Tay Leng Seng
This week we continue to examine the radical shift in the early church to reach out to the Gentiles, looking at developments in Antioch in Acts 11:19-30. What is refreshing to see in this passage is the church’s steadfast adherence to God’s mission, despite significant changes in their internal and external situations. This was not an unthinking stubbornness, but a sensitivity to God’s unfolding plan and a willingness to adapt in accordance to what He was revealing to them. With changing work, home, church, and community lives in light of the pandemic, how do we act similarly? What might it mean for us to be a steadfast church in the midst of fluid circumstances?
a. Recall the changes that the church was facing internally and externally during this time.
b. From Acts 8-11, we learnt that church leaders, such as Peter and Philip, were convinced by supernatural methods that the Gentiles were to hear of the good news of Jesus Christ. From verse 20, who else had reached the same conclusion?
i. What might this tell us about how God unfolds His plans for the church?
ii. How might this encourage us today? What might this mean for us as we seek to understand the changes we experience around us?
a. The church in Jerusalem never planned to set up a plant in Antioch. How did Barnabas react when he became aware of what was happening there?
i. What might Barnabas’s heart have looked like, for him to have reacted in such a manner?
ii. How do we develop such a heart for ourselves?
b. Are we to say yes to all unexpected developments? How do we discern the work that God is doing around us, especially that which runs against our own plans?
a. Pay attention to Agabus’s prophecy of a famine. What was the Antioch church’s response to it?
i. What preconditions must there have been in order for the Antioch church to react in this way?
ii. Are these preconditions in place in our church today? What can we do to ensure that they are in place, or that they are strengthened?
a. How would you assess yourself in these three areas? How would you assess your Life Group/community? How would you rate FGA in accomplishing these facets of our mission?
b. What can you do differently to remain focused on our unchanging mission?
WHAT WILL YOU DO
Pastor Rhordan challenged us with homework this week. We are to think of three names:
If you are comfortable, share these within your Life Group.
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” – 2 Timothy 4:2