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STUDY GUIDE

Community Presbyterian Church


Table of Contents Opening Letter from Scott Farmer, Senior Pastor………...…i How to Get the Most out of the Study………..……………...ii About the Study Guide: Suggestions for Individual Study……………...……..ii Suggestions for Small Group Study……………..…...iii Week One: A Radically Engaged Church………………...….1 Scott Farmer, Senior Pastor Week Two: A Life Transforming Church...……………...…..6 Cathy Burkholder, Associate Pastor Week Three: A Gospel Sharing Church………….…...……..11 Scott Farmer, Senior Pastor Week Four: A Generous Church………………………...…..16 Mark Wollan, Associate Pastor Week Five: An Intergenerational Church………….…...…..21 Bill Haslim, Associate Pastor Week Six: A Compassionate Church……..……………...….27 Mark Wollan, Associate Pastor For Facilitators of Small Groups…………………………...33 Sunday Night Experience…………………………………...33 How to Share Your Story………………………………..….34


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Dear Friends, Our Pastors, Elders, and staff leaders have been praying how God is leading CPC into a future that more fully realizes His desire for “People Meeting Christ.” This Radically Engaged Vision 2020 is driving our priorities, strategies and ministries, and defining a distinct shift in how we will seek to grow ourselves to impact those in the communities we serve together. The single vision that shapes our thoughts and actions is: “By 2020, CPC is a transformed, intergenerational community, passionate about living as Christ’s disciples, with a contagious zeal for people meeting Christ and radically expressing God’s compassion and generosity.” The five themes of our Vision are: A Life Transforming Church A Gospel Sharing Church A Compassionate Church A Generous Church An Intergenerational Church My life is a work in progress. My character is under construction and being “built up.” I want to live these themes out in my own life. I can only do this with God’s help! Our Session has developed Vision Prayers instead of Vision Statements, which ask God to lead us to be a life transforming, gospel sharing, compassionate, generous and intergenerational church! Radically Engaged is a call to action. This study is an invitation for you to join me to live with the heart and passion of Christ, so that the San Ramon Valley and beyond will look like an outpost of heaven. Radically Engaged Vision 2020 is a growth process moving us towards spiritual maturity! We won’t be done by December. Most of us can’t imagine the year 2020. To God, that’s only a blink away. Let’s pray, learn and begin to live this together, starting right now. Prayerfully,


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How to Get the Most out of the Study 1.

Attend worship each week to hear the corresponding sermon.

2.

Prayerfully read and reflect on each week’s content.

3.

Join or start a small group or attend the Sunday Night Experience each week, preparing in advance by reading the week’s content and listening to the sermons. You can also do this study individually.

4.

Bring your Bible and study guide to your small group or have them handy while working through this guide on your own.

5.

Begin the study following the first sermon the weekend of Week One of the series.

About the Study Guide Suggestions for Individual Study: 1.

As you begin each session, pray that God will speak to you through His Word.

2.

Each week deals with a vision theme and Scripture—read and reread these over several times to familiarize yourself with the text and theme.

3.

The Scripture verses included in this guide are meant to help you understand what God is teaching through His Word. The questions will assist in bringing a deeper understanding of the Scripture, as well as how to apply it to your life. Some questions require more action on your part, or give ideas for further reflection and prayer. You might want to journal your thoughts, questions and prayers. Writing can bring clarity and deeper understanding of how to respond to His Word. Pray and thank God for what you have learned and ask Him how to apply these new insights to your life.


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Suggestions for Small Group Study: 1.

Come to the study prepared. Follow the suggestions for individual study. You will find that careful preparation will greatly enrich your time spent in group discussion.

2.

Be willing to participate in the discussion. The leader of your group will not be lecturing. Instead he or she will be encouraging the members of the group to share their response to the various topics.

3.

Be sensitive to other members of the group. Listen attentively as they share. Each question assumes a variety of answers. Many of the questions do not have right answers, particularly questions that aim at inspiring or application. Instead, the questions push us to explore the Scripture more thoroughly. When possible, link what you say to the comments of others. Also, be affirming whenever you can. This will encourage some of the more hesitant members of the group to participate.

4.

Be careful not to dominate the discussion.

5.

Expect God to teach you through the Scripture being discussed and through the other members of the group. Pray that you will have an enjoyable and enriching time together, but also that as a result of the sharing you will find ways that you can take action individually and/or as a group.

