HOMECHURCH GUIDE


Sanctuary Church

Week of October 18



Sanctuary Church is built around the idea of following the path of Jesus, together. We believe that to be an apprentice of Jesus is to order your life to journey in 4 directions:
UPWARD / be with Jesus,
INWARD / become like Jesus,
OUTWARD / do what Jesus did and
WITHWARD / do it together.


Our dream is that as we live this way, our lives, our communities, and our cities, will be transformed. Our prayer is as Jesus prayed, that God’s will would be done in our neighborhoods as it is in Heaven.

Every time we gather in our home church we hit some or all of these four directions. For instance we may focus on UPWARDS by doing a traditional bible study or we might turn more attention INWARDS to wrestle with the application of the message by exploring spiritual practices.

Personal & family practices and a shared Rule of Life suggestion:

*Before you begin, if you are meeting online please check out our online homechurch suggestions for engagement.

WELCOME

We live in a world that’s filled with things that vie for our attention and time. Our lives are full of frenzied activity and interspersed with “free” moments that we all-to-often fill with our phone. 

We live in a world that’s filled with things that vie for our attention and time. Our lives are full of frenzied activity and interspersed with “free” moments that we all-to-often fill with our phone. 

This week, we’re going to take a moment to “arrive” at homechurch. After we’ve slowed down and become present to God who is present to us, we’ll talk about the practice of “slowing”.


Palms Up/Palms Down arrival exercise

This practice helps us to release to God anything we’re carrying with us into the present moment–maybe worry over our finances, the sting of a conversation, shame over something we’ve done wrong, grief over a recent loss, or fear of something in the future. We won’t ignore these things but we rather will entrust them to the Lord so that we might be fully present with Jesus and with one another.

*Before you begin, have someone read Matthew 11:28-30 and open in prayer.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Jesus

-RELEASE (at least 3 minutes)
Place your palms down as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. In silent prayer, share that with God–”Lord I release to you….” You may release to God a worry, an unresolved dispute, a health condition, a fear, something you want to confess, or something else.

-RECEIVE (at least 3 minutes)
After several moments of surrender, turn your palms up as a symbol of your desire to receive from the Lord. In silent prayer, receive from God what he wants to give you– “Lord, I receive…” You may receive God’s peace, joy, forgiveness, relief, or something else.

-CENTER ON GOD (3 minutes)
Having centered down, spend the remaining moments in complete silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with you, to love you. If impressions or directions come, fine; if not, fine.

MESSAGE

Take a 10min to discuss the message – Discuss the what stood out. What resonated? What was challenging? What was encouraging? This will help you engage with this weeks scripture and practice.

INWARD / Become Like Jesus

We believe that God wants to bring about a new humanity by redeeming every part of us. We embrace the salvation Jesus offers as the only hope for the healing of our relationships with God, each other, ourselves, and creation. We believe that all of life is spiritual, and that all of our fears, failures, and brokenness can be restored and made whole. We value the inner journey because we want to be fully integrated people–mind, body, and soul, emotions and experiences all offered together to God. This leads us to follow Jesus in the way He invested in the relationships around him.

INWARD PRACTICE: SLOWING

Now that you’ve arrived with God, we’re going to have a discussion about slowing down. “Slowing is a way we counter our culture’s mandate to tend to tend to the bottom line, to move it or lose it, to constantly be on the go. It is a way we honor our limits and the fact that God is found in the present moment” (Adele Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines HandbookI). Take some time to answer these questions:

1- God says that we should “be still and know that [He] is God.” What is hard about being still for you? When are you able to be still and attentive to God?

2-How are you when things go slow? For example:

-Being stuck behind cars going slowly?

-A slow sales clerk?

-Not getting your Amazon package in two days?

-People who talk slowly?

3-What do you think would change if you intentionally chose to do things more slowly? What would be easy/hard? How would God show up?

4-Brainstorm some things you could do slowly in the coming week. Here are some examples:

– Refuse to look at your phone when you have breaks

– Get into the longest lines at stores and on the highway.

– Move more slowly–walking, biking, driving

5-Have each person choose a way (or ways) that they will deliberately slow down in the coming week. Next week we’ll debrief how this practice was.

If time: share how it made a difference to begin with slowing down and attending to yourself and to God.


WITHWARD / Following Jesus Together

\We are called to journey together as one body. We value the image of God in all people, everywhere. We believe that we were created to live deeply with one another, carrying each other’s burdens, sharing our possessions, to pray for and confess our sins to each other, to suffer and celebrate together. It’s in these honest, loving relationships that God transforms us and truth becomes a reality. The way of Jesus cannot be lived alone.



Take time to listen to and pray for each other. Ask if there are any needs that need to be met – and in grace try to meet them.




PATH COMMUNITY

The goal for Path Community is to gather regularly with 3-5 people of the same gender, to press in together as disciples of Jesus, and to practice the most neglected commands, disciplines, and practices of the Christian life.
We don’t want to be people who just hear the Word without putting it into practice, allowing deception into our lives. We believe that following spiritual practices in these 4 directions can produce disproportionate spiritual fruit for the time and context in which we are called to follow Jesus.