Nov 22, 2015
A Tale of Two Lions
This week our guest speaker is Rev. Paul Estabrooks with Open Doors International, helping persecuted Christians around the world. Rev. Paul Estabrooks' message is from 1 Peter 5:8-11 entitled "A Tale of Two Lions."

Questions:
1 Peter 5:8-11
Ice Breaker: An inattentive driver is one of the greatest dangers one might face on the road. There is genuine danger

if all drivers aren't focused and attentive to the task.

What are some practical things you do to assure you give proper attention to the most important tasks in your
day?

1. Discuss how the following Scriptures will help us understand who Satan really is? (see John 14:30; 2 Cor
4:4; Eph 2:2)

2. Sometimes people act as if Satan is just an evil influence. Why does knowing Satan is a real being matter?

3. As an enemy of God, how does Satan carry on his subversive activities within your church and family? What
tactics does he employ against you?

4. Some believe that Satan cannot harm a Christian. What does God’s Word teach about this? (see Heb 11:32-39)

5. Describe how we can have victory over Satan’s accusations. (see Rev 12:10-11)

6. What is the Biblical response of Christians to the sufferings of brothers and sisters around the world?

7. How is the plight of the persecuted church around the world linked to you?

“Only God can make the depraved heart desire God.”- John Piper
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  • Nov 22, 2015A Tale of Two Lions
    Nov 22, 2015
    A Tale of Two Lions
    This week our guest speaker is Rev. Paul Estabrooks with Open Doors International, helping persecuted Christians around the world. Rev. Paul Estabrooks' message is from 1 Peter 5:8-11 entitled "A Tale of Two Lions."

    Questions:
    1 Peter 5:8-11
    Ice Breaker: An inattentive driver is one of the greatest dangers one might face on the road. There is genuine danger

    if all drivers aren't focused and attentive to the task.

    What are some practical things you do to assure you give proper attention to the most important tasks in your
    day?

    1. Discuss how the following Scriptures will help us understand who Satan really is? (see John 14:30; 2 Cor
    4:4; Eph 2:2)

    2. Sometimes people act as if Satan is just an evil influence. Why does knowing Satan is a real being matter?

    3. As an enemy of God, how does Satan carry on his subversive activities within your church and family? What
    tactics does he employ against you?

    4. Some believe that Satan cannot harm a Christian. What does God’s Word teach about this? (see Heb 11:32-39)

    5. Describe how we can have victory over Satan’s accusations. (see Rev 12:10-11)

    6. What is the Biblical response of Christians to the sufferings of brothers and sisters around the world?

    7. How is the plight of the persecuted church around the world linked to you?

    “Only God can make the depraved heart desire God.”- John Piper
  • Nov 15, 2015Teen Challenge presentation – AUDIO ONLY
    Nov 15, 2015
    Teen Challenge presentation – AUDIO ONLY
    Series: Various
    The Teen Challenge Men's Choir did a special presentation on Sunday, Nov 15 which consisted of inspiring songs and stories of freedom from addiction. Below are questions from Titus 2:11-15 that were inspired by the choir.
      Questions: Titus 2:11-15 Ice Breaker: Have you ever been left with a list of duties to perform that to you seem way beyond your skills and abilities? Expectations on the job can be like that sometimes. Being a spouse and a parent can also leave us with the same feelings of inadequacy. How do you handle it when you have those feelings of not being up to the challenge? 1. Where did grace come from and how would you describe its appearance? (v.11) (John 1:14-18) 2. How does grace teach you to say "no”? (v.12) Give some examples. 3. Discuss the “blessed hope” and what it means to you. (v.13) (see Romans 8:18-39) What can we do to develop a sense of expectancy about Christ’s return? 4. In your own words, explain why Christ redeemed you. (v.14) (see Ephesians 2:8-10) How are you living out His confidence in you? 5. Paul concludes this section as he began it back in verse 1. How would you phrase verse 15 in your own words? 6. How are we able to fulfill the noble purpose that Christ has called us to? (vv.11-15) (also see Titus 3:1-7) 7. Share how you were inspired, blessed, challenged and possibly corrected or admonished by the message from the Teen Challenge staff and residents. “The Bible never describes faith as a leap into the dark; rather it is a step into the light.” - Andy Bannister
  • Nov 8, 2015Come Together for Confession
    Nov 8, 2015
    Come Together for Confession
    Pastor Deric concludes our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For Confession" from Matthew 16:13-23

    Questions:
    Matthew 16:13-23
    Ice Breaker: There are a lot of things I’m quite willing to express my opinion about. With some subjects, it’s a relatively ‘off the cuff’ opinion or comment you’ll get from me. With a select few subjects, I have a level of experience and expertise to base my opinions on.

    Is it important to know what we, as individuals, actually believe? Why or why not?

    1. What were the people who had heard Jesus, saying about Him? What can we learn about them from what they said? (vv.13-14)

    2. Matthew’s gospel has come to a turning point here. What is the confession that Peter verbalizes on behalf of the disciples? (v.16)

    3. What are the implications of Jesus' response in verses 17 to 19 for the disciples and for us today?

    4. How does the price Jesus described that He was willing to pay in verses 21, set the ground work for the cost of being His disciple?

    5. How do the ups and downs of Peter in this narrative reflect the ministry partnership between Jesus and man?

    6. “But, who do YOU say I am?" Peter nailed it in verse 16 when Jesus asked him that question. According to the disciples, the people of Jesus' day had a variety of opinions about who He was. They had a high regard for Him, but missed the mark, and that was a critical ‘miss.’ Who do you say Jesus is and what difference does that make in the way you live your life today?

    “None of us are so clumsy or so bad or so weak that God cannot and will not use us for His glory.”- Kevin DeYoung

  • Nov 1, 2015Three Key Ingredients to a Church on Fire!
    Nov 1, 2015
    Three Key Ingredients to a Church on Fire!
    This week our guest speaker: Gary Carter continues our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "
    Three Key Ingredients to a Church on Fire! " from Acts 4:32-37.

    Questions:
    Acts 4:32-37
    Ice Breaker: I suspect that for most of us, we have categorized the people we interact with by the nature of the relationship. Some are purely professional, such as in the workplace or at the places we shop regularly. Others are placed on a ‘higher’ level, like family and close friends.
     
    Do you interact with people differently depending upon your relationship? Do they all have high value and importance to you? Do you care about people you are not particularly close to? What about people in your church?
     
    1. Compare and contrast the distinctives of the early church described here in verse 32 and the church of today. What aspect of the early church stands out most to you? (also see Acts 4:13, 19-20, 31)
     
    2. How would you describe the Apostles’ ministry? What were two significant outcomes of this ministry? (v.33)

    3. How does the commitment of the early church to the needs of its members, and the specific example of Joseph/Barnabas, challenge the church today? (vv.35-37) (also see Deut 15:4-11)

    4. From this passage, what else can we know about the membership of the early church? (also see Acts 11:27-30) How does that compare to the makeup of churches today?

    5. What characteristics of the church must have been true as a foundation in order to create such unity, commitment and power?
     
    6. To what degree do you think it’s possible to see a “church on fire” today? What steps can we take to move in that direction?

    “Our Christian lives must function as visible words to a world that has forgotten how to ask important questions.”    - Cameron McAllister
  • Oct 25, 2015Come Together for Learning
    Oct 25, 2015
    Come Together for Learning
    Pastor Max continues our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For Learning" from Matthew 11:24-30.

    Questions:
    Matthew 11:24-30
    Ice Breaker: Ice Breaker: I seem to learn better when I can dig in, get my hands on something and really experience what I’m trying to discover or learn.

    What are some important keys to ‘learning’ that you have discovered?

    Please read the larger passage, Matthew 11:20-30 to better understand the context.

