Ready, Set, Grow are biblical words with engaging vision and meaning for Congregational Vitality. Read the following texts and reflect on the questions about each word. If you are part of a group using this Bible Study divide into three smaller groups assigned to one of the words. After reading the texts and reflecting on the questions, write on easel paper your responses. Each smaller group can then share their responses with the larger group in order of ready, set, grow.
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, `Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, `The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
- Matthew 22: 1-10
….the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet, and the door was shut… - Matthew 25:10
He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. - Luke 1: 17
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you: yet do it with gentleness and reverence. - 1 Peter 3:15, 16
WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT BEING/MAKING 'READY' IN THESE TEXTS?
WHAT STORIES OF INDIVIDUALS OR COMMUNITIES EXHIBIT BEING 'READY' ?
WHAT MADE THESE INDIVIDUALS OR COMMUNITIES READY?
WHAT DOES MAKING 'READY' FOR CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY SAY TO :
YOU AND YOUR MINISTRY,
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." Again he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord." So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. …….Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, `Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says the Lord."
So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel (House of God).
- Genesis 28: 18,19
"…I have set before you life and death. Blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying [God] and holding fast to [God] for that means life to you and length of days…" - Deuteronomy 30:19,20
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he (Jesus) set his face to go to Jerusalem. - Luke 9:51
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. - 1 Peter 1:13
WHAT MEANING OF 'SET' SPEAKS TO YOU FROM THESE TEXTS?
WHAT SITUATIONS, EXPERIENCES AND PEOPLE EXHIBIT BEING SET ?
WHAT DOES GETTING 'SET' FOR CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY REQUIRE OF: YOU AND YOUR MINISTRY,
Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people. - 1 Samuel 2:26
For a child has been born for us…..
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
For the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness
From this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, in divine and human favor. - Luke 2:52
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. - I Corinthians 3:6-9
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love. - Ephesians 4:15,16
For this reason,… we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. - Colossians 1:9,10
WHAT 'GROWS' IN THESE TEXTS?
DESCRIBE MOMENTS, EXPERIENCES OR CONGREGATIONS THAT REFLECT 'GROWTH' ?
WHAT MADE POSSIBLE THESE MOMENTS AND PLACES THAT GROW?
WHAT WOULD BE 'GROWING' MARKERS TOWARD CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY FOR:
YOU AND YOUR MINISTRY,