Welcome to the Small Groups Page! Our small groups serve to connect us to others in the congregation in a more intimate, consistent, and intentional way.
Below are resources for our small groups to use during their home bible studies on Sunday evenings. Each week, this page will be updated to add additional content for our small groups. The discussion guide is typically based on Sunday’s sermon.
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes this page does not renew as it should. If the current discussion guide it not posted, it may be found within the church Facebook group.
Small Group Discussion Guide: December 10th- Danny Dodd
The Kingdom Beginning
The Kingdom Beginning. Read Luke 2:1-20. This is not exactly the beginning obviously, but the beginning in earnest of realizing more fully the kingdom as embodied and taught by God living among us. Jesus, of course, changed pretty much everything as he lived and breathed the kingdom within humanity. At no time before him was the kingdom as defined or the eternal kingdom purpose of God fulfilled—so it was a start; that newness the Bible speaks of so often only found in him. So while the kingdom did not begin with Jesus, it came with him in a way never before experienced or understood. And by looking retrospectively to his birth story—we see all of the familiar elements of the kingdom within it—the values that Jesus would continue to live out and emphasize in his ministry. As we wrap up our year-long focus on seeking first the kingdom, it is appropriate to go back this beginning; see the kingdom values we have discussed all year within this story; and one more time ask ourselves if the kingdom of God is really within us.
The Birth. Only two gospels can we find a narrative about it—in Luke and in Matthew 1:18-25. For the first couple of centuries after Christ not much emphasis was placed on the birth story—in part because not much emphasis was put on birthdays in general. They were simply not celebrated as we do today. Early Christians actually celebrated there re-birth or baptism days. But starting in the 3-4 century the birth story became more prominent as Christmas celebrations became more common. But we do have the accounts in the Bible—so the Holy Spirit wanted us to know. And when we unpack them—it offers an amazing picture into not only fulfillment of prophecy but just how the kingdom of God is to be embraced and lived out in Jesus. Consider:
- Unlikely parents (Isaiah 7:14)
- Uninviting places—Nazareth/Bethlehem (John 1:46;Micah 5:1-2)
- Undignified birth—a manger
- Underwhelming witnesses—the shepherds
- Unorthodox Messiah– who would grow up and definitely not do expected Messiah type things. Do we get it yet? The kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking—about business as usual. It is a revolution—a great change in how we value everything. The poor are blessed; the humble are elevated; the losers win; the winners lose; we give up life to find it; we love our enemies; we return good for evil; we bless those who curse us; In the kingdom it is the unexpected that is expected—it is all on full display in Christ’s birth. Maybe this verse will help explain it if needed.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:27-28. That is exactly who Jesus was in his culture—nobody—and his birth story illustrates it. But boy, did he confound the wise! See how God works here? We would not write the story of the Messiah this way, but God did purposefully in order to unequivocally demonstrate what he values most– humility; obedience; righteousness; compassion; kindness; mercy; justice and love. Because of this Christ met with resistance—”this can’t be right!” “Surely this is not the guy?” He still meets with resistance —even among us when we do not completely buy in and actually seek first the kingdom. So why do you think God did it all this way?
So That We Can Get Over Ourselves—Look at 1 Corinthians 1:29-31. Christ was resisted out of pretense; posturing; power; prejudice; pride; fear and self-deception. Those remain the reasons why the kingdom is not sought first. The birth scene, the nature of the kingdom; the cross of Christ—can explode all of that and are designed to—the foolish things of the world confounding the wise—so that we can finally see the value in the kingdom and surrender to it—getting over ourselves and fully embracing Jesus. What will it take for that to happen—Apostle Paul—whatever it is do it.
Discussion Questions: (leaders, choose which questions speak to your group)
1. What image of Christ’s birth did you have growing up? How was this reinforced? What it accurate in keeping with the Biblical narrative?
2. What was your biggest -away from the lesson today?
3. How does the birth narrative of Jesus read in contrast to what the world values?
4. Danny brought up the point this morning that Jesus still encounters resistance today when “we do not completely buy in and actually seek first the kingdom.” How does out sometimes distorted view of what the kingdom is keep us from a “complete buy-in?”
|Small Groups||Meeting Time||Location||Contact|
|Young Adults (18-30)||5:00pm||Various homes / locations||Jennifer Tate, Jordan Watson, Bonnie Norwood|
|Maumelle area (all ages)||5:00pm||Member’s homes in Maumelle||Chad Gardner, Paula Morse|
|Noel/Cook (20+ with kids)||5:45pm||Various homes in North Little Rock||Michelle Noel, Sherrie Cook|
|Outreach (20+ with kids)||5:00pm||Ministry Center/Family Room/outside||Laura Cale, Kijana Royal|
|Dalby/Vest (30+ with kids)||5:30pm||Various homes||Mark Vest, Learon Dalby|
|Dodd (30+ with kids)||5:30pm||Various homes||Danny Dodd, Rachel Rogers|
|Watson/Ferren (ages 40+)||6:00pm||Various homes||Karen Farren, Julie Watson|
|Randall / Love (ages 50+)||5:00pm||Various homes||Wallace Randall, Michael Love|
|Zeller (ages 50+)||1:00pm||Education Building, room #205||Harold Zeller|
The Teens (7th-12th grade) also meet on Sunday nights at the building and in various locations. You can contact either of our Youth Ministers for more information: Rachel (email@example.com) & Jesse Stacy (jesse.stacy @levychurchofchrist.org) or visit the Levy Youth Group Page HERE.