Title: Unstoppable Impact
The Point: The gospel of Jesus Christ can impact any culture.
Get Into the Study
On Wednesday, November 2nd, something amazing happened: after a 107-year dry spell, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (in overtime no less!). Though watching the game was incredible on its own, the most remarkable thing about the entire event was how many die-hard Cubs fans came together to cheer on their team. Thousands of people stood outside Wrigley Field, ready to celebrate victory or mourn in defeat.
Either way, the people were in it together. Men and women from all walks of life — old, young, poor, wealthy, and everything in between — were unified by the love they shared for their city and for their northside ball club. As a matter of fact, the game was such a popular even that Chicago restaurants were selling reservations to watch the game from bar stools for hundreds of dollars a pop — all because people wanted to be together.
According to this graphic, the whole country was watching — and rooting — for the Cubs. As connected as we all may be on social media, it’s rare when cities, countries, and even churches have something that unifies them and takes them beyond their cultural differences. But when it happens, it’s beautiful.
Of course, followers of Jesus have something much bigger than a baseball game to be excited about. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as we have seen from the history of the church, the gospel has more than enough power to break through the cultural boundaries that often keep us separated — if only we are willing to take a step of faith.
Not sure where to begin this week? Here’s a suggestion for a conversation starter: “How about those Cubbies?”
- When have you felt close to people you didn’t know?
- What obstacles prevent you from reaching out more to people of different cultures?
- What obstacles often hinder you from sharing the gospel?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
Study the Bible
Note that our world and the people in it are constantly changing. The US Census Bureau maintains a U.S. and World Population Clock. For example, as of Nov. 7, 2016:
* The US population is 324, 874,697 people
* There is one birth every 8 seconds
* There is a death every 12 seconds
* There is one international migrant every 28 seconds
(Group leader: you can get even more up-to-date statistics from the website at the time you teach this session.)
Say: With our communities changing all the time, we need to consider how as individual believers and as a church, we will have an impact in the places we live.
DISCUSS: Question #2 on page 109 of the PSG: “What are the cultures and subcultures in your community?”
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
Extra Option // Bible Studies for Life: Adult KJV
The Adult KJV Leader Guide (p. 136) suggests using a video clip that illustrates a misunderstanding due to cultural differences. Here are two options we’ve found:
What different races, religions, or ethnicities do you encounter in your community?
If you could live in another culture for a year, where would it be?
What’s a cross-cultural experience you’ve had that brought you joy?
What types of idols do you see in our culture today?
Why is it important to build a relationship with someone before sharing the gospel?
Where do you have the opportunity to share what you know about God with others?
Why is it necessary to cross cultural boundaries with the gospel?
What do you find challenging about these verses?
What false beliefs about Jesus or Christianity do you encounter in your community?
What fears or concerns do you have about sharing the gospel?
What commonalities exist between Christians and non-Christians in today’s culture?
What do you find hopeful in these verses?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: