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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney


This week we have been considering how true greatness is found in serving others,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

Today I want to talk specifically about serving the church. Peter writes,

‘Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (1 Peter 4:9-10)

Jesus loves His church. Our love for the church is expressed primarily (but not exclusively) through our devotion to our local church. Jesus’ vision for the church is a community of believers, filled with the Spirit, serving God, His people and His mission together.

You don’t need to be a prophet to understand that we are entering an age of increased opportunity and threat to the local church. In this ‘on-line’ age, we need to be reminded more than ever that being a disciple means being in a local body of believers.

2021 will be great for you and your church if we will truly apply what we read in 1 Peter 4:9-10.

How will offering hospitality be a blessing to you, your church and help non-believers to draw nearer to Jesus?

Peter is speaking of gifts in the broadest sense; all of our spiritual gifts (teaching, prophecy etc.) natural gifts and resources are to be used to serve the local church. True greatness is found not in hoarding, but in using what God has given to us in service to others. Take some time to meditate, pray and think about the application of today’s passage.




It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Who do you consider to be a great person and why? (Jesus is always the answer but try to think of someone else).

Introduction - please share in your group

This week we took a break from our discipleship series and considered how we might complete the phrase ‘2021 would be great if…’

Too often we can discount what we do as unimportant. The celebrity culture in which we live can cause us to conclude that true greatness is something that is beyond the reach of ordinary people. Too many of us are waiting for our ‘moment to shine’, that opportunity, that point of destiny… when, finally, we will be lifted out of the shadows and take our place of greatness.

Jesus doesn’t want you to waste this year. Jesus makes true greatness available to everyone, and it’s available today. Jesus defines true greatness thus,

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)

Discussion questions

1. What were your initial responses to the question, ‘2021 will be great if….’ ?

2. How do you really define greatness? (try to be honest about this).

3. How does Jesus define greatness?

4. How are you tempted to ‘exalt’ yourself?

5. What does it mean to humble ourselves?

6. What is meant by Jesus promise to those who serve in humility?

7. As a group, think of the different contexts (work, home…) that God has put you in on a weekly basis; think of 2 practical ways that you could apply today’s text into each of those relationships

Investing and inviting

i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?

iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our Alpha Course which is beginning on the 25th January?

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