HomeGroup signups will begin on May 12 in the Fellowship Center. They will begin meeting the week of June 19 and continue through the week of August 21.
Summer HomeGroups are a great way to stay connected throughout the summer and enjoy a Bible study and prayer time with people of all ages. These groups are designed to increase fellowship and outreach in our area neighborhoods, and have proven to be a real blessing to those attending.
HomeGroups are a great place for people to get involved within the Calvary family beyond Sunday morning worship. With many small groups meeting in homes throughout Kalamazoo and surrounding areas on weekday evenings, there is sure to be one close to you. Signups will begin in May in the Fellowship Center.
This summer we are offering our HomeGroup leaders six study options. They include a variety of topics such as a look at what could be called “respectable sins” and how we often become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our own need to deal with our own more subtle sins; discovering how humility can become a part of our everyday lives; a study on how to engage in conversations that honor God, whether with friendly or hostile individuals and how to speak the truth in love; a study that looks at true community living and what God intended real “fellowship” to look like; There are also two Bible studies: one that focuses on the Book of James; and finally a new twist this year as we have a discussion based video series from RightNow Media on Psalm 119. Below, you will find a more detailed description of each.
Book Selections for 2019 HomeGroups
TRUE COMMUNITY - WHAT GOD INTENDED FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST
By Jerry Bridges
Many churches invest in programs and try all sorts of things to replace what the early church had naturally, born out of their life with Christ, and what we reap is a group of strangers that come together and give each other polite greetings, talk about sports and the weather, but little else. While trying to address this with small groups and other things, they often still fall short. That is because the essential ingredient, koinonia, is just not there. This book encourages believers to be involved in other believers' lives at a deeper level and experience what God intended The Church, His “True Community” to be.
THE BOOK OF JAMES
From the “Engage Bible Studies” series
The practical book of James says what we believe is demonstrated by how we live. In this Bible study, you will engage with the challenging concept that knowing about the God of the Bible is not the same as knowing the God of the Bible. Knowing God results in a changed life – a life with real wisdom. Engage Bible Studies connect you with the enduring truth of God’s Word. Come out of the clutter and clanging of our culture and discover the peace of meeting the God of the Bible in the pages of His Word. Engage Bible Studies take you verse by verse into the richness of the Scriptures in ways that impact your heart and illumine your mind. You won’t find dry doctrinal debates. You will find simple tools that cultivate your understanding and engage your heart. Tools for transformation. You also will learn how to apply God’s Word in your everyday life.
Online video series from RightNow Media with Matt Chandler
This discussion-based video series takes a look at the longest Psalm, in fact, the longest chapter in the Bible. Charles Spurgeon liked this Psalm so much, he was quoted as saying, “We might do well to commit it to memory.” In almost every verse, the Word of God is mentioned and affirms not only the character of the Scriptures, but that God’s Word reflects the very character of God Himself. Because of it’s length, it is easy to rush through it and miss the gold that is waiting to be mined from it’s verses. It focuses on the power of God’s Word in the life of a believer and then moves beyond knowledge to practical real-life application. Pastor Matt Chandler begins each week with a short video clip providing an overview of the weeks passage.
CHRISTLIKE DIALOGUE: ENGAGING IN CONVERSATIONS THAT HONOR GOD
By Jeff Rosenau
As a Christian, you do represent Jesus through the words you speak. You either represent Him well, or you represent Him poorly. When you gossip about or quarrel with people created in the image of God, you represent Jesus poorly and remain part of the problem with our society. But when you intentionally engage people with differing views in Christlike dialogue, you represent Jesus well and become part of the solution to the brokenness in our world.
This study defines Christlike dialogue as honest conversation guided by the Holy Spirit that includes four characteristics: other-minded listening, seeking and speaking the truth in love, focusing on Christ’s interests, and trusting God with the outcome. Each characteristic is addressed in the book by studying key Scripture and through self-assessment, group discussion, and practical application challenges. All study materials and discussion questions, including a personal journal to record progress, are provided in this book.
As you complete the study, you will become more confident in sharing Christ; approaching conflict as an opportunity instead of with anxiety or by avoiding it; understanding others’ needs; gaining wisdom to avoid harsh truth and false grace; and experience the joy of restored relationships as you replace argumentative monologues, gossip, quarreling, and foolish debates with conversations that honor God.
THE BLESSING OF HUMILITY: HUMILITY IN ACTION
By Jerry Bridges
The character trait of humility is the second-most frequently taught trait in the New Testament, second only to love. In this book, Jerry Bridges writes “Humility is not an optional add-on for the super-spiritual; it is for all believers to practice in our daily lives…A life of humility is not an option for a believer to choose or reject. It is a command of God.” To teach the beauty and value of humility as well as to start on down the path toward humility he turns to the Beatitudes saying, “these expressions of Christian character are a description of humility in action.” Those who study this book will inevitably be convinced of the beauty of humility, convicted of their lack of it, and encouraged that God loves to empower his people reflect this virtue in their daily lives.
By Jerry Bridges
Have Christians become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins? In this book, Bridges once again addresses his trademark theme of holiness along with a number of specific “acceptable” sins that we tend to tolerate in ourselves. One reviewer of the book said this about it: “As a recovering Pharisee, this book has shown me much more of the blackness of my heart, and God has used it to bring me to repentance and to depend more deeply on him in all things. I highly recommend this book for those who are truly looking to serve God and not simply giving lip service to Him.”