Family Portrait: The Church

The gospel of grace leads to a gospel of love, which manifests itself in authentic gospel community. Although imperfectly, we are all presenting a picture for the world to see. As the gap between the church and culture continues to widen, Christians must make every effort to reflect the gospel of Christ more fully. - Pastor Dave

Open: Have you ever attempted to take a good family picture or selfie with the family? Describe the

experience: What makes getting a family picture so difficult?

Read: Matthew 16; Colossians 1, 4; Philemon 1-7


1. How does our culture of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and selfies demonstrate our desire to present the best possible reflection of ourselves?

2. What does the word “church” mean? Why does God describe the church as the “body of Christ”? How have you seen the church as the “body of Christ”? Do you think that the church is doing a good job reflecting this portrait of Christ? How has the church failed as the body of Christ?

3. Why does the church get such a bad rap in our culture today? What are some of the faulty views about the church that you have experienced? How has the church traditionally viewed the culture around them? In what ways does Christ call the church to be a bridge to the culture?

4. The church of Colossae is a case study of the church’s purpose and work. In Colossians 4:5-6, Paul calls the church to think strategically and act urgently toward those outside of the church. How should the gospel be the center of the church’s mission? Describe Paul’s relationship with Philemon:

5. Philemon is the Apostle Paul’s shortest book but most personal. What characteristics did the church at Colossae reflect so vividly? How does reflecting Christ well demonstrate the “full knowledge of every good thing that is in Christ” and “refresh” both the church and the culture?

Pray: Pray that you and the church would reflect the best picture of Christ in our community.

Memorize/Meditate: I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. Philemon 1:6