    1. What is it that Jesus finds intolerable and why is that?

    2. Who does Jesus describe as the truly wise in this case? (Isa. 29:13-19; 1 Cor. 1:18)

    3. What does Jesus mean when He says, “… no one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son …” and how is it that they have that knowledge? (v.27)

    4. What unlocks the knowledge of God to man? (v.27) (see 2 Cor. 4:3-4)

    5. What would the ‘burden’ be that the Jews would carry? Similarly, what might the ‘burden’ be that our generation carries? (v.28)

    6. What did Jesus mean when He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light?” (vv.28-30) (also see Jer. 6:16-20)

    7. What have you learned from this passage that you can apply to your life as a disciple of Jesus?

    “Life-giving faith loves Jesus for who He is, not for the benefits He can bring.” - Timothy Keller
  • Oct 18, 2015Come Together for Worship
    Oct 18, 2015
    Come Together for Worship
    This week our guest speaker: Rev. Charles Costa continues our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For Worship" from Psalm 95.

    Questions:
    Psalm 95
    Ice Breaker: There are many things that can cause us to ‘come together.’ Here at City Centre, worship is possibly the most prominent reason.

    What initially brought you, and what keeps you coming to worship at City Centre?

    1. After reading the Psalm, write your own interpretation of what it says to you about worship. How does your interpretation fit with what Jesus described as worshipping  “in spirit and truth?” (John 4:23). In what verses of this Psalm do you see both of these qualities that Jesus described?

    2. Describe the motivation behind the emotions expressed in verses 1 to 5. Does this describe you as you approach worship?

    3. What reasons does the writer list for worshipping God? (vv.3-5) (also see Col. 1:16; Phil. 2:10; Rom. 8:38-39)

    4. How does the posture of the worshipper put into perspective the joy expressed in the first five verses? (vv.6-7)

    5. What urgent message does the writer deliver in the last verses? (also read Hebrews 3:7-4:13)

    6. Compare your worship to that described in the Psalm. Where do you agree and where do you fall short? What decisions do you need to make to rectify the situation?

    “Gathering together for worship has nothing to do with pleasing ourselves but it has everything to do with pleasing God.” - AW Tozer
  • Oct 11, 2015Come Together for the Cross
    Oct 11, 2015
    Come Together for the Cross
    Pastor Deric continues our new series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For The Cross" from Galatians 6:11-17.

    Questions:
    Galatians 6:11-17
    Ice Breaker: Ice Breaker: The ‘core’ of something is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a central and often foundational part… “

    What would you consider to be foundational or ‘central’ in your life?

    1. What are the two opposing motivations that Paul highlights in this paragraph?

    2. Why does the cross invite persecution?

    3. What place does the law of Moses hold in the life of the Christian today?

    4.  What does it mean to “boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?"

    5.  What does it mean to be “crucified to the world and the world to us?"

    6.  What is the new creation that Paul refers to in verse 15? What does it mean to us today? (also see 2 Cor. 5:17)

    “God doesn’t have to use people, but He almost always does. It means privilege for us and glory for Him."- Kevin DeYoung
  • Oct 4, 2015Judgement Seat Motivations for Global Ministry
    Oct 4, 2015
    Judgement Seat Motivations for Global Ministry
    This week we have a special guest speaker for our 35th Anniversary service, Dr. Bruce Snavely. He will be preaching from 2 Corinthians 5:10-21 entitled "Judgment Seat Motivations for Global Ministry."

    Questions:

    2 Corinthians 5:10-21
    Ice Breaker: Truth be told, there are likely many different things that motivate us to action. Some are positive and others may actually be negative.
     
    What are some of the factors that motivate you to daily action, and why do you think you are so affected by them?
     
    1. As a Christian, how does the realization that we will all stand before the judgement seat of God impact your life? (v.10; also read Psalms 62:12; Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:10-12)
     
    2. How does Paul understand the "fear of the Lord”? What impact does his understanding have on his ministry? (v.11; also read Job 31:23; Acts 9:31; Heb. 10:31)
     
    3. What is the primary motivator in Paul’s ministry and how has this same motivator impacted your life and ministry? (vv.12-15)
     
    4. How does the realization that we are a "new creation” change things for Paul and for us? (vv. 16-19; also read John 3:3; Rom. 6:4; Eph. 2:14-16; 4:20-24)
     
    5. What is the role of an “ambassador"? (v. 20)
     
    6. In light of this passage, what is God’s plan and purpose for you as a disciple? (vv. 20-21; also read Eph. 6:18b-20)
     
    “God always has a plan, and he can use anybody to carry it out.”- Kevin DeYoung
  • Sep 27, 2015We Are His Witnesses
    Sep 27, 2015
    We Are His Witnesses
    Pastor Deric continues our new series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "We Are His Witnesses" from Acts 1:4-9.

