Family is our first place to experience community, and it is also a place where we have a collective experience that pulls us together. It is easy to identify this collective experience within our nuclear family, but God always intended for us to be connected as an extended family as well. Jesus constantly and intentionally reached out to people around Him and included them in His life. We also see this reality in the lives of Paul and Timothy. As disciples of Jesus, we need to understand the importance of extended family as the vehicle for the mission of God.
Read Mark 3:31-35
- In the passage, Jesus intentionally reorients what it means to be family by broadening the definition of a collective experience. What makes your nuclear family a family? What would it look like for your family to expand your collective experience and become an extended family?
- What are the traits we need to become an extended family? Why? What might be the challenges?
- Read 2 Timothy 1:3-8. Looking at the way Paul writes to Timothy, how would you describe their relationship? What do you think happened behind the scenes that gave rise to their deep trust for one another? Can you think of other characters in the Bible with a similar relationship?
- As a family we spur each other to do the will of the Father. Is there anyone in your life that has been investing in you in this way? To whom have you been investing in this kind of relationship?
- We also spur each other to follow the voice of Jesus. What does it look like for you to do this? How can you identify the voice of Jesus? What might hinