Welcome to the third week of our winter series The Grace Effect. This series helps us understand how grace should inspire whole life generosity and that gift receivers become gift givers. This week we discuss financial generosity as we look at the radical generosity of the Macedonian churches.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Last week’s sermon talked about hospitality. How can you be praying for each other as you seek to practice hospitality?
Share part of your story
What is one of the favorite gifts you gave or received this Christmas?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to 2 Corinthians 8:1-9. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
Who is Paul writing to and why? Who are the Macedonians? What gift is Paul referring to?
How does Paul describe the situation of the Macedonian churches when they gave their offering? Why would this be considered a radical sacrifice?
Sacrificial giving costs us something. What are some of the things sacrificial giving might cost us?
Radical generosity doesn’t wait. What does this mean? What can happen if we wait to be generous?
How does Paul describe the way the Macedonians went about giving their gift? How does their giving show the grace effect?
Why do you think financial generosity requires initiative? What tends to happen if we lack initiative?
Senior Pastor Jeff Manion says “later” can be lethal because we believe we are saying “yes” but we are really saying “no.” How do you feel this relates to financial generosity?
Paul says the Macedonians gave of themselves first to the Lord. It wasn’t just that their money was at God’s disposal—they were at God’s disposal. They gave themselves to the Christ who had given himself for them. What are some ways we can give ourselves to God on a regular basis?
The Macedonians’ generosity came out of their commitment to God. Sometimes God doesn’t have access to our finances because he doesn’t have access to me. How do you think financial generosity can be a barometer for whether or not we have truly given ourselves to God?
In 2 Corinthians 8:8-9, Paul gives the reason for why we should be generous. It is the grace effect. Gift receivers become gift givers. How is God’s generosity through the person and work of Jesus related to our finances?
Pastor Manion said radical generosity is when an individual becomes so generous that they begin to organize their lives around giving money away. In general terms, describe what it looks like to practice whole life generosity through our finances? What are some of the things a person who is practicing financial generosity would do?
Pastor Manion said to excel in the grace of giving, we need to know about our finances so that we can grow. Do you feel like most people know where their money really goes?
Have you ever done the work to figure out where your money goes? How did you do it? What surprised you?
Once we know where we are at financially, we can begin to grow. What are some ways people can grow in their finances? Is there a specific area where you would like to grow?This week’s conversation is about how the grace effect should produce financial generosity. To take a next step, consider whether you “know.” Do you feel like you have a strong grasp on your finances so you can grow? Starting the first week in February, small groups at Ada Bible Church are encouraged to go through a study called Balanced. Balanced is a 6-week small group discussion that teaches God’s perspective on money and gives us practical tools to know and grow in our unique financial situation. We’d love for your group to take the next step to “know and grow” by joining the church in going through Balanced.
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Healthy small groups look outside the group to engage the world. One way to do this is by regularly asking the question: “Who needs what we have?” Ask that question this week. Consider adding members to your group. Think through your friend, work, school and other social circles for who needs to be connected to a small group. Discuss whether it makes sense, and if it does, how your group can provide a place to share life and pursue God with them.
Download a printable PDF here.