    Questions:
    Acts 1:4-9
    Ice Breaker: When I think of a ‘witness’, most often it seems to refer to someone involved in a police and/or legal matter. Often it seems that being a witness can mean a good outcome for some and a difficult outcome for others.

    How have you responded to the call to be Jesus’ witness in the world around you?

    1. Why is “waiting” so hard for us and why is it so good for us? (v.4)

    2. What does it mean to be “baptized” with the Holy Spirit? (v.5)

    3. What are the dangers inherent in “knowing the times and dates” that are God’s own business? (vv.6-7)

    4. What is the “power” that we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us? (v.8)

    5. What is a witness and why is it important to the church? (vv.8-9)

    “We are all apologists now, and we stand at the dawn of the grand age of human apologetics." - Os Guinness
  • Sep 20, 2015The One Church
    Sep 20, 2015
    The One Church

    Pastor Deric starts a new series called "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "The One Church" from Ephesians 4:1-6.

    Questions:
    Ephesians 4:1-6
    Ice Breaker: At City Centre, our vision is to be a "Spirit-filled and unified church family who are working together to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and build believers on the foundation of God’s Word."

    Very simply, what would be the central responsibility of the congregation in our vision statement?

    1. What is the calling that we have received? (v.1)

    2. In your words explain what Paul meant when he emphasized a life worthy of the calling they have received.

    3. What does it mean according to the Scriptures to “keep the unity of the Spirit?" (v.3)

    4. Identify the evidence for the universal or “invisible” church and the local or “visible” church in this passage.

    5. What is the importance of the word “one” (used 8 times) in Paul’s argument for "coming together" as the church? Which of the “ones” stood out to you most?

    6. What does it mean that God is ONE, the Father who is “over all and through all and in all?" (v.6)

    “God always has a plan, and he can use anybody to carry it out." - Kevin DeYoung

  • Sep 13, 2015The Secret to a Satisfying Life
    Sep 13, 2015
    The Secret to a Satisfying Life
    This week we have a special guest speaker Dr. Ron Cline. He will be preaching from John 4 entitled "The Secret to a Satisfying Life."

    Questions:

    John 4
    Ice Breaker: I believe everyone is driven by feelings of accomplishment or satisfaction. Sometimes the satisfaction is fleeting, like a good cup of coffee or tea with a wonderful meal. Other times, personal satisfaction can last much longer, especially when it involves things we pour ourselves into. Things like family and church.

    What are the things in your life that cause you to feel deep and lasting satisfaction?

    1. With knowledge gained from the entirety of chapter 4, what would be the significance of the statement in 4:4, “And He had to pass through Samaria.”? (see v.34)

    2. How does this passage suggest we should view people in the communities around us? (v.35)

    3. Describe the three vital parts to the process of evangelism outlined here and the key to success. (also see 1 Cor. 3:6-8)

    4. Describe the benefits you will experience when you begin to fulfill your role in the work described in these verses.

    5. Where are the ripened harvest fields in our world today?

    “Everything we do in obedience to God, no matter how small, is significant.” John Piper

    “Be faithful in whatever God gives you. That’s all you can do.” Kevin DeYoung
  • Sep 6, 2015A Treasure Worth Dying For
    Sep 6, 2015
    A Treasure Worth Dying For
    Series: Various
    This week Pastor Deric share a special message from Matthew 13:44-46 entitled "A Treasure Worth Dying For." Questions: Please read Matthew 13:44-46 Ice Breaker: What do you value most? I grew up in a world where family, job, home and ’things’ were most valued. Later, in my Christian walk, I struggled to make God and my relationship with Him the most important thing in my life. After some honest reflection, what are some of the things that can push God into the background of your life? 1.  Why did Jesus speak in parables?  (see vv. 10-13) 2.  What lessons do we specifically learn from these parables in the context of the Gospel?  3.  What significance does the word “treasure” in verse 44 suggest? 4.  What does “selling all” mean in this parable? (v. 45) 5.  What or who is the phrase “pearl of great price” referring to in verses 45-46? 6.  Compare and contrast the two parables. “The more you see your own flaws and sins the more precious, electrifying and amazing God’s grace appears to you.” - Timothy Keller
  • Aug 30, 2015Partners For Ministry
    Aug 30, 2015
    Partners For Ministry
    This week Pastor Max concludes the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Ministry."

