This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 20:17-37. In this passage, we see the priorities of the Apostle Paul that enabled him to be effective in making disciples. In this message, I share each of these priorities and challenge Christians today to reorient their lives around Jesus.
As usual, I will be leading an online small group this Wednesday at 8pm via Zoom to go deeper into the text. All are invited to join us – the connection info can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com – and the questions are below the message.
Book of Acts – Acts 20:17-37
Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:
1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).
2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.
1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 20:17-37. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?
2. Paul sends for the “Elders” of the church in Ephesus. The position of “Elder” within the local church is used regularly in the Book of Acts. With this in mind, what exactly is an “Elder” within a church?
3. The first thing we see emphasized in the ministry of the Apostle Paul is incarnational ministry – this is seen through his emphasis of being WITH the church. First, what does the word “incarnation” mean? Second, how can we become more “incarnational” in the way we share the Gospel with those around us?
4. In Acts 20:21, Paul makes it clear that one of the major themes of his preaching is that of repentance. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 – what are some characteristics of true repentance does Paul explain in this passage?
5. Towards the end of the passage, Paul warns the church about “wolves” who are false teachers that lead people astray by distorting the Scriptures. Read through Jude 1:8-13 – what are some of the major characteristics of these wolves that we should be on our guard against as a church?
6. The last point I emphasized in the message is that Paul modeled discipleship through both his generosity and prayer life (see Acts 20:36-37). One of the best ways we can fight against hypocrisy is by living out our confession of faith. What are some ways the church needs to better model discipleship for the non-Christians around us?
7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week?