Some of you are in really different places coming off the “Mark” study of the first semester. As you finish “Mark”,  jump right in with the first Ephesians study.  Ephesians is great because it not only gives us theology on why we are inclined to worship, but it also gives us guidance and instruction on how to enter into “The Dangerous Act of Worship”.  As best you can, try and connect these dots with your community group. Help them see that we are made to worship God, and He created us for “the praise of His glorious grace”.  This study teaches us to “live in a manner worthy of our calling”, which flies in the face of secular culture – and human nature. 

These could be helpful tools as you plan and prepare for Community Group each week.

Week 1:  An Introduction to Ephesians (you might consider reading this to the group before you begin your study)

      • Bible Study: Solid Foundation (Eph 1:1-10)
      • optional article: adoption  (you might consider using a portion of this article to help you think about adoption. If you had a good conversation about adoption, consider sending it to your group)

Week 2: Ephesians 1:11-14 | A Sure thing

      • Brainstorm Worksheet (you’ll need to print this out in advance for your group. You can get a computer lab print card from Eric if you don’t already have one)

Week 3: Ephesians 1: 15-23 I Pray that you would know

Week 4: Ephesians 2:1-10 What’s So Good About Grace?

      • good old grace handout (part 2 of the actual study) Note to leaders: This week, we are focusing on two things: The nature of sin and the nature of grace. Because these terms are used so often in Christian circles, we need to do an excellent job at seeing them afresh with new eyes so that we can truly see how GOOD the good news really is. Make sure you budget your time well on this study. Don’t spend too much time on the first part: The nature of Sin. Otherwise, you won’t have enough time to get to the good news: Grace. Notice that part 2 of this study is an article, “good old grace.” You will want to print off copies for everyone in your group.

Week 5: Men’s and Women’s issues Last week, we talked about the goodness of God’s grace. In the first part of Ephesians 2, Paul says that we were once slaves to the passions of our flesh. That was before the kindness of God’s grace came to set us free and help us truly live. What a great promise…but what do we do when we find ourselves still entangled in the old ways of the flesh? This study is meant to, uh… flesh out that problem. Leaders: the more transparent you are on this one, the further your group will be able to travel.

      • Women (study and article should both be done in the group time)
      • Men (less a Bible study, more an open discussion loaded with Biblical principles for helping men in their struggles).
      • Men’s Questions to guide the time.

Week 6: Mission Impossible: Gods suprising peace plan This week and next week will have to work in tandem with each other. The goal over the next two weeks is to unveil the story of God’s redemptive plan. This week we will look at Israel and it’s people’s shortcomings. Through this lens, we will look at our own shortcomings in being signposts for Jesus and His Kingdom. Next week, we will look at God’s plan for the Gentiles and how “world missions” has always been a part of the storyline for God’s people. Our hope is that when we see and understand the “Big Picture” it will give meaning and purpose to our “small picture” realities of daily life.

      • Mission Impossible article This article is a necessary component to the study. It is 8 pages long so make sure you go to the library to print and staple it for your group in advance. Consider just giving your group pages 4 and 5 which will be the focus this week. If you give them the whole thing this week, you need to make sure they will bring it back next week since it will play a vital role in the study. Print friendly version of Mission Impossible article (just Jonah and Israel section)

Week 7:  Mission Impossible II: To the Ends of the Earth This week is a continuation of last week. Two goals this week:

1) You want to help your students see Paul’s motivation for being a ‘man on mission.’ He remembers the blessings he has in Christ and he knows there is a bigger storyline that is unfolding.

2)You want to walk your group through the rest of God’s story of redemption and talk about how we as college students can play a vital role in the Great Commission.

Leaders Preparation: Make sure you have read the entire mission impossible article. Make sure you save extra time to print it in the library since it is 12 pages long! Make sure to leave enough time for your group to read the article, discuss the questions, and then move toward application. Note: Assuming your group went through the Israel/Jonah portion of the mission impossible article last week, be sure to skip over it this week. To save paper, don’t print this section. Also, to save time, consider having your group read the first part: “In search of a plot”, skip the “Genesis of Genesis” and “Salvage Operations” and encourage them to read this portion  on their own. Finish with “Manhattan Project” to the end. Download and print the entire text friendly “Mission Impossible” article here

Week 8: A United Front. Walking together in a manner worthy of our calling. Ephesians 4:1-16

Week 9: A new way to walk. Ephesians 4:17-5:21

Week 10: Enter the battle.  Ephesians 6: 10-20 (a devotional for Christmas break)