6.

Remember that anything said in the group is considered confidential and should not be discussed outside the group unless specific permission is given to do so. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

At the end of each week’s study you will find a collection of resources and Scriptures to help you in your growth as a follower of Christ.


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Week One A Radically Engaged Church Ephesians 4:16 From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Opening Remarks—Scott Farmer, Senior Pastor A Uzbek church planter visited Danville last year at the invitation of Bern and Cheryl Thompson. Several years ago when CPC sent the Thompsons to teach Peacemaker seminars in Uzbekistan, the church planter opened their eyes. The church is growing in Uzbekistan. Lives are being transformed, the gospel is being shared, compassion is on the loose and generosity from one poor person to another astonishes outsiders. Uzbek church planters expect prison time, but it turns out prisons are great places for recruiting people to new hope for a Savior, and discipline new leaders for a growing church! I want my eyes opened to more of what he’s got. Not necessarily the prisons or the poverty, but the passion, contagious zeal, the transformed life stories, and the astonishing generosity and compassion. When your Session prayed for new vision, we couldn’t stop with “vision statements.” These statements became passionate prayers. Only with Christ at the center of our affection, attention, and allegiance, will we come close to experiencing anything like “radically expressing God’s compassion and generosity,” “passionately living as Christ’s disciples,” and “having a contagious zeal for people meeting Christ.”


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The San Ramon Valley is pretty comfortable for many of us . . . unless we get our eyes opened. I pray a holy discomfort among us, wanting more of God and the life transformation God has for us! Welcome to Radically Engaged Vision 2020. Let’s get started!

Warm it Up When you look at the five vision themes—Life Transforming, Gospel Sharing, Compassionate, Generous, Intergenerational, to which one are you most drawn? Which offers the greatest challenge? Why?

Talk it Over Read Ephesians 4: 1-16. 1.

Paul tells us in verse 1 to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” What does living a life worthy of your calling look like?

2.

Ephesians 4:16 provides the biblical anchor for CPC’s vision statement: “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” What is God’s part in building up Christ’s body, (or fulfilling God’s vision for His body)? What is our part?

3. If Vision 2020 is realized, what might “builds itself up in love” look like at CPC? In your own life?

Work it Out 1.

What is your part in the body of Christ? Who have you been called to be and what have you been called to do, at CPC and/or in the body of Christ?


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Pray it Through Let’s pray together CPC’s Radically Engaged Vision 2020 prayer: “Lord, by 2020 may CPC be a transformed, intergenerational community passionate about living as Christ’s disciples with a contagious zeal for people meeting Christ and radically expressing God’s compassion and generosity.” Amen!

Wrap it Up    

Let’s open our eyes to be Radically Engaged. Life Transformation is uncomfortable, but with God’s help we can grow and be “built up in love”. We each have a vital part in the body of Christ and are supported and joined together with other believers in Christ. Living a life worthy of our calling embraces our vision themes— to be life transforming, gospel sharing, compassionate, generous, and intergenerational.

A Radically Engaged Story by Patrick Jones A vision statement, by definition, is an intent for a specific group to look differently in the future than that group looks in the present. This can be translated to mean that a vision statement paints a picture of a journey on which that group is about to embark. CPC is now a community of Christ followers on a journey! The statement is not an end, but a means to engage our community to join in on a journey of faith and hope for a different sort of future.


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con’t. As an analogy, this summer my large Jones Family had a reunion. Some family members were fully engaged designing t-shirts, menus, and activities. Some others were still deciding if they even wanted to show up. The journey CPC has embarked on is the same. One person will look at the word "radical" and it will give them permission to shout "Amen!" and "Preach-it-Sister!" during the sermons on Sundays. Another will see the word "contagious" and want to run away for fear of catching something bad. Either way, our statement of a Radically Engaged Vision 2020 will make the members of CPC and all who come in contact with it think. They will think about CPC in particular and they will think about the radical nature of Christ as he proclaimed the gospel. And then they will try to tie the two together. For me, this statement gives me permission to "be the church." If the church is the bride of Christ, and all brides I know about are completely sold-out for their man, giddy with excitement, nervous about the possibilities, but full of hope for something new and wonderfully exciting, knowing full well that the wedding is an event, but the marriage is a lifetime, then that is what I want. I am going to make this time when the vision is being painted, the "wedding season" if you will, to be nothing short of intense excitement for a new day. And then somehow with Christ's help, take that excitement on the road and join in the journey that CPC has embarked on. 2020 is not the end nor the destination. For now, however, 2020 is a signpost beckoning us all to begin the journey as a community allowing those who are radically sold-out for Christ to express it while giving space and encouragement to those deciding if this is the journey for them.


