#HOMEchurch Days 21-26

Here is another week’s worth of ideas to help you lead your home in worship, devotion, discipleship, and safe-service to others during these days of quarantine and social-distancing.  These ideas could be done on any day of the week; the days and dates listed below simply correspond to the days they were first published via social media :-)

Monday, April 6, 2020

skype meal#HOMEchurch Day21.  Here are your Monday mealtime conversation starters!  Don’t rush through dinner together.  Netflix and Disney+ can wait.  Enjoy some irreplaceable talk-time with your roommates or family.  If you live alone, call up a friend and FaceTime or Skype together over dinner while discussing your answers to these mealtime conversation starters:

  • What has been your favorite age in life so far?
  • What are you hilariously bad at?
  • Who is the most important person in your life besides Jesus?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

prayer walk#HOMEchurch Day22.  Tuesday is Serve Day!  Today, when you go out on your daily walk, make it a Prayer Walk through your neighborhood or apartment complex.  Pray for each home as you pass by.  Wave, smile, and greet your neighbors (from a safe distance).  As you walk on, ask God to bless them, surround them, and uphold them by His grace.  Ask the Holy Spirit what He would have you to pray for your neighbors, or your block, or your building – then listen as you walk, and pray whatever He brings into your mind.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

DBS graphic#HOMEchurch Day23.  Wednesday is DBS Day!  DBS stands for Discovery Bible Study, a method of group Bible study that focuses on discussion and actively obeying God’s Word.  Literally ANYONE can lead a DBS: old, young, extrovert, introvert, talkative, shy, Christian and – yes, even non-Christians can hold a DBS together!

Why can truly ANYone lead a DBS?  Because you do not teach in DBS.  Instead, you host and facilitate, and you trust the Holy Spirit of God to be your teacher.  As the host, you make people feel welcome and included.  As the facilitator, you help guide the participants through four critical questions (see below).  You can do this!

Remember: this is God’s Word – He promises to speak to us through it if we will spend time reading it and thinking about it and talking about it and trusting Him to reveal truth to us through it.  Truly: EVERYONE is qualified to lead a Discovery Bible Study in their home or over video-conference with a few friends!

Here’s how:

PRAY- Someone ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you all as you read and discuss today’s Bible passage.

READ- 2-3 participants read today’s Bible passage (in different translations, if possible): Hebrews 12:1-3

RE-TELL- 2-3 participants now close their Bibles and attempt to re-tell the passage as best they can from memory.  No pressure here to perform!  Just an opportunity for the group to try to internalize God’s Word, re-tell it to each other, and help each other with any details you may miss.

DISCUSS & DISCOVER- Guide your group through these four questions to interact with today’s Bible passage:

  1. What do these verses tell us about God, God’s character, God’s values?
  2. What do they teach us about people – ourselves, humanity?
  3. If these verses are true, what would I need to start or stop doing to obey what it says?
  4. Who is someone in my life with whom I can share my discoveries from this passage this week?

COMMIT- Now each person take their answers to questions 3 & 4 and turn them into “I will…” statements: “This week, I will start/stop…” and “This week, I will share what I discovered in Hebrews 12:1-3 with…”

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Isaiah 41-10#HOMEchurch Day24.  This season of life means solitude for many people.  Solitude is actually one of the spiritual practices that Christians have used for centuries to focus their attention on God.  The Bible records several occasions where Jesus Himself sought the Father in solitude.  For these, solitude was a choice they made.  For many today, solitude has been forced upon them.  Today, why not embrace the solitude of this season in the Lord’s Presence.  You are not alone, because He is with you.  Today, try to list all the ways God is with you in this season of quarantine…

Friday, April 10, 2020

good friday#HOMEchurch Day25.  Friday is a day to fast and pray.  Especially today, because today is Good Friday.  Today is a day to soberly remember the anguish of Jesus upon the cross for our sins and to make us right with God.  Jesus paid for our atonement with His life.  Good Friday is both a day of sorrow and of rejoicing.  Sorrow for the Savior’s death…  celebration that our sins died with Christ on the cross!  Sorrow for Jesus’ agony and our contribution to it…  rejoicing that His death brought death to death!

Today, choose a meal to fast from, and spend the time you would have spent cooking and eating in prayer:

  • Think of Jesus on the cross, and thank Him for His sacrifice and for saving you…
  • Confess any unconfessed sin to God, and ask His help to turn you away from it in the future…
  • Ask God if there is anyone in your life you need to forgive – and ask God for courage to do it…

Make your confession sincere – but remember: you don’t have to beg Jesus to forgive you – forgiving you and making you right with God is why He came!  You were worth it to Him.  And you don’t have to plead with God or somehow convince God to save you – He WANTS to save you!  Just put your faith in His saving love for you.

Good Friday, the day we commemorate Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for our salvation, is the perfect day to confess your sins, turn toward God in faith, and receive His free gift of salvation for you.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

an extra chair at the table#HOMEchurch Day26.  Today, I challenge you and your household to… have lunch with Jesus!  Wait – I know, I know – it sounds hokey – but just hear me out: as human beings, we are creatures of our physical world – what we can see & hear & experience with our senses.  We know there is more – so many concepts like love & dignity & compassion & trust that we cannot take in with our five senses alone.  All these and more point us to greater realities beyond our physical world – BUT – we can leverage our senses to remind ourselves of deeper truths.

For instance, God tells us over & over & over again in His Word that He is WITH us (Joshua 1:9; Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 28:20 – these just barely scratch the surface!).  Truly, He is with us!  But we can’t see Him with our eyes… we can’t hear Him with our ears…  So, instead, we can do things with our environments to cue our senses that He is indeed with us!

Here is what I am proposing: today, when you or your household prepare for lunch, set an extra chair at the table, and an extra place-setting there as well.  (Wait! – I know! – just push past the hokiness – I promise it will be worth it!)  As you sit down to eat, thank God for the food – but say it as if He is right there at the table with you (because He is!).  Welcome Him to lunch with you, and then, start a conversation with Him!  Ask: “What are some of Your favorite meals?”, and then think of the moments in the Bible where Jesus ate food with His disciples…

Next, envision the feast that we will all share with the Lord and all the other saints one day in glory.  Describe the sights, smells, and tastes that may be there…

Third, ask Jesus to remind you of great memories you have with other loved ones around tables in the past…

Finally, take a few moments to pray for those who do not have much food, that Jesus would supply their needs.  Pray for those eating in isolation today, and ask Jesus to make His comforting Presence known to them.  And pray for those in the food industry whose jobs and businesses have been impacted by this quarantine.

(Many thanks to my friend and fellow pastor, Brandon Branigan, who co-authored today’s post with me!)

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