Huddles: November 20th, 2019
Together: The Purpose of Our Togetherness
Below is the plan for you to follow as you lead out this study. At the end of this post we have attached the full curriculum that includes some very helpful Bible background and commentary to help you as you prepare to lead. Our prayer for you is that the Lord will bring this Scripture to life in your own life and that your leading will be an overflow from that! Let us know if you have any questions.
The Main Idea
We don’t come together in our churches simply to hang out together. While fellowship is a key part of the togetherness of the Church, it’s not the only part. Part of God’s purpose for our being together as a Body of Believers is drawing people closer to Christ. Sometimes, this means bringing people into our communities who do not know Jesus at all. This also means that we’re called to work together to bring each other deeper in our relationship with Jesus. Call it togetherness with a purpose. The Church is God’s plan to both introduce Himself to the lost and to grow closer to His children. This lesson will examine what the Bible says about this, and how we might practically go about doing this.
The Lead In
FIRST, have your Huddle think about a team or a club. When you think about a team, there is a common purpose that brings a team together, isn’t there? A club of some sort is the same way.
- What is the purpose of a team?
Answers will vary.
- Think of a club at your school (FCA, Spanish club, etc.) What is the purpose of that specific club?
Answers will vary. If you have a student in band or something that may not be covered by the “team” or “club” language, make sure you include them by allowing them a chance to give a purpose for their respective activity.
Then explain that you guys are going to build out your “dream teams” for some specific categories. For each category mentioned, we’ll work together to build out our dream team of 5 people that will make up this team. These can be people you know personally or people that are famous. Tell them they can argue their case for why they think specific people should be included (encourage some fun, friendly debate). It would be helpful to have a chalkboard or whiteboard to list the categories and team members they choose.
- Sports – choose the sport and then the 5 people you’d choose to make up that dream team
- Academics – choose the academic pursuit (i.e. team of smart kids to help you ace the ACT, smart people to solve a world problem, etc.) and then the 5 people you’d choose to make up that dream team
- Adventure – choose the adventure they’d be going on (i.e. climbing Mt. Everest, hiking the Appalachian Trail, running an IronMan, etc.) and then the 5 people you’d choose to make up that dream team
When you have finished, lead students in a brief discussion.
- Look at the three teams you “built.” For each one of them, tell me what you think their purpose was? In other words, what is the purpose of a sports team?
Answers will vary. Continue in this manner until students have listed the various purposes for each team.
- From a big picture perspective, other than being funny, why did you choose the people you chose?
Answer: To make sure you achieved your purpose.
Connect this activity with where we’re heading tonight, using this to set up the discussion.
- The purpose of this activity is to point out that in life, groups are gathered for a purpose. The choosing of the people for the team or the objective is done so with that purpose in mind. We’ve been talking about this idea of togetherness, how when we come to saving faith in Christ, we’re welcomed into a family we call the Church. Being joined together is part of what being in this family is all about.
- What we’re going to see today is that God had a distinct purpose in mind when He “chose” us to be a part of His family. That purpose is tied to who we are as Christ-followers, and is a big part of being “together.” Let’s look at two aspects of our purpose as a church.
Begin by reading out this statement:
As the Church, God has a purpose for our “togetherness.”
After reading this out, lead your Huddle in a time of brainstorming different purposes for why God has called His people, the Church, together. Allow them to come up with some responses themselves.
As a heads up, you’ll be looking at two specific purposes of the church in this session. If you’re helping come up with answers, you may want to suggest, “Helping others come to know Jesus,” or something similar, and “helping people grow in their knowledge of Jesus,” or something similar.
THEN, after you’ve had a chance to brainstorm together, explain that you’re going to look at two passages from Scripture that deal with this very concept: what is our purpose as a group called together by God?
NEXT, have students turn to Matthew 28. While they’re finding it, share that this book was written by Matthew and these are the last words of Jesus to His disciples. Many of us have probably heard these verses multiple times. It is often called “The Great Commission.” Then, read or have a student read Matthew 28:18–20. Let’s discuss this!
- What did Jesus command His disciples to do?