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For Further Study

Stories of Radically Engaged:     

One body, many parts Ways to be radically engaged Holy living guidelines Practical advice for radical living Freed from demons

I Corinthians 12:12-31 Hebrews 13:1-3 Colossians 3:1-17 Romans 12:3-8 Mark 5: 18-20

Additional Resources: This study guide shares amazing stories of transformed lives from people radically engaged in serving others and sharing the gospel. You too can share your stories! Let us know how this study has inspired you. Email us at stories@cpcdanville.org. Visit the CPC website for other great resources for this study at www.cpcdanville.org.


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Week Two A Life Transforming Church Romans 11: 33-36, 12: 1-2 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. 1Therefore,

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Opening Remarks—Cathy Burkholder, Associate Pastor The gospel is the source of power to transform our lives from the inside out. It is not just the A-B-C’s of Christianity, but the A to Z, the sum total of all that the Christian life encompasses. As followers of Jesus Christ, one of our key responsibilities is to know the gospel, apply it to all of life and speak it to each other to help transform us into Christlikeness. Living transformed lives is our goal, and simply changing actions without changing our hearts doesn’t work. God desires something more from all of us! Our prayerful vision at CPC is that we would be passionate about the gospel, and apply it in our day to day lives to change us and help us live out God’s will for our lives.


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Warm It Up On a scale of 1-10, how willing are you to be transformed? ________________________________________________________ 1 5 10 Don’t mess Starting to Bring it on! with my life try a little bit

Talk It Over Read Romans 12:2 together: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” 1. 2. 3.

What do you think are some of the patterns of the world? Which ones are you most likely influenced to conform to? What is God’s part in our transformation? What does this verse tell us about how to transform our minds? How do you think this happens? Name the three characteristics of God’s will in this text. What kinds of struggles do you have in following God’s will? Is there anything you can think of in doing God’s will that does not seem good, acceptable or perfect? Why or why not?

Work It Out 1. 2.

What area of your life is hardest to surrender to God for transformation? What could you do differently to live out the gospel in your day to day life?


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Pray It Through Our Radically Engaged Vision for Life Transformation includes this prayer: “Lord, may the people of CPC be passionate about the gospel transforming our day to day lives.”

Wrap It Up Life Transformation takes place through:  Renewing our minds with the study of God’s word.  Understanding the gospel.  Living out God’s good, pleasing and perfect will everyday.  Changing from the inside out.

A Life Transformation Story by Marybeth McCullum Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —His good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom. 12:2 My mind works like the ticker at the bottom of a TV screen that constantly streams updates on the stock market. Unfortunately, much of what I’m thinking isn’t positive. Over the course of five minutes I can cycle through a variety of topics that cause me to fret: an issue with one of my kids, a friendship in a hard place, my body image, finances, the new neighbors I still haven’t made time to meet, my “to do” list and so on. The only thing that seems to stop my mind’s constant fretting is spending time with God each day.


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con’t. Through my time in the Word and writing prayers in my journal, God realigns my focus and turns my thoughts toward Him. When those struggles that clutter my mind are laid before Him, I come away with a new perspective. During these morning times with God my regular prayer is that He will renew my mind, just as Romans 12:2 describes. I ask God to pour out the Holy Spirit on me so that I am filled to overflowing. I pray for eyes to see where He is at work and calling me to join Him. I ask God to use me as a blessing to others. As I’ve prayed these things consistently, I’ve seen many obvious answers. God has also begun to re-order how I view and spend my time. He is teaching me to hold my plans loosely so I can give Him room to move. What does it look like to offer myself to God? Sometimes He prompts me to encourage someone who is struggling. Other days, I find my plans waylaid by a person who needs a compassionate ear. It may mean opening our home to one of our nephews in college who needs a break from the dorms. Sometimes it involves helping someone out with a financial need or blessing a family with handme-down toys and clothes. It might include watching a baby for a young mom who needs a break or driving an extra leg of a carpool for a harried friend. Other times He calls me simply to be still before Him. I ask God to transform and renew my mind so that I don’t conform to the world; He shows me His will and uses me to make a difference in the lives of others. The constant ticker in my head stops as my eyes shift from myself to God. The renewing of my mind is holy and pleasing to Him because I’m seeking His will instead of mine. And every morning I offer myself again, knowing transformation only occurs in me by God’s grace.


