The Gospel of Matthew: The Rapture, Conspiracy, and the End of the World
The Gospel of Matthew, part 69: The Rapture, Conspiracy, and the End of the World
Overcoming Spiritual Apathy
By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Spend a few minutes catching up on life and discussing how the last Practice went.
Read this overview
Jesus often warned against spiritual apathy; a lazy haze in our minds and hearts that dulls us to the world around us, and the activity and presence of God. But Jesus wasn’t just concerned with us “missing out” on fun or exciting things. Left unaddressed, spiritual apathy leads to serious consequences.
The current of modern life draws us into spiritual apathy, often slowly and subtly. Our culture’s pull is drawing us to distract, numb, and overbusy ourselves to the point of spiritual death. But against this current, willpower can only take you so far. Jesus’ warnings weren’t given to individuals, but to communities of apprentices working together to wake up and to stay awake.
Discuss the coming week’s Practice (5 minutes)
This week, set aside time to read through Ephesians 5v8-20. Invite God’s Spirit to speak to you as you read through the text. Notice Paul’s command to the church in Ephesus, “Wake up, sleeper”.
As you read, reflect on your life and if there is an area that you’ve longed to see change. It could be as simple as establishing a morning routine of Bible reading and prayer, or it could be as seemingly daunting as going to counseling or getting out of debt.
Once you’ve determined an area of your life that needs to change, share with your Community what it is and invite them to encourage you and hold you accountable in this. If that seems intimidating, consider calling and talking with just one or two people in your Community about it.
At next week’s meeting, share with your Community what the area of change you’d like their support you and what that could look like. If you are uncomfortable sharing it with the entire group, simply tell them if you have invited at least one person to support you in a particular area.
Work through these discussion questions together as a Community (15 – 20 minutes)
- What life patterns do you tend to fall into when falling asleep spiritually (i.e. too much Netflix/video games/sports, alcohol/drugs, social media use, over busy yourself, etc.)?
- What sorts of reactions do you have to the idea of sharing with people your biggest areas of struggle (i.e. embarrassment, humiliation, hopefulness, anger, encouragement, fear, etc.)?
- What sort of reactions do you have to the idea of receiving help from people in your biggest areas of struggle?
Take Communion (10 minutes)
Close in prayer (5 minutes)