about the church, do you find yourself discussing the mission of the church and how we are to bring people to know Jesus? Or are you more likely to discuss your own preferences regarding the way we do things?

Acts 15:19

"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

Do you think that there are things that we do (individually or corporately) that make it difficult for people to turn to God?

Do you feel that your own focus is more about the mission of the church, or your own preferences?

If you feel that your focus could use a shift, what can you do to make that happen?


Pray that we will have a focus that is more about the mission of the church than our own preferences.

The Fourth of July is approaching. Pray that as we use this opportunity to serve our community, people will be drawn to the church and to Jesus.

Spend a few moments in prayer praising God for the successful trip of our FCC high school global connection team to Chile last week. Praise God for the positive relationships that were built and for the Chilean church to continue to remain encouraged from our two teams this summer. Pray for the pastor and his family with Ibero American ministries, that they’d feel encouraged and equipped to continued guiding their church community in El Monte, Chile.