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Group Building for Faith Formation and the Acts Church Conversation with Denver Presbytery Leaders Highlands Conference and Retreat Center Rodger Nishioka,

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  • Group Building for Faith Formation and the Acts Church Conversation with Denver Presbytery LeadersHighlands Conference and Retreat Center

    Rodger Nishioka, Ph.D.Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian EducationColumbia Theological SeminaryDecatur, GA

  • Rev. Dr. Steve Hayner, Ninth President of Columbia Theological Seminary

  • Take one M&M from your pack and share with your group the following...Blue - An awe-inspiring place you have visited.Green - Something that annoys you and why.Red - A leadership gift you possess.Yellow - A significant moment on your faith journey.Brown - Something you think Google does not know about you.Orange - Something you do for fun or sing a favorite song.

  • What is a group?Two or more individuals who:interact with one another interdependently to pursue common goals,share a common understanding and pattern of group norms for behavior and interaction, andhave spent enough time together so as to be invested in one anothers growth and well being.

  • GoalsNormsHistory

  • Group or aggregate?

  • Group LifeForming stage.Norming stage.Performing stage.Storming stage.Higher Performing stage.Adjourning stage. Bruce W. Tuckman. Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovic, 1985.

  • Why do we do group building?

  • Theological answer: It is essential to faith formation. It is the very nature of God, and we are the imago dei. God is in relationship through the Trinity so we who are created in Gods own image seek to live in the same way.

  • Theologians today talk about the perichoretic God. God, the three-in-one, is in a dynamic dance with each of the members of the trinity leading and following at the same time.

  • What shall we remember about Acts?Varied narratives about the emerging life of a new religious movement rooted in Jesus Christ.Greco-Roman world.Acts is not really the Acts of the Apostles but of two apostles. Acts of the Holy Spirit. Gospel on the move.Emerging tension: Jewish vs. Gentile.

  • What characterizes the First Century Church?Acts 2:42-47

  • They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

  • Acts 2:42-47Four marks of the Church.Devoted themselves to Apostles Teaching.Devoted themselves to Fellowship.Devoted themselves to the Breaking of Bread.Devoted themselves to Prayers.

  • Devoted themselves to Apostles TeachingEarly church studied Jesus words and the actions of Jesus through the Apostles who heard and saw and experienced the Lord. This teaching moved beyond memorization to understanding and application. It shaped their identity as a community.

  • Devoted themselves to FellowshipThey stayed and met together. They shared what they had with one another. No one was in need.Day by day...

  • Devoted themselves to breaking bread togetherThe gathering of the fellowship at table was a tangible expression of the work of the Holy Spirit among the new community.Eating together was a mark of unity, solidarity, kinship, and justice.For the Jews, when the blessing was said, the table became a holy place and eating became a sacred activity.

  • Devoted themselves to praying togetherThe early Christians prayed together likely at the Jewish hours of prayer for daily devotions. They also went to temple regularly as was their custom.

  • Acts 2:42-47Four marks of the Church.Devoted themselves to Apostles Teaching.Devoted themselves to Fellowship.Devoted themselves to the Breaking of Bread.Devoted themselves to Prayers.

  • What resulted?Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.They had the goodwill of the people.Day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

  • What does this mean for us today?Sell possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all as any have need. (Service)Day by day spend much time together in the temple. (Study)Break bread together. (Fellowship)Praise God. (Worship)

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