HOME CHURCH GUIDE
In this season where our Church is unable to gather as a whole family for worship, we’re seeking to equip our Restoration family for God’s work among them – right where they are. That’s what Home Church is all about: giving you tools to gather with community groups or other believers (*safely* in person or online) for a shared experience of worship with the whole Restoration family. Below, you’ll find three movements of worship together: Worship (praise and prayer), Word (opening the Scriptures), and Witness (talking it out and living it out. So whether with a community group or a friend or two, let’s worship together! (Kids Resources Here!)
WORSHIP: PRAISE AND PRAYER
Worship is the continual process of orienting our hearts around that which we value most. Each Sunday, we worship in song and prayer to offer our hearts and allegience to Jesus, who alone is worthy of our praise. In your Home Churches, we encourage worship through the use of the video below or by worship in person. If you cannot participate through song in your group, spend time answering this question:
What do I have to praise God for this week?
The following prayer exercise can be used by individuals, for home church, or for virtual meetings over Zoom. If you are praying together with a group, have one reader recite the opening prayer, followed by each of the reflection prompts. The reader can leave a moment of silence after each prompt for individuals to reflect inwardly on what God may be revealing to them. After this time of reflection, the reader can close with the ending prayer.
Opening Prayer: God of blessing and promise, guard our faith from being compromised by comfort. Guard us from complacency. Guard us from selfish tendencies that would have us hold our privilege with a tight grip. Teach us to learn from the mighty examples of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers in the faith who have been persecuted because of righteousness. May we bless them. May we uphold them. May we rejoice with them.
As we continue in a time of reflection, pause after each of these questions to meditate on what God may bring to your heart.
God, show me the areas of my life where I experience the most comfort.
God, show me the things I have been complacent in.
God, show me what I am holding onto too tightly.
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, continue to reveal to us the ways in which we can join your kingdom work of radical love. When it costs us, or when it’s messy, or even when we have everything to lose. Lead us in your will. Lead us in your way. In your name, amen.
WORD: OPENING THE SCRIPTURES
WITNESS: TALK AND LIVE IT OUT
between “”Whether among your community group or a few friends over Zoom, we want to challenge you to move beyond just knowledge and information and into practicing the way of Jesus in your everyday life! But we do this together. Below you’ll find some questions to discuss, as well as next steps for living it out!
1. In Matthew 5, Jesus doesn’t say if we’re insulted, persecuted, and lied about… he says when. What does this tell us about what He expects from those who follow Him faithfully in this world?
2. In other countries, there are Church buildings that are older than America… by hundreds of years. Why would seeing the Christian faith outside of our American worldview be helpful and empowering for our faith?
3. Christians across the world experience hardships because of their faith in Jesus. In what ways do you see our faith as countercultural in comparison to the values and aims of our world?
4. As we come to the end of our study of the Beatitudes, which one has personally resonated with you the most? How have you been challenged to see the world differently through Jesus’ words?
Practice: Pray for the Persecuted Church. In America, it’s easy to lose sight of the rest of the world. And yet, across the globe, Christians are faithfully following Jesus in extremely difficult places – and they need our prayer. This week, do your part in educating yourself about the plight of persecuted Christians. Visit Open Doors and learn how you can pray for your brothers and sisters facing persecution today.