Common Notes 10.15.19

 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.                                  Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

It isn’t ALL fun and games on Tuesdays, but yeah, there’s usually a little bit of fun and games anyway!

The Christian life is meant to be lived in community. Not crowds. Not cliques. Community. Crowds are large groups of people who are only loosely connected by a short-term common purpose such as enjoying a concert or shopping at a mall. Cliques are small groups of people that are so closely connected as friends that they have little or no interest in others. You can be alone in a crowd because no one knows you or cares about you. Crowds are blind to those inside them. You can feel isolated and excluded by a clique because they’ll literally talk and move around you with little regard for your presence. Cliques are blind to those outside them. Both crowds and cliques are unintentional–they are there, but they serve no higher purpose. They form and dissipate with little or no regard to the people of which they are made. Christ calls us to neither.

Community for the followers of Jesus is intentional. Gospel-centered communities are meant see everyone. They are all about “one another.” Serve one another, help one another, love one another, support one another, and serve a greater cause. Crowds don’t do that. They don’t even try. Cliques may try, but the Gospel calls us to more. It calls us to look inwardly and outwardly. The BSU strives to be a community, a place where people are known and cared for, trained and developed to be stronger in their faith. Our mission is to be disciples who make disciples. That is our cause, our higher purpose.

Another difference between crowds, cliques and communities is that people in communities often play intentional roles. They are involved in the life, health and mission of the greater whole in identifiable ways. They participate. They contribute. People in community are just there, they are involved.

  • What are other differences between crowds, cliques and communities?
  • Are you more comfortable alone or in a group? Why?
  • Of what communities are you a part?
  • How do you contribute to those communities?
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Common Notes 10.22.19

We are blessed to have students willing to contribute each week by singing, playing and organizing live worship each Tuesday night.

Matthew was one of those ordinary men Jesus chose to be one of the 12 Disciples. A lot of people know he had another name, Levi. It is also fairly common knowledge that he was a tax collector. What may surprise you to find out is that tax collectors, particularly Jewish tax collectors like Matthew, were among the most despised individuals in Israel during the time of Jesus. They are listed right beside prostitutes in common conversation (Matthew 21:31). The temple, which had separate areas for priests, men, women and gentiles, made no provision for tax collectors to enter. Before Jesus, Matthew was isolated both socially and religiously from the rest of society. When Jesus called out to him (Luke 5:28), he followed immediately and hosted a banquet. The guest list? Other tax collectors and their “plus ones.” Probably the only people who would associate with him! Forbidden from entering the temple while he was collecting taxes for the Romans, his Gospel quotes the Old Testament more than Mark, Luke and John combined. He clearly loved his people–the Jews–and wanted them to share the good fortune he found in Jesus with them.

  • If you were to have a “Look! Jesus!” party, who would you want to be there?
  • Jews looked at tax collectors with utter disdain. Who are the people you tend to look at that way? Why them?
  • Describe a time when you felt looked down on by others. How does following Jesus affect that?
  • In what ways have you told others about your faith in Jesus?
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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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