A Labor of Love
The character of the Church must be patterned after the life and teaching of Christ and the character of any given church is shaped by conduct of her people. In these verses Paul provides instruction as to how God’s people should relate to one another with a specific emphasis on what are often some of the most challenging: Our relationships with those in authority and our relationships with those who require us to dig a little deeper to love well. Through Paul's instruction we will see that each one of us has an opportunity to contribute significantly to the Christlike character of the church.
Community Group Questions:
- Why is admonition (i.e. warning against sinful attitudes or behaviors and their consequences) an indispensable part of the ministry within the local church?
- What role does formal teaching serve in the effective leadership of a local church?
- Can you think of a time when you received loving correction from a brother or sister in the Christ? What spiritual fruit did that lead to?
- Have you ever received encouragement from a brother or sister in Christ when you were feeling discouraged or were struggling in your faith? What spiritual fruit did that lead to?
- In what ways have these verses challenged the way you relate to others in the church?
- Take turns sharing with the group how our study of these verses prompts you to pray. Then, pray for each other to that end.