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{September 9, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

September 9 – 15 , 2018

 

Growing Up: Shepherd

By Andrea Ennis

Did you ever notice that every comic book superhero has an origin story of how they came to be? I feel like each role of the body of Christ is kind of like a superhero – equipped with its own unique and amazing powers along with an incredible super suit – the armor of God! I’d like to share my origin story of becoming a shepherd.

As a child I didn’t know I was a shepherd. But my heart did. I have always felt a deep need to care for and about others. When I would think about what I wanted to be when I grew up, most of the jobs were always nurturing roles. Nurse, school counselor, nanny and social worker. I have always had traits rooted in feelings of concern, compassion and empathy along with having a strong desire for healing, harmony and unity. I want everyone to feel connected and validated.

So this all sounds great, right? Well not entirely. These same characteristics also got me into some messes because I had not recognized that there is a need to practice shepherding in a healthy way. Oh man, I can relate to Barnabas in Galatians 3:13. I allowed my loyalty to those closest to me to hold me back because I was scared to leave them even when I knew I could not help them.  I compromised myself and those around me. Dan talked today about the need for shepherds to go backwards to be in a protective position and ensure no one is left behind. But when I went backwards I sometimes neglected to know when it was time to charge forward. I took risks in relationships that became very difficult to recover from, and ultimately my efforts were fruitless. In fact, they were often down-right disastrous. While it was not intentional, I was definitely not using my powers for good. 

Through the grace of God I began to grow and step into my shepherding role by embracing its true intention. I started to understand the value in nurturing myself in order to continue to nurture others. I could see a greater purpose and felt more confident in walking alongside others without losing myself. At one point I actually started to feel restless and anxious because I was waiting for this big life-changing opportunity to really break out into this mega-shepherd experience, but it wasn’t happening. I could hear God telling me to just wait, be still. So I stopped looking for a way to move into my passions and instead found ways to bring my passions into where I was. 

Through daily random interactions, existing friendships, church and even work I have found a means to do something with this aching need to connect with others in their needs. I’m challenged daily to stay inside healthy boundaries by knowing when to say “no”, walking forward alone, and withdrawing and surrendering all care to God. With this balance I can clearly see my function within the body and it is more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. 

{sunday 9.9.18}

Read Philippians 2:1-4, Ephesians 6:10-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What prominent traits, characteristics or experiences from your childhood may be tied to your role in the Body?  What steps can you take to fully embrace your role as a shepherd or any of the other roles?  What are some behaviors that you need to let go of or develop to strengthen this role?

CLICK HERE to learn more about all of the roles and choose an opportunity to explore them on our Growing Up page.

CLICK HERE to take the 10-15 minute five fold gift assessment.

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

To dive deeper into Luke 24, CLICK HERE or on the image below and check out this great video from Seth Davidson.

 

{monday 9.10.18}

Read Luke 23:13-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Pilate was being pressured by the crowd to avoid conflict between the people and ultimately he cared about avoiding conflict with his boss (Caesar). Have you ever caved under pressure? How did you feel afterward? How can you avoid this mistake in the future?

{tuesday 9.11.18}

Read Luke 23:32-43

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Which person do you most relate to in this part of the story? The guards, the men on the crosses next to Jesus, etc…? How and why do you relate the them?

{wednesday 9.12.18}

Read Luke 23:44-56

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The centurion saw Jesus crucified, witnessed his death . . . and then praised God. At first the centurion was just a man putting Jesus to death, but then had a change of heart. Have you ever experienced a change of heart about Jesus? What did that look like? What prompted your change of heart?

{thursday 9.13.18}

Read Luke 24:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus foretold his death and resurrection, yet the people closest to him were confused. This is a common thing among those who follow Jesus. We think we know Jesus, yet he continues to surprise us. What was the last thing Jesus surprised you with? Are you open to being surprised by Jesus?

{friday 9.14.18}

Read Luke 24:13-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus tells the men they are slow in their hearts to see what the prophets told them. What does Jesus mean by this? What in your heart slows your understanding of Jesus? How can you be more open to see what God is doing?

{saturday 9.15.18}

Read Luke 24:28-35

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After his death and resurrection Jesus breaks bread and gives thanks to God. These are things he did before his death, and he held to them after. Where in your everyday life might Jesus be, but you haven’t seen him yet?

 

{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2018 Heartland Community Church 12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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