Common Notes 10.1.19

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Lauren O’hare quietly running slides during worship on Tuesday. You wouldn’t know it, but her small contribution makes a huge difference on Tuesday nights!

This week at Common Ground we enjoyed another rousing game of “Ruining the World.” Apparently the answer is ‘kittens,’ lol. Afterwards we worshiped together and learned about Andrew the Apostle. Fast facts: the first one called by Jesus, he is also the patron saint of Russia. Now you know. The antithesis of his brother Peter, Andrew is low key, quiet and unassuming. Looking at the scenes from scripture in which he is featured (John 1, 6, and 12) a couple of lessons can be drawn. First, individuals matter. Its great to win crowds of people to Jesus, but everyone matters. So, while Peter is preaching to thousands, Andrew takes people to Jesus one at a time. Who do you need to introduce to Jesus? Second, inconspicuous is a-okay. Andrew was inconspicuous. He doesn’t say much, doesn’t figure prominently in a lot of stories, just follows Jesus and quietly goes about the work of a disciple. Sometimes people feel unworthy because they don’t have big flashy gifts or talents, but neither did Andrew and Jesus chose him first! He was an ordinary guy, blessing people with his ordinary life because he knew an extraordinary Jesus. How have you been blessed with “small gifts?” Andrew shows us that you don’t have to be out and loud to make an impact on someone’s life. For an even deeper look at exactly why we don’t have to all be like Peter, read 1 Corinthians 12. You’ll be glad you did.

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Common Notes 9.24.19

Last night at Common Ground we played a game called Ruining the World, where contestants had to tell us how Abraham Lincoln, The Washington Monument and Public Transportation were ‘ruining the world.’ We also watched a slideshow from this weekend’s 417 Collegiate Retreat and announced a trip to the Defend conference in January.

As we continue into the “Ordinary Men” series, this week we examined the life of Peter the Apostle. Thirty minutes is no was to treat this important apostle, the leader of the 12, so after a quick overview of a few factoids, we dove into a single scene, namely the time when he walked on water with Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33). There we identified 8 points and a question to apply from each one. It was also pointed out that these were inspired in part by Mark Driscoll and John MacArthur…

  1. Look for Jesus and keep looking to Jesus. The disciples were surprised when He showed up in the storm. We know better. When life gets stormy, look for Him. He’ll be there. What does looking to Jesus look like for you?
  2. When Jesus command you, obey Him. Peter did the last thing anyone would expect because Jesus called Him to it! What is Jesus calling you to do that goes against the grain what you or other might think?
  3. Faith is simply taking the next step. Jesus called, Peter obeyed and everything was fine in that moment. It was only when Peter looked away that things went south. What is the next step of faith Jesus has asked you to take?
  4. Faith unleashes the supernatural. Peter walked on water because he was fully committed to following Jesus. Miracles, both obvious and obscure, happen all the time when we are willing to be fully surrendered to God. What area of your life do you need to commit to Him?
  5. Fear will sink you. Peter looks away from Jesus, gets scared and immediately gets in trouble. Fear always has that effect. What is it that you are afraid of that is controlling and holding you back?
  6. Jesus saves us from more than just hell. Peter could’ve drowned, but Jesus wouldn’t allow that. What are some of the the things Jesus has saved you from? Consider things you might never have experienced because of His presence in your life.
  7. A little faith is better than no faith. Jesus chides Peter’s “little faith,” but of the 12 men in the boat, we only talk about the one who got out. What does having a ‘little faith’ look like in your life?
  8. You can choose to worry or worship. Everyone in that boat was afraid, even the hardened fishermen who had grown up at sea. And in a matter of moments, they went from worry to worship. God is always on his throne, even when the storms of life are rocking your boat to the point that you think it might sink. Is there any area in your life where you in worry mode when you should be worshipping?

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Welcome Week 2019

Welcome Week is in the books! Huge shout out to everyone who helped man tables, set up, clean up and reach out at Campus Craze and the Welcome Back picnic, Common Ground and the ZaParty. It was fun, tasty and exciting all at the same time. Can’t wait to dig deeper with new friends as the semester rolls on. This week we’ll kick off NoonDay Cafe on Wednesday from 11:30-1:00. Free lunch!

Other upcoming events include:

  • Tailgate Party on September 5
  • Niangua River Float Trip on September 14
  • 417 Collegiate Retreat on September 20-22
  • Harvest Party on October 25
  • Roar 24 on November 1-2
  • Christmas Party on December 3
  • Pancake Madness on December 9
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MSSU BSU is in the news!

Hey! Our Spring Break mission trip went really well the good people at the Missouri Baptist Convention noticed. Their press, The Pathway wrote a nice article about us!

