Two Pillars

A series on the Body of Christ and the Gifts of the Spirit.

Session 1 - The Priesthood of All Believers (Part 1)

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Before You Discuss

  • Q: Should we try and make it through every question?

    • A: Please don't! These questions are simply meant to evoke thought and response. So lean forward, take a turn, dig through Scriptures together, ask your own questions and enjoy the shared experience.

  • Q: What if our group isn’t talkative? What if there’s dead space?

    • A: It’s okay! Consider that not everyone is an extrovert—ready to blurt out their thoughts. Authenticity requires space and time to process. In that vein, silence is golden!

Discussion CONTENT

Open with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our heart to understand and respond.

  1. Does anyone in the group have any “inspired” thoughts after watching the teaching video?

  2. Have two different people in your group read 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 back-to-back, then let it sink in for a moment. 

    • What is the connection here between “relationship” and “responsibility?” 

    • What responsibility have we been entrusted with? What does it mean? Why is it important?

  3. Have a person in your group open to Hebrews 4:14-16, another to Hebrews 10:19-25, and another to 1 Peter 2:5-9. Read each passage, one after the other in that order....

    • What stands out to you from these passages?

    • Can you explain what the “priesthood of all believers” means?

    • Why does a fully-functioning body of Christ matter? And how could our clergy-laity distinctions (those who “do ministry” vs those to whom ministry is done) stand in the way of that happening?

  4. Is God saying anything to us today? What will we do about it?

Glossary

Ministers - Those who carry out Christ's message of reconciliation through word and deed.

Clergy vs Laity - An unbiblical distinction between two spiritual casts—those who "do ministry" and those to whom ministry is done.

Priesthood of All Believers - We all have (a) equal access to God and (b) a shared calling to be ministers.

Session 2 - The Priesthood of All Believers (Part 2)

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DISCUSSION CONTENT

  1. Read Jesus' teachings on leadership in both Luke 22:24-27 and Matthew 23:8-12.

    • What were the systems of leadership He called out in both of these passages? Can you describe them?

    • How do they stand in contrast, even opposition, to the way Jesus told His disciples to lead?

    • How might the systems of leadership we embrace help or hinder us from being the Church Jesus called us to be?

  2. Read both Exodus 20:19 and 1 Samuel 8:10-19.

    • In Exodus, the people told Moses, "You speak to God for us." In 1 Samuel, the people wanted to transition from a Theocracy to a Monarchy. What are your thoughts on humanity's tendency to crave a mediator between themselves and God? 

    • What contemporary church parallels can you think of as an example of the above? How might this hinder us from being the ministers and "priests" that all Christ Followers are called to be? 

  3. Can you describe Functional Leadership? How does it align with Jesus' teachings and the New Testament Church's example? Conversely, how does it stand in stark contrast to the world's systems?

  4. How could the application of a "Functional Leadership" mindset help us in becoming a church where every person is a minister?

Glossary

Hierarchical Leadership - A chain-of-command social structure, rooted in the idea that power and authority flow from the top down.

Benefactor - Someone who exerts control over you under the covering of knowing what's best for you.

Servant - A person who lays down their life, sacrificing privilege and entitlement to exhibit self-giving love. 

Positional Leadership - A status-driven political system that elevates certain "casts" to positions of power.

Functional Leadership - An approach to leadership wherein character, not credentials, is most important. Relationships are horizontal, not hierarchical, and exemplary action coupled with unique gifting determines who leads in specific areas.

Session 3 - The Fullness of Christ

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DISCUSSION CONTENT

  1. How has what you just heard expanded your thinking on the purpose of the 5-fold functions for the Body of Christ? (Read Ephesians 4:1-16 to help you along here.)

  2. Reflect on the definition of “Katartizo,” then explain the importance of each of the 5 functions working together. What would be the effect within the Body? How would it empower us to carry out the “ministry of reconciliation?"

  3. Review the descriptions of each of the 5-fold gifts in the Glossary below then answer...

    • Can you identify people in your own life who exhibit characteristics of one of these 5-fold functions? What does the manifestation of their gifting look like? (Consider strengths, weaknesses, and the need for complimentary connection to others with varying gifts.)

    • Do any of these 5-fold functions resonate with you personally? How might your gifting be used as a means of serving other members of the Body?

    • Imagine together, what could an active 5-fold ministry expression look like in our local/relational context?

GLOSSARY

5-Fold - Five expressions, each a facet of who Jesus is, that were gifted to “each one of us" upon the ascension. These five expressions are apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher.

Katartizo - The original Greek word in Ephesians 4, translated in English to “Equip,” that means perfecting, mending, putting in order, strengthening, completing, fulfilling, and healing.

Apostle - Pioneers that help us move the Jesus movement forward. Their ministry is to extend and take new ground. They're willing to take risks and are able to adapt and innovate. They grasp the DNA of the movement and are able to replicate that into others whom they then send out.

Prophet - They’re especially attuned to Holy Spirit’s leading and are sensitive to His correction. Thus, they are able to help the community stay aligned with God. Prophets are willing to challenge the dominant assumptions inherited from the prevalent culture. They stand against injustice and often set a high moral standard within the Body, calling us back to covenant connection and holiness.

Evangelist - They embrace and include from the outside in, inviting others into the community. Their heart is to make the circle bigger by recruiting to the cause. They’re enthusiastic promoters and storytellers that infectiously communicate the gospel, willing to call for people to respond to the message.

Shepherd - Caring deeply for the community, they nurture, support and promote unity. They’re the glue that holds a diverse community together through compassionate care and encouragement. They seek to reconcile and reunite parts that naturally tend to divide.

Teacher - Foundational to the Body, Teachers keep us biblically grounded. They understand the written word and know how to explain it. They’re wise guides and enjoy resourcing the rest of the Body. They also have a tendency toward administration and are able to create systems and traditions for the purpose of leaving a legacy for generations to come.

Session 4 - Finding Fivefold

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DISCUSSION CONTENT

  1. How could a redeemed, transformed, and united 5-fold make the Body of Christ effective in the Ministry of Christ—the ministry of reconciliation?

  2. How have you witnessed "missing pieces" in the Body contribute to a lack of wholeness or effectiveness? How did this inhibit the church’s ability to carry out the ministry of Christ in their context? 

  3. To the best of your ability, describe how each of the 5 expressions compliments the strengths and weaknesses of one of the others.

  4. Read Ephesians 4:12-16 together. Each verse lists reasons why the ascension gifts were given. What are they and what do you think they'd look like in the “real world?"

  5. Discuss the concept of the “intelligence of Jesus” (the 5-fold archetypes) being found in creation. How can you see each one of them on display in various callings and vocations?

  6. Now that you've processed all the above, go back to Question #1 and revisit your answers together. Anything you'd like to add?

GLOSSARY

Scenius - The intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. The communal form of the concept of genius.

Common Grace - An orthodox theological concept referring to the grace of God that is common to all humankind and that his “fingerprints” can be found all over His creation.

5-Fold Archetypes - The idea that we can find “traces” of Jesus’ intelligence in all of humanity, naturally exhibited through various personalities, callings, and vocations.