1 Peter 2:4-5 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5 And now God is building you as living stones into his spiritual temple…
The neat part is this: God has set them in a body and guess what next to you?
1Cor.12:18 As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. MSG.
1. Have a battle going on in side of them. See Galatians 5:16-17 The flesh vs. the Spirit. Both will show up in your small group.
2. Living Stones have a variety of gifting operating within them
See Rom 12: 4-8 (Motivational Gifting)
Rom 12:4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, RO 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. RO 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; RO 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; RO 12:8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
If each of the seven gifts were represented in your small group and someone dropped a dessert (see picture on screen), here is what each one might say.
The person with mercy: Don’t feel badly. It could have happened to anyone. (Motivation; To relieve embarrassment.) The person with prophecy: That’s what happens when you are not careful. (Motivation: To correct their life.) The person with serving: Oh let me help you clean it up. (Motivation: To fulfill a need.) The person with teaching: The reason that it fell is that it was too heavy on one side. (Motivation: To discover why it happened.) The person with exhortation: The next time, let’s serve the dessert with meal. (Motivation: to correct the future.) The person with giving: I’ll be happy to buy a new dessert. (Motivation: To give to a tangible need.) The person with administration: Jim, you get the mop. Sue, please help pick it up and Mary, help me fix some other dessert. (Motivation: Achieve the immediate goal of the group.)
3. Living Stones have different temperaments:
Dominance: Direct, Driving, Decisive. These people tend to be independent and results driven. They are strong-willed people who enjoy challenges, taking action, and immediate results. The bottom line is their focus tends to be on the bottom line and results. Influence: Optimistic & Outgoing. These individuals tend to be very social and out going. They prefer participating on teams, sharing thoughts, and entertaining and energizing others. Steadiness: Sympathetic & Cooperative. These people tend to be your team players and are supportive and helpful to others. They prefer being behind the scene, working in consistent and predictable ways. They are often good listeners and avoid change and conflict Conscientiousness: Concerned, Cautious & Correct. These people are often focused on details and quality. They plan ahead, constantly check for accuracy, and what to know “how” and “why”.
4. Living Stones bring their Life Experiences
Positive: Their life skills and talents Negative: Their traumas, hurts, fears, etc. When each part of the body does its work, spiritual gifts can have a massive impact on church ministry.
Eph.4:16 EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love When each part accepts responsibility, then the church can do Christians work in the world.
Small groups offer the best way for people to accept responsibility, treat others with respect, and thus experience being members of one body.
We are running out of time this morning, so I would like to finish off by giving you one of Five Core Values of Small Groups
Kingston Christian Fellowship Small Groups
Five Core Values for Small Groups
1. Relationships: (Acts2:46-27) A setting where there is a developing of friendship. A setting where there can be honest sharing A setting where a community spirit can be developed. (Acts 2:44-47) A setting where accountability is a life style. A setting where life is shared — such as meals, events, birthdays, construction events, etc.