16 students and 3 leaders went to Panama City for Spring Break and helped people dig out from Hurricane Michael

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Common Notes 4.9.19

This week at Common Ground we took time to introduce the new leadership team, the people who will shape culture and lead us next year:

  • Hunter Jamieson–Chief Servant
  • Kyndall Erisman–Communications
  • Maggie Brister–Outreach
  • Anna McNeil–Fellowship
  • Caleb Cummins–Missions
  • Liz Clements–Prayer

Afterwards, we dove into 1 Corinthians 14 with a quick overview of the chapter and a deeper look at verses 34-36. Most of the chapter is given to the discussion of spiritual gifts that the Apostle Paul began in chapter 12. Specifically he takes pains to ensure that the church understands the value of all gifts while addressing what appears to be abusive treatment of the gift of tongues in particular. His point is that the gifts of the spirit are intended for the common good of the church and don’t forget it! Then, near the end he introduces another touchy subject, women’s role in the church:

The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?

Ouch. Well, that’s sure not in tune with 21st century American culture. What to do, what to do… There is no way to unpack that in a couple of short sentences, but the basic gist is that there are three main camps:

First, dismiss it and move on. It is the liberal answer. There are several ways to arrive at this conclusion, but none of them are academically responsible. If you believe the Bible is inerrant and/or authoritative, you have a problem.

Second, read it with a different emphasis, as if 34-35 were a Corinthian position that Paul is snarkily attacking in verse 36. Not bad. Kind of a middle road, theologically speaking. Easy to see and culturally appealing, but it does seem slightly out of tune with other passages around it. Critics might say it also lacks punch in the sense that it perhaps oversimplifies a much deeper issue.

Third, dig deep into cultural and textual context, split a couple of hairs and come back with the idea that Paul does allow women to pray and prophecy (1 Corinthians 11:5). He is only prohibiting women from publicly evaluating prophecies given in church because that might undermine the peace and order that is properly modeled through the marital relationship of husband and wife. Also not bad, but highly complex. Definitely the conservative answer.

In the end, the first approach is easily dismissed. The second and third approaches are both viable, but no approach to this controversial passage is without difficulties. Good godly men will disagree.

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Common Notes 4.2.19

Last week at Common Ground we began a transition to the next era of the BSU. Noah Deyo led worship for us, the first time we’ve had live worship that we didn’t borrow in over three semesters! Next week we will usher in a new leadership team.

Our study last week continued our look into the book of 1 Corinthians with a discourse on chapter 13, “The Love Chapter.” One of the most commonly used scriptures at weddings, people often misunderstand it’s context. The Apostle Paul wasn’t talking about how to keep romantic relationships alive, he was talking about a “more excellent” way for Christians to live than the Corinthian model of prideful competition. Briefly put, three points really stand out from a quick study of the chapter. First, love is what matters most. You can be an incredibly gifted person, but apart from love, you are an epic failure. Paul says that when you live that way, steeped in selfish ambition, you are nothing and your gifts will profit you nothing. That’s pretty harsh. For us that means that motive matters as much as anything. It’s not enough to be great at something, you have to be great for the right reasons. Selfish ambition gets you nowhere.

Second, Paul unpacks the idea of love and what it means. He reminds us that love is really about keeping others first even to the point of sacrifice. If you want to be loving, to live a more excellent life, stop keeping score. Quit carrying grudges. Assume the best of people, even when that seems a little off, even when it doesn’t make the most sense. It’s better to assume the best and be wrong than to assume the worst and be right. Sometimes that will cost us something. Love is willing to pay.

Third, Paul reminds us that love is ultimately a far better way to live than competing and comparing because when everything else is gone, love will remain. Love is part of the character of God. It was His motive for sending Jesus into the world, and when the world is finished that eternal love will still be around. Our job as followers of Jesus is to reveal that. So rather than argue over who can preach, teach, sing, pray, serve, give or lead better, grow up a bit and focus on love.

If you have an extra couple of minutes, read 1 Corinthians 13 right now. It’s only 13 verses. As you do, substitute your own name for the word ‘love’ as you do. See how well that fits. Does something grind? Sound a bit off? Maybe that’s your queue, something to think about and work on this week…

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Common Notes 3.26.19

This week at Common Ground was our first week back from Spring Break. After watching a video from the trip, we took a look 1 Corinthians 12. At first glance, it seems like the entire chapter is dedicated to understanding spiritual gifts. A deeper look, however, reveals much more. Paul was concerned with unity in the Corinthian church. That theme is evidenced throughout the letter, and this chapter is no exception. His need to address the issue indicates that people at the church in Corinth were looking at giftedness as a way to separate positions of honor in the church, sowing division among the members. Paul emphasizes that all gifts are from the same God and intended to benefit the whole church. In that regard there shouldn’t be any honor or shame associated with any spiritual gift, we’re all equal. His message in verses 24-25 is that God has gifted people so that there would be no division, but rather equality of care for people. This hearkens back all the way to 11:18 where Paul points out that Corinth is a divided church. At the end of the chapter he point to the offices of the church–apostles, prophets and teachers–as the one thing that establishes any kind of real hierarchy. Giftedness is good, but we are all gifted. The gifts come from God and are to be used for the benefit of the whole church. That’s what matters.

Questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • How am I gifted?
  • Am I using my gifts to benefit the church or myself?
  • Do I seek to honor/shame others based on giftedness?
  • Does my attitude bring division or unity to the body of Christ?
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