Growing In Leadership Wk 7 // Christ's Ambassadors

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ICEBREAKER

  • What words or thoughts come to mind when you hear the word contagious?
    Does that word have a positive or negative connotation to you? Why?

  • Can you think of someone whose positive attitude or influence made their actions extremely contagious in a good way? What qualities of theirs did you most want to “catch”?

INTRODUCTION

As Christians, we should live lives that are contagious to others. In other words, we should live in such a way to make Christianity attractive. That’s part of what it means to be an ambassador for Christ and what Paul means when he says we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. The problem is many people make Christianity unattractive in the way they live their lives. Many people find Christians to be, boring, hypocritical, joyless, angry, or negative. However, our lives should be just the opposite.

In this week’s message, Pastor Mike encouraged us all to be peacemakers and bridge builders as we have been charged with the ministry of reconciliation. We are called to bring unity to our world by representing Christ in they way He has taught us.

 

SERMON RECAP

Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.

  • What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?

  • Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?

  • Was there anything that challenged you?

 

READ

Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 5:11-13.

  • Why do you think an enthusiastic believer is often perceived as crazy or out of his or her mind?

  • How did Paul’s willingness to be perceived as out of his mind demonstrate a contagious attitude? What does it tell us about his motivation?

  • How is that kind of motivation contagious?

NOTE
When you think about Paul’s story, it’s easy to see why some might consider him to be crazy. Look at how dramatically his life had changed, and think about what he was willing to endure for seemingly no benefit. At the same time, that kind of life is appealing and contagious because it shows the one living it values something more than the things of the world.

Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

NOTE
As the church, we are called to obey Jesus’ command to go into the world and preach the gospel. But what is the motivation behind our obedience? The apostle Paul dealt with our motivation by taking us back to the reality of Christ’s love. The driving force behind God’s messengers is Christ’s love for the world He came to save.

  • Why do you think that it’s the love of Christ that compels us into the world?

  • Why is that attitude key if we are to be ambassadors for Christ?

  • What happens when we are compelled by something other than love in our involvement in God’s mission?

  • What does it mean to regard no one from a fleshly point of view? How does this relate to the truth that we are a new creation?

NOTE
When we look around at others, we might be filled with all kinds of viewpoints. We might have preconceived notions about others based on their race, income, or background. But we can’t view anyone in a purely human way any more. Just as we were made a new creation when we became Christians, so God is willing and able to make new creations out of anyone else we come in contact with. We are His agents in this process as we actively seek to share the gospel with others.

  • What does the word “ambassador” mean? What are the keys to being a quality ambassador?

  • Why do you think Paul chose this word to describe the role of the Christian in the world?

  • In what ways does your life reflect the priorities of ambassadorship for the kingdom of God?

  • Does your heart match Paul’s heart in pleading with people to be saved? How can you tell?

NOTE
An ambassador is committed to representing the values of his or her home kingdom even while living in a foreign land. They are first and foremost citizens of another country, and they live displaced specifically for the purpose of representing that other country. Because we are new creations in Christ, we have a new home. While we are here on earth, we represent God and His kingdom wherever we go.

APPLICATION

  • An ambassador can be defined as an authorized representative or messenger appointed for a special task. What are some responsibilities we have as ambassadors? How can ambassadors be effective if they do not know who they represent or what they are expected to do?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how conscious of God’s purpose of reconciliation are you from day to day? How would being more aware of God’s purpose make your life as a believer more contagious?

  • How would your life change if you saw yourself (first and foremost) as one sent by God on His mission?

  • To whom is God calling you to be an ambassador this week?

PRAYER

Thank God for making you new in Christ. Ask Him to help you see to a greater extent His love so that you might be compelled to live contagiously for Him and His kingdom.

Brian Otte