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For Further Study

Stories of Life Transformation:     

Saul’s conversion Jesus anointed by a sinful woman Zacchaeus, the tax collector A dead girl and sick woman Peter’s confession of Christ

Acts 9-19 Luke 7: 36-50 Luke 19: 1-10 Luke 8: 40-56 Luke 9: 18-27

Additional Resources: You Can Change, Tim Chester Unstuck, Arnie Cole and Michael Ross Gospel-Centered Life, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman


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Week Three A Gospel Sharing Church Matthew 28: 16-20 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Opening Remarks—Scott Farmer, Senior Pastor If we are Christ followers we are a commissioned people. At the end of Matthew’s gospel comes Jesus’ final command, His summary commission. If we have become Jesus’ disciples, He tells us to make disciples. Each generation of Christ followers could be the last! The gospel is in our hands and hearts and minds. We have been entrusted now with this commission “Go, make disciples of all the nations . . . ”. Our text today gives us the context, the content, the courage, and the confidence to share in Christ’s gospel sharing commission! Our prayerful vision at CPC is that God would transform us into a people with a contagious zeal to share the gospel so that people come to know Christ and become His disciples. We know God cares deeply about this direction. Indeed, it is at the core of Jesus’ Great Commission.


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Warm it Up 1.

Who shared the good news of Christ with you in such a way that you began exploring becoming a disciple of Jesus? What did they do and say that was useful for your journey?

Talk it Over Matthew 28:16-20 on page 11 1.

What would you say if someone asked you, “What is the gospel?” What does the Bible say the gospel is? ( John 1: 29-34, Romans 1: 1-6, Acts 2: 22-39)

2.

What is the difference between making a decision to become a Christian and becoming a disciple?

3.

How can we share the gospel in such a way that people don’t just stop at making this decision, but seek to grow and mature in their faith?

Work it Out 1.

When it comes to sharing the gospel and making disciples, what are your greatest strengths? Stumbling blocks?

2.

Who would you like to pray about sharing the gospel with this week?

3.

What steps can you take to begin living out the Great Commission with more intentionality and contagious zeal in your everyday life?


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Pray it Through Let’s pray together CPC’s Gospel Sharing prayer: “Lord, may we have a contagious zeal to share the gospel so that many come to know Christ.”

Wrap it Up   

We need to shift from quiet discipleship to contagious zeal to share the gospel both personally and as a church. God’s desire is for everyone, everywhere to know the gospel. Through you and me we can share the good news of redemption and restoration to the world. Now you know the context and content of the Great Commission. Go with confidence and courage to share Christ’s gospel so people everywhere will know Christ and become His disciples.

A Gospel Sharing Story by Celeste Ornellas My witness is usually to point the way through love and I believe this was the case with my niece, Andrea, when she was exploring faiths outside of Christianity. Last fall my 27 year old niece, Andrea, was dating a young man who had started an atheist club at his college. His passion in atheism was influencing Andrea’s convictions about faith. My brother supported Andrea’s freedom of choice. My sister-in-law, a fairly new Christian, was distraught.


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con’t. After dinner I invited Andrea to join me in another room so we could talk and I could ask her about this new man in her life. I asked my niece, “What is special about your boyfriend?” She responded that he is smart and how much fun they have together. She sensed my concern that he is an atheist adding, “He doesn’t push atheism on me. I want to be open-minded and learn more about atheism and other religions too. It seems arrogant for Christians to think they are the only ones who are right.” Fear often times paralyzes me like a cog in a wheel, especially when I’m in a situation where being bold about my faith and the love of Christ is needed. My calling as His faithful servant is to be obedient and embrace the opportunities He places before me. Such was the case in the conversation with Andrea that followed. I shared with Andrea how easy it is to be swayed by the popular beliefs of our times. It can get confusing, however, in my life I have strived to maintain convictions in Christ who was prophesied about thousands of years before His birth. I’m always in awe of His miracles and His love and acceptance of all people. The authenticity of scripture written at different times in history remains consistent and unified. My hope was that our discussion would resonate with Andrea as God gave me the boldness to share about my faith in Christ. My prayers were for Jesus to continue the conversation that we began. Andrea is no longer dating this young man. She has plans to get involved in a bible study and is exploring churches in San Francisco in hopes of finding a church home. This experience taught me that Gospel sharing through love builds relationships as we explore the truth together.