Answer: “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.”
- How would you explain what Jesus means by the command to “make disciples”?
Answers will vary. Help students understand that this is two-fold. The primary role of making disciples is for believers to bring people to Jesus who do not know Him. The second role of making disciples is to be a part of helping Christ-followers grow deeper in their relationship with Him and become more like Him.
- Why do you think it’s important that Jesus said that we should teach others to “observe all that [He] commanded”?
Answers will vary. But help students see that this is the essence of following after Jesus: knowing His character and His ways and living according to the way He designed us to as citizens of His Kingdom. We cannot know how to follow and live for Jesus without knowing Him and all He commanded us, which we get to know through the Word!
- Look at verse 18. What makes this command so essential to follow?
Answer: Jesus alone has the authority to give this command. God Himself gave this command! It is imperative, as Christ-followers, that we obey the commands of our Savior.
- What comfort did Jesus give us when it comes to carrying out this mission?Answer: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus empowers us to do the task He has called us to do. We are not alone.
Let’s think about this a little bit more. Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIA-DGx_3Y
- Do you relate to this video? How so?
- How can we begin actively making disciples rather than just memorizing the command?
Help students see that this is a huge part of what it means to be both a Christ-follower and a church. Leading others to first-time relationships with Christ is part of their purpose for being called together as a church family. Say:
- As teenagers who are a part of this local body of believers, you are God’s messengers in our community to share the message of the Gospel. But that is only one aspect of your purpose. Let’s look at one more.
Turn to Ephesians 4:11–16. Read or have a student read the passage. Help them see that this is the Apostle Paul talking to the Christians in Ephesus about the role of the gifts God has given them. We call these spiritual gifts. And while the roles Paul lists here isn’t an exhaustive list of them, it’s a good start. Using Ephesians 4:11-16 as your text, lead your students in a discussion. Ask:
- This passage talks about some of the roles in the Church. What are the roles? Which ones do you understand? Which ones are a little trickier?Answer: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.
- Paul gives the purpose of these roles in verse 12-14. What is it?
Answer: To “[build] up the body of Christ,” so that the church can be unified in faith and knowledge of God to full maturity. God gives us gifts as followers of Christ with the end-goal and purpose of us using these gifts to bless and build up His Church. The goal is that as Christ-followers come together and use their gifts, the Spirit would move through us and help each other grow in godliness and their relationship with God.
- If you had to sum all of this up in your own words to explain to a friend who hasn’t grown up as a believer or going to church, how would you explain it?
Answers will vary. But the goal is the spiritual maturity of the individual Christ-followers in a church, and thus, the spiritual maturity of the Body itself.
The two purposes of the church that we looked at are bringing people who don’t know Jesus to Him and helping people who know Jesus to know Him better. This is a HUGE reason why God has brought you together as a group. It’s part of who you are as a Christ-follower and who we are as a student ministry. So far we haven’t talked a lot about HOW we do this together. Let’s take a few minutes and do that now.
Last Word & Application
The goal of opening up God’s Word together isn’t that we would just leave knowing more, but that we would be changed through it. As we wrap up our discussion on community and the Church, let’s spend some time asking two specific questions of ourselves as individuals and as a group.
Regarding this activity, there really is nothing prescribed in the way of discussion questions. Essentially, the idea is to look at these two purposes of the church and ask the question, “how”?
*As a leader, spend time in advance brainstorming how you would answer these questions for yourself and your community.*
- How do you bring people who have never known Jesus toward a relationship with Him? What does this look like for us as teenagers in 2019?
- How do you help people who know Jesus grow in their knowledge of Him? What does this look like for us as teenagers in 2019?
Ask your Huddle these questions and help them consider real, practical ways that we can engage in these purposes. Challenge your Huddle to think in terms of action steps they can actually put into place (i.e. do you know your spiritual gifts? If not, why not take a test? If you know your spiritual gifts, how are you using them? Etc). And then encourage them to get into small groups and pray that the Lord would open up opportunities for them act in obedience to what He’s stirred up in their hearts through this time in the Word.