The backbone of our life together.
There are about 25 Connect Groups of up to a dozen people meeting in different locations, and at different times, in the parish and beyond for bible study, prayer and mutual care and support. We encourage every church member to be “connected” to a group (even if they are not always able to attend). Janet McLean and Janet Goodenough together co-ordinate our groups, and they are the people to contact if you want to find a suitable group.
During this first half of the Autumn term we'll be spending our morning services looking at the story of the Exodus. Our Connect Group sessions will be based on this series. For an introduction to the book of Exodus please watch the video below:
When life gets harder - 17th October
Sermon: When life gets harder (11.15am)
Passage: Exodus 5:1-6:8
Date: 17 October 2021
Where do you turn when life gets hard? What are some of the characteristics of the good places we turn? ie. if you turn to friends, why are they a good place to go?
In what situations have you found yourself believing the three lies about God in chapter 5 (powerless, liar, causes a stink)? Which of the three are you most prone to believe today?
Why is the Lord a good place to turn in hardship? How does 6:1-8 remind us that he's good? What are the similar truths about God that are shared by other 'good places' from Q.1 - ie. how do good friends mimic God's goodness?
What are some of the ways in which we were reminded about how Jesus fulfils and embodies the truths about God in 6:1-8? Can you think of other examples? How will these truths about the Lord Jesus change you this week?
Listen or sing together the new song we learned - 'Take Heart' - which reminds us that Jesus is with us, even in the hardest of days.
Moses' Excuses - 10th October
Sermon: Moses' Excuses (11.15am)
Passage: Exodus 4:1-17
Date: 10 October 2021
Burning Bush - 3rd October
Sermon: Burning Bush (11.15am)
Can you think of an example of when God called you to serve Him in some way and you were reluctant? What happened?
Think about Moses’ situation when God called him to go to Pharaoh – his age, experience, resources, abilities, etc. Was he well-suited or ill-suited to the task? What might this tell us about who God choses to use in his service?
It was a daunting task that the LORD gave Moses - and Moses objects. Read each of the following verses to see his objections - Exodus 3:11, 3:13, 4:1, 4:10. 4:13. How does God respond to each?
Where are you serving the LORD at the moment: at home, among your neighbours, at work, in the church family? What encouragement or challenge will you take from these verses? Pray about them together.
Passage: Exodus 3:1-22
Date: 3 October 2021
In Acts 7 (vv. 23-34) we learn that Moses was 80 years old in Exodus 3, yet in many ways his life’s work was just beginning. What does this mean for God’s timing and ours?
‘What we do may look different at various ages and stages of life, but there’s no retirement from Christian service.’ Discuss.
Read verses 7-8 and notice the verbs. What do these tell us about the Lord? How is His coming down to rescue the Israelites a little preview of something greater later in the Bible’s story?
"God said… ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you”’ (v.14). What can we learn about God’s character from this name? Keep those lessons in mind as you pray for one another now and in the coming week.
Gospel Harvest - 26th September
Sermon: Gospel Harvest (11.15am)
Passage: Matthew 9:35-38 and Psalm 65
Date: 26 September 2021
In the gospels there are a few times where Jesus has particular concern for a crowd of people - can you think of other examples? How should Jesus' compassion for the crowds shape and challenge the way we view and care for our own community?
Jesus is much more optimistic than we are about the prospect of people coming into his Kingdom - "the harvest is plentiful!" How should Jesus verdict challenge our expectations in evangelism?
In what situations are we tempted to be activists (thinking "I can fix this myself") rather than coming to God in prayer? How does reading Matthew 9 and Psalm 65 give us confidence to bring problems to God in prayer?
Skim through Matthew 10, where Jesus sends out his friends into the 'harvest' - what are some of the joys and challenges that Jesus explains will come to his fellow workers? Have you experienced these things? How has Jesus helped you?
Time to pray: For Family Support Work as they deliver harvest gifts to families in need. For God to send out workers into his harvest field here in Lindfield (including you)! For Five Friends. For the greater harvest beyond our own community (think mission partners).
Baby in a Basket - 19th September
Sermon: Baby in a Basket (11.15am)
Passage: Exodus 2:1-25
Date: 19 September 2021
Under Pressure - 12th September
Sermon: Under Pressure (11.15am)
Verses 1-10 show us that, even against the odds, we can trust God whatever happens. Has there be a time in your life, or someone known to you, where you have seen God at work 'against the odds'?
In verse 22, Moses says, "I have been a sojourner [temporary resident] in a foreign land". In what ways might Christians feel themselves to be sojourners in a foreign land?
Hebrews 11:24-26 (NIV) says, "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." Tim Chester asks, "Will you live for pleasure and treasure, or will you live in disgrace? In what areas of your life does this question encourage and challenge you?"
How does knowing the end of the story - that God will save us for all eternity - give us hope in hard and hostile times now? Pray for those in your group who are experiencing difficulties.
Passage: Exodus 1:1-22
Date: 12 September 2021
Watch the Bible Project video for an introduction to Exodus and read 1:1-22 together.
When God's people are persecuted they often grow, as they did in Egypt. Why do you think this is? Pause to pray for the Christians in Afghanistan as referred to at the start of the talk.
Why did God allow his people to become slaves in Egypt? Why do you think God allows his people whom he loves to endure hardship today?
Who or what do you find it easier to live in greater awe of than God? What does it mean to fear God rather than man and where in your life do you need help to live like this?
Last week we considered how God chooses weak people (1 Cor. 1:26) - in Shiphrah & Puah God uses unlikely, 'weak' saviours. Reflect on this recurring theme and pray that God might use us in our weakness.
Extra: Reflect on 2 Corinthians 1:20 - remind yourselves of all the promises that God has kept through Jesus.
Cross Focused - 5th September (Steve Nichols first Sunday)
Sermon: Looking through the lens of the cross (11.15am)
Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
Date: 5 September 2021
Think of the tarnished coin Steve showed. In what ways has the cross become dull to us?
Read v.18a. Why does the message of the cross appear foolish to those who do not know God? What does this say about our ability to save ourselves?
Read v.18b. How is the cross "the power of God" to "us who are being saved"? Why is this such good news?
How might you answer a friend who asks, "Why are is the cross such a big deal for Christians?" How would you explain it is actually a big deal for everyone?
Further reading: 1 Corinthians!
Connect Group Extra sessions: