Week 1: Active Partners

Philemon 1-7

GATHERING QUESTION

Share what first drew you to Schweitzer.

GATHERING PRAYER

  • What stood out to you in the sermon? What insights did you gain? What questions did it raise?
  • Why is it sometime challenging to do church together?

Philemon 6
I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.

The Greek word translated here as “partnership” is “koinonia.” In the Bible, it is often translated as “fellowship.” What has the word fellowship meant to you over the years?

In ancient Greek, the word koinonia traditionally described a business relationship and meant “being bound together for a purpose.” In other words, koinonia is about commitment. How does this shift our understanding of koinonia?

  • How does our new life in Christ help create koinonia in the church?
  • What does it mean to you for our church to be Christ-centered? What do you see as some of the key traits of a Christ-centered church?
  • Does it surprise you that church membership is not about benefits? Why or why not?

When people join Schweitzer, they are asked: Will you support Schweitzer Church through your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness?

  • Which of these commitments are most comfortable for you?
  • Which of these commitments are most challenging for you?
  • How is it different to view church membership as a matter of commitment and responsibility, rather than a source of benefits?
  • How are the commitments of membership an expression of koinonia?
  • How might God be calling you to use your gifts, resources and time to strengthen the church and its ministries?

CLOSING PRAYER
Give thanks for our church and renew your commitment to support the church through your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness. Pray for our church – our people, our leaders and our ministries.