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For Further Study

Stories of Gospel Sharing:       

Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch Priscilla and Aquila and Apollos Peter and Cornelius Jesus’ first Disciples Jesus teaches Nicodemus Jesus sends out twelve Jesus sends out seventy-two

Additional Resources: God is the Gospel, John Piper Just Walk Across the Room, Bill Hybels Contagious Christian, Lee Strobel

Acts 8: 26-40 Acts 18: 23-26 Acts 10 John 1: 35-43 John 3: 1-21 Mark 6:7-13; 30-31 Luke 10: 1-12; 17-18


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Week Four A Generous Church 2 Corinthians 8: 1-9 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything —in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8I

am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Opening Remarks—Mark Wollan, Associate Pastor In life, we tend to connect generosity with wealth. Generous people (so we think) are those who have a lot – and therefore, can give a lot. As Christians, it’s important to have a different understanding of generosity. Generosity is a choice we make to use whatever gifts and resources God gives to us for His glory and not our own. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul points to the Macedonian churches as a model of generosity. Though they were going through a severe trial and poverty, they gave joyfully and generously. In this study we’ll look at important choices they made which enabled them to be generous in spite of their circumstances.


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Warm it Up 1.

Complete this sentence: I would be a more generous person if… What do you think it means to be generous?

Talk it Over 1.

Read 2 Corinthians 8: 1-9. How does Paul describe the condition of the Macedonian churches and how does he describe their giving? What does this tell you about the connection between wealth and generosity?

2.

In verse 5 Paul writes; “…they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” How does a “God first” commitment change our motivation and capacity for generosity? (Look at 2 Corinthians 8:9 for insight.)

3.

Paul affirms the Corinthian church in verse 7, but it appears that generosity may have been a neglected characteristic among the believers. What lesson do you think we can learn from a verse like this?

4.

What would it mean to you to excel in the grace of giving?

Work it Out 1.

Where have you let a hardship or challenge limit your generosity? What could you do this week to test the principle that generosity leads to joy…even if you are going through a difficult time?

2.

Jesus is the model of the rich becoming poor, so that others become rich. Consider a “bold move” that would help you follow the example of Jesus: What possession could you sell?

3.

What service could you offer? To whom could you be generous? - make a meal - send a card

- serve - donate resources


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Pray it Through Let’s pray together CPC’s Generous Church prayer: “Lord, may the people of CPC excel in the grace of giving.”

Wrap it Up     

Generosity is a choice we make to use gifts and resources for God’s glory and not our own. We can choose to be generous even during times of hardship and challenge. Generosity leads to joy. Jesus’ decision to go to the cross for us was an act of extreme generosity. As believers we are called to follow Jesus into a life of generosity.

A Generous Life Story by Steve Comes A number of years ago, CPC leadership surprised the congregation by handing out $10,000 in $100 bills to anyone willing to step out in faith and serve God by helping others. It was called The Kingdom Assignment. Kingdom Assignments are biblically grounded in Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents. They serve as a catalyst to inspire people to do extraordinary things for a purpose greater than themselves, to respond to a God-given passion.


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con’t. I accepted one of the $100, but had no idea what my Kingdom Assignment was going to be. Sixty days into the ninety day program I realized the greatest impact I could have with ‘my’ $100 was to raise $30,000 and bring the Kingdom Assignment program to three other churches. Prior to stepping out in faith on this ‘assignment’, I had never raised money for a cause before. For that matter, I had barely used my resources for anything other than my family’s needs. With God’s guidance, in a few short weeks, the program was fully funded and over the next few months, three bay area churches took on their own Kingdom Assignments. As a result, more than 300 people stepped out in faith, responded to a passion God had placed within them and impacted the lives of thousands. The stories were amazing. The impact was beyond measure. The experience of my first Kingdom Assignment and helping to organize others since has caused me to re-think the way I view generosity and my responsibility in God’s Kingdom. I better understand how each of us is uniquely gifted and how our gifts can be generously used. Generosity is the simple act of giving our time, talent, and financial resources, even when we don’t think we can. Generosity’s reward is hearing the sound of Jesus’ voice saying; “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We have all been given a passion. A need, cause, or issue that captures our heart—a purpose beyond our everyday life. We've also been given the resources necessary to meet that need. Through generosity, God can release in us a purpose that often gets buried under the routine of daily life. Generosity begins when we step out in faith to make a difference. What's on your heart? Where can you make a difference?


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For Further Study

Stories on Generosity:     

Robbing God Sharing possessions The widow’s offering Favoritism forbidden God said, “I give…”

Malachi 3: 8-10 Acts 2: 44-45; 4: 32-37 Mark 12: 41-44 James 2: 1-5 Genesis 1: 29-30

Additional Resources: Money, Possessions & Eternity, Randy Alcorn Generosity; Gordon MacDonald The Treasure Principle; Randy Alcorn The Genius of Generosity; Chip Ingram Visit CPC’s Good Works website at www.cpcgoodworks.org Generous Church Website – www.generouschurch.com

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Week Five An Intergenerational Church 1 Corinthians 12:24-27 ...but God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. Ephesians 2:22 And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

Opening Remarks—Bill Haslim, Associate Pastor Several American universities have made available online resources for international students coming to study in our country in order to help them understand our culture. Here is a quote from one of them: “Probably the most important thing to understand about Americans is their devotion to "individualism." Since childhood, Americans are encouraged to see themselves as individuals responsible for their own destiny, not as a member of any collective group. Many Americans believe that the ideal person is an autonomous, self-reliant individual. They generally do not prefer being dependent on other people or having others dependent on them.” We often value our individualism as a sign of personal strength. But what God really desires for us is a deep connection in community and fellowship. Contrast the words above with what we read about God’s intentions for his church in 1 Corinthians 12:24-27:


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But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. Becoming an intergenerational church begins simply with becoming a better connected church. There are many things that hinder us from connecting to the body as God intends, one of which may be the cultural attitudes we have inherited. Becoming the kind of community that Jesus modeled with his disciples will take intentional effort, but for the sake of what God wants to build among us, it is certainly worth it.

Warm it Up 1.

How did people from a different generation play a role in your story of meeting Christ?

2.

Who will you share the gospel with this week?

3.

What is one way that you have been blessed personally by your connections to other age groups in our church family?


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Talk it Over 1.

Looking back at 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, how do you see this picture that our different ‘parts should have equal concern for each other’ lived out in the body of Christ? At CPC? In your own life?

2.

How is it a benefit to the church for us to share in each other’s suffering and honor?

3.

Read Ephesians 2:18-22. What does it mean for us to be built together? And who is the one doing the building?

4.

How can a group of people function as a dwelling for God? We often think of Christ living in us individually, but how is it different to envision Him living in us collectively?

Work it Out 1.

What is one personal obstacle that makes it difficult for you to be better connected to the rest of the church community? Is there a step you can take to move past that obstacle?

2.

Now think about those connections you already have in the church. How might your part of the body (your circle of existing relationships) reach out to be an encouragement or support to another part of the body you don’t know so well? What might such a step cost you?

3.

Identify one simple action or change to your routine that will either bring you into better connection to supportive relationships within the church or bring you into new connection with someone from a different age group within the church.

4.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. Ephesians 2:19 What does it mean to be a member of God’s household? Think of how your household functions, and the rights and responsibilities you hold there.


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Pray it Through Our entire vision for CPC to become radically engaged is really a prayer. A part of what we are asking God to do is to form us into the kind of community he intends for his church. Join us in praying for God to help us reach across the natural barriers that prevent us from becoming a strong, connected family of faith: “Lord, may CPC be a community where every generation engages with one another.”

Wrap it Up  



No one comes to faith in Jesus Christ alone. God uses each of us to further His work in the lives of others. There is much in our culture and lifestyle that hinders the connectedness God intends to see in His body. He is calling us to push past those tendencies and divisions that segregate us from one another. Give yourself intentionally to others in the church beyond your familiar circles of relationships.


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An Intergenerational Story by Hannah MacDonald I’ve been blessed being the youngest in a large, active church family my entire life, yet, I have also been surrounded by people from different walks of life. This too has been a blessing as these relationships include mentors, friends, and role models. Their involvement in my life has broadened fellowship beyond those from my age group to spending quality time and building amazing relationships with retirees, missionaries, toddlers, and just some people whom I simply adore. One of the most influential ways I have met such a diverse group of people is working with Children's Ministries. I have been an intern and volunteer for Children's Ministries during the past few years working as a Sunday school teacher for two and five year olds. They have taught me far more than I have taught them, being role models of patience, generosity, kindness, and trust every Sunday. The fact that some of these kids can trust me, a stranger in a new environment to them, minutes after their entire world – mom or dad- left amazes me! How wonderful my life would be if I could trust God, my Father, the same way! I have also had the opportunity to work with amazing parents of toddlers and a few out-of this-world colleagues in Children's Ministries. Their willingness to talk, teach, and be exemplary role models to me, have transformed my relationship with God into a 24/7 thing instead periodically on Sundays and before a family meal. The diversity within my fellowship has opened my eyes to the realistic and practical world and to the many different and precious ways God shows his grace, mercy , and love towards us. I am more confident now to trust God in all circumstances, because he knows just a bit more than I ever will. I hope to keep increasing my circle of fellowship throughout my life, because it's been one of the best ways I've learned about God.


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For Further Study

Stories of mentorship/encouragement:   

Paul & Timothy Ruth & Naomi Elizabeth and Mary

2 Timothy 1: 1-14 Ruth 1 Luke 1: 39-45

Additional Resources:    

The Intergenerational Church: Understanding Congregations from WWII to www.com by Peter Menconi http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/intergenerational-ministry/ #resources Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build a Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Dr. Kara Powell & Dr. Chap Clark http://ministry-to-children.com/intergenerational-ministry/


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Week Six A Compassionate Church Matthew 25: 31-40 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. 34 “Then

the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then

the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The

King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


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Opening Remarks—Mark Wollan, Associate Pastor In his book, “The Hole in Our Gospel”, Rich Stearns tells the story of a pastor who took scissors and cut out all the verses in his bible that dealt with poverty, wealth, justice and oppression. That bible, he told his congregation – is the “American Bible”. Like it or not, it’s a powerful statement about how we often ignore those difficult topics. In Matthew 25: 31-40, Jesus tells a sobering story about people who completely missed opportunities to serve him, through the poor, oppressed and needy. CPC’s 2020 Vision challenges us to a life of compassion through serving those in need. In doing so, we are actually serving Jesus himself.

Warm it Up What is your typical response when confronted with a need that calls for a compassionate response?     

Make a donation to an organization that can help. Spring into action, personally. Offer a silent prayer. Try to get it “out of my mind” as soon as possible. Feel helpless to make a difference.


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Talk it Over 1.

The context of this story is a scene of final judgment. What does this say about the significance of our actions? How do you make sense of this in light of the truth that we are saved by faith, not works? (Judgment Day is a revealing of what’s really going on.)

2.

What question do both the sheep and the goats ask? What does the King’s response in verse 40 and 45 tell you about the connection between God and acts of compassion. How does this change our motivation to be compassionate?

3.

Look at Jesus’ description of those in need (Verses 34-36). Can some be found right here in our community? Our church? Which ones? How can you respond?

Work it Out 1.

Make a list of needs that you notice during the course of one day this week.

2.

Make a decision to respond in a “hands on” way to one need you become aware of.

Pray it Through CPC’s Vision 2020 includes this prayer: “Lord, may the CPC community joyfully serve the poor and needy in personal and practical ways.” Matthew 25: 31-40 shows us that the stakes are high!


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Wrap it Up Compassion:    

How we live is a reflection of what we believe about Jesus. Judgment Day will be one of both great and tragic surprises. We must open our eyes to the needs of others in our church, community and world. When we serve the ‘least’ we are serving Jesus himself.

A Compassion Story by Jesse Engle The story of sheep and goats from Matthew 25 contains one of the strongest warnings found anywhere in the Bible. The setting is Judgment Day. Christ has returned “blazing in beauty” and has taken “his place on His glorious throne.” Everyone’s being sorted into one of two groups: sheep go to His right, goats to His left. Sheep are welcomed into Heaven forever. Goats? Even in the modern language of The Message translation it’s unbelievably harsh. “Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell.” Wow. Serious business. I struggle with apocalyptic language but this message couldn’t be more clear. What’s interesting is that the one thing presented in this story as the single determinant whether we are sheep or goats is how we treat the poor—whether we’re compassionate or not. Rich examples are given to make it clear exactly who Jesus is talking about: the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the cold, the sick, the prisoners. The people that most of us find unlovable at best, detestable at worst.


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con’t. Sounds a lot like your neighbors, doesn’t it? Probably not. For those of us living in the bubble surrounding Danville, we’ve pretty effectively insulated ourselves from the poor. So we need to proactively seek them out. We need to put ourselves in the path of people and circumstances that break the heart of God so we position ourselves for opportunities to meet God and demonstrate that we’re His sheep. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to encounter some of the poorest people on the planet on a regular basis. My brother, John Engle, has lived in Haiti for 20 years working to improve the education system there. He and his family provide me with easy access to the kind of people Jesus is talking about in Matthew. I’ve found that developing personal relationships with poor people and working alongside them to improve their lives is a critical part of my spiritual health. It allows me to practice compassion and strengthen my faith. It also makes me a more joyful person. If it were necessary to have an additional argument for compassion—besides the role it plays in our eternal condition—there actually is one. Not only is compassion required of us, it’s good for us. Being compassionate means turning your attention away from yourself and toward others. When we do this regularly, we become happier. We don’t need to go to Haiti to find poor people. Poor doesn’t only refer to people who are materially poor, but those who are spiritually poor as well. People that need our compassion are all around us. They just don’t stand out as much in a place like Danville. So we need to try harder to find them and embrace them when we do. I’m not even close to being the most compassionate guy I know. Sometimes I worry that living in Danville doesn’t give me enough opportunity to develop compassion in my character.


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con’t. If I lived somewhere with a lower standard of living, I’d encounter more opportunities to be compassionate. Just because I’ve made living choices that have the effect of insulating me from the poor doesn’t excuse me from being compassionate toward them and seeking opportunities to serve them. I don’t want to be a surprised goat on Judgment Day. Neither do you. Find people that need your compassion and meet a need today!

For Further Study

Stories of Compassion:  Compassion miracles from Elisah  God’s compassion for His people  Compassionate friends  Compassion vs. judgment

2 Kings 4 Lamentations 3: 21-32 Mark 2: 1-5 John 8: 1-11

Additional Resources:  The Hole in Our Gospel; Richard Stearns  When Helping Hurts; Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert  Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle; Kent Annan


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For Facilitators of Small Groups 1.

As you go through the content for the week, make a note of the questions you think would generate good discussion in your group time.

2.

Ask group members which questions impacted them and have them share if they are willing.

3.

Take time to give thanks to God for His gift of salvation in Jesus.

4.

Keep us posted on the prayers of your group—when you’re meeting, who’s participating, etc. Contact Terry Campbell or Linda Roberts for your facilitator log-in and password so your group information can be updated regularly online.

The Pastoral Staff will host a Sunday Night Experience starting September 9th through October 14th in the CPC Multi-Purpose Room from 6:30—8:00 pm. Everyone is welcome! Come as a Small Group or come as an individual and join a group for this study. For more information or to register visit www.cpcdanville.org or contact Terry Campbell at 837-5525 ext. 319 or at terry@cpcdanville.org


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How to Share Your Story and Hear About Others Let’s get radically engaged as a church community by sharing how God is at work in each of our lives! As you work through the Radically Engaged Vision 2020 Study Guide, contribute a daily dose of inspiration! Share your story on CPC’s Facebook page—www.facebook.com/cpcdanville.org.

Want to stay engaged with what’s going on at CPC and our Radically Engaged Vision 2020?

We are grateful for all those who have contributed their stories to this study guide: - Patrick Jones - MaryBeth McCullum - Celeste Ornellas - Steve Comes - Hannah MacDonald - Jesse Engle


CPC Small Group Contact Information: Cathy Burkholder, Pastor, Life Transformation cathy@cpcdanville.org 925.837.5525 ext. 201 Lee Camp, Elder of Small Groups lcamp@pacbell.net 925.837.0424 Terry Campbell, Director of Small Groups terry@cpcdanville.org 925.837.5525 ext. 319 Linda Roberts, Admin Support for Small Groups linda@cpcdanville.org 925.837.5525 ext. 225

Community Presbyterian Church 222 W. El Pintado Road Danville, CA 94526 925.837.5525 www.cpcdanville.org



Radically Engaged Study Guide