Guests: and

Key Passages:

Rom. 12:4-8 — God gives different gifts to different people.
Gal. 3:28 — Jew/Greek, slave/free, male/female are all one.
2 Cor. 13:11 — Agree with one another and live in peace.
Eph. 4:1-3 — Humility, gentleness, patience bring unity.
1 Cor. 1, 3 — Different preachers can work together.
Rom. 15:1-6 — The strong are to help the weak.
John 17 — Unity of Father/Son is model for us.
Phil. 2:1-5 — Look first to the interests of others.

Discussion Questions:

Each of the areas below can be divisive in the church. Can clear guidelines be established in each area?

1. Doctrine. Are there certain doctrines of the church on which all must agree? Can we agree on the essence of a doctrine while viewing certain aspects differently?
2. Worship. To what extent is there a “right” way to worship? Should church worship styles in public settings be eclectic so as to include as many people as possible, or should be they pure types?
3. Outreach/Evangelism. Are there “right” or “standard” methods which all churches and all individuals should participate? Or could a diversity of approaches and involvement prove a blessing to the church?
4. Devotional patterns and habits. Should all Christians be expected to practice the disciplines of the Christian life in the same way? Or could a form of devotional practice that some find helpful (e.g. group prayer) actually be disturbing for others?
5. Literacy. Should we expect all church members to be able and willing to “read” to keep their faith alive? What about those who cannot read or those who can but don’t enjoy it?
6. Formal participation. Should we expect the same degree of regularity and participation from all? Or are some more inclined to find God in small settings, others in large; some in private, others in public; some in nature, others among people?
7. Christian characteristics. For Paul, generosity, diligence, and cheerfulness (Rom. 12:4-8) were gifts that God did not distribute equally in the church. Should we lower the profile of “standard” Christian behavior to allow some to be more generous (for example) than others?

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