    Questions
    Please read
    Philippians 1:3-11

    Ice Breaker: If you’ve been paying attention here, you know how much I appreciate working as part of a team! There’s nothing like partnering with other like-minded people to win a game or to make a difference that matters for eternity.

    Describe some of the challenges faced in assembling a really good team.

    1. What was it about the relationship between Paul and the Philippian church that brought great thankfulness and joy to Paul? (vv.3-5)

    2. Describe what you notice that is unique about a partnership in ministry? (v.6) (see Ps. 57:2-3; 1 Cor 1:7-8; 1 Thess. 1:3-4)

    3. What do we learn about the cost and the reality of partnership in ministry? (vv.7-8) (see 4:14-15)

    4. Describe some of the results of this partnership between Paul, the Philippian church and God. (vv.7-11) (see 1:29-30; Rom. 1:11)

    5. Are you a member in a partnership such as we’ve been studying in this passage? Describe how it's working, its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not participating, what needs to change?

    “I would rather fail in the weakness of the Spirit than succeed in the power of the flesh.” - Ray Ortlund

  • Aug 23, 2015Partners For Education
    Aug 23, 2015
    Partners For Education
    This week Pastor Max continues the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Education."

    Questions
    Please read Ephesians 6:1-4

    Ice Breaker: If you are a parent, there’s almost nothing as satisfying and at the same time frustrating as raising children. There is an element of great responsibility, and also the sense that much of what results is out of your control.

    As a parent, from where did you gather your information on how to raise your children?

    1. Describe what Paul means when he says children are to “obey” and  “honor” their father and mother? (vv.1-3) (also see Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Col. 3:20)

    2. What is the child’s responsibility and how might we see that working itself out in a family? (see Luke 2:51)

    3. Explain what it means to “provoke” your children. (see Col. 3:21)

    4. How would you describe Paul’s expectations of parents as they raise children?

    5. If you are a parent, what would be your strengths? What would be your weaknesses? How might you capitalize on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses?

    6. How might you apply the principles of this passage in the broader context of relationships, the church and society as a whole? (also read Eph. 5; 6:5-20)

    “The goal is Jesus, the centre is the Gospel and the family is a means for revealing the Gospel now and for passing the Gospel from one generation to the next.” - Dr. Timothy Paul Jones
  • Aug 16, 2015Partners For Missions
    Aug 16, 2015
    Partners For Missions
    This week Pastor Max continues the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Missions."

    Questions
    Please read 1 Corinthians 3:5-15

    Ice Breaker: Have you ever been a part of a great team? In my opinion, there’s nothing like it! When every member compliments the other and all are functioning in their strengths, it’s a special synergy that occurs and the outcome is often very special.

    What great and not-so-great experiences have you had as part of a team?

    1. What is a primary role of Christian leaders? How can leaders’ natural abilities affect their role and the outcome of their ministry? (vv.5-7) (also see 9:1; 15:1; Acts 18:4-11; 2 Cor. 10:14,15)

    2. How does Paul’s assertion that God brings about the growth, impact how you view the churches' role in His mission? What about your role?

    3. What can people conflicts within the ministry tell us about those involved?

    4. What was Paul’s goal in his ministry? (vv.8-9) (also see Rom. 12:3-8; 15:20; Eph. 2:20-22)

    5. Where can you participate in the mission and expand your view of the churches’ task to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus? (vv.10-11)

    “Be obedient even when you don’t know where obedience may lead you.” - Sinclair Ferguson