Don’t Be Ashamed of the Gospel
Blake, a young church member is an excellent student. That’s good, but once in a while, his grades cause problems. He usually makes better grades than his two older sisters.
Report card days are interesting at their house. Usually, the girls try to get home early when they know grades are due, thinking they can hide their report cards. Recently, Blake beat them home and hid his own report card.
Days later, Mom threatened to call for another copy of the report if he didn’t come up with it. He finally retrieved it from under his bed and it showed all A’s with favorable comments from teachers.
When asked about his behavior, Blake confessed that the girls made such a fuss about his grades that he had become ashamed of them.
Many believers are a lot like Blake when it comes to faith and the power for living that it provides.
- What examples from your life, or that of your congregation, can you remember of believers’ being “ashamed of the gospel?” What were the results of Christians’ failure to claim their faith as a resource for living?
- How can church members reclaim the servant mindset of which Paul writes in Romans 1:1-17?
- Paul writes of being a “debtor to the wise and to the foolish” in verse 14 of the same text. Think about examples of times in which you have grown in faith as a result of wise teachers. Think about examples of times when fun, even silly, events have been valuable to your growth in faith.
- Are there people for whom you pray more often than others? What about your relationship causes your concern? How do you think your prayers help them? How do they help you? What effect do prayers have?
How Do I Act?
- The faith of your congregation may not be “proclaimed throughout the world” as Paul said. But what about in your community? List three things that you could do to promote awareness of your community ministry.
- What opportunities exist in your congregation for mutual encouragement? Suggest new programs or effective ways to use existing ones to help members encourage one another to grow in faith.
- Other than worship, are there opportunities for your congregation to pray together? Is there openness to such an opportunity? Develop a plan to start a group to meet regularly to pray for the people, ministry, and leadership of your church. You may want to start more than one group according to times most suitable for the most people.
- Young and old alike need the stimulation that comes from creative recreation. Schedule a fun time for the people of your church.