The Place of Community

Editor’s Note: This daily Next Step resource is based on a four-part sermon series,
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go … with Jesus!”
from Trinity Lutheran in Clinton Township, Michigan.

Download the printable PDF for Week 4.

Prayer for the Week
Jesus, sometimes it’s hard to ask for community.

I like to be independent. I don’t want to be a burden. And mostly, I really like to get my own way.

Open my eyes and my heart to the way You work through the people in my life. Give me ears to hear Your Word on their lips. And give me a humble heart to value others more highly than myself.

Send your Spirit to give me the gift of community. Amen.

Table Talk

Read Acts 2:42-47
Talk about one thing you remember from the sermon on Sunday. Discuss together, check your sermon notes, or phone a friend.

For further discussion: read the article Patterns of Belonging. God created us to be social beings. You need a variety of community experiences in your life. And your faith needs relationships that help you follow Jesus.

How are you doing when it comes to belonging? How does prayerfully considering your patterns of belonging help you see what Jesus is up to in your life? Jesus meets you in relationships. Discuss.

Pray the Prayer for the Week.

Faith Experiment

Read Luke 24:11-35
By yourself or with a friend track the relationships in Luke 24:11–34.

Begin at the top of a sheet of paper and start making a circle for each individual character or group. Draw lines between the circles and describe the relationship between characters or their common activity.

As the story progresses, and more circles for characters and more lines for relationships. Notice where Jesus shows up.

Table Talk

Describe the relationships and activities you discovered in the text.

  • What patterns do you see?
  • Where does Jesus show up in the story?
  • Talk about the importance of relationships in your faith walk.
  • What do your “circles and lines” look like this week?

Table Talk

Read Romans 12:3-8
Think about someone you really like to be around. How do they interact with others? How do they express their opinions? How do they act when someone else thinks differently?

Now think about someone you would rather not spend time around. (Don’t name any names!) How do they interact with others, express opinions, or deal with people who think differently?

What are the starkest differences in your experience of those two people?

Go back to Romans 12:3–8. Do you see any connections? What do you learn about yourself?

Pray the Prayer for the Week.

Table Talk

Read Colossians 3:12-17
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, says:

“Without Christ we also would not know our brother, nor could we come to him. The way is blocked by our own ego.”

And, later in the same book, he says:

“It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated.”

With a trusted friend, review some of your own relational interactions this week. When has your anger or frustration or tension been a direct result of you wanting to get your own way at the expense of another? When did you “bear with” someone in a loving way?

Talk to Jesus about both experiences.

Faith Experiment

Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
You’ll need at least three family members or friends to run this experiment; five would be better… (or you can watch this Faith Experiment played out here).

First, run a relay race with your group. It doesn’t matter what you use for a baton or how long the course is. Record your best time just for fun.

Then use a length of rope or cable (an extension cord will work in a pinch) to mimic going on a mountain climbing adventure. Make sure everyone is connected to the rope as you move forward.

Discuss the different dynamics involved. Which is a more faithful representation of following Jesus in community? Why?

Pray the Prayer for the Week.

Table Talk

Read Acts 2:42-47 (again)
Go back over your Table Talk sheets from the last four weeks. (You can find all of them at What was most meaningful to you? What would you like to go back and revisit?

How has Covid-19 shaped your experience of this sermon series? What have you struggled with? What has given you hope?

If you had one take-away from June of 2020, what would it be? What next step is Jesus shaping in you? Who’s on your rope as you take a next step?

Pray the Prayer of the Week.

This discipleship resource is produced by Next Step Press in collaboration
with Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Clinton Township, Michigan.

© 2020, Next Step Press: We help you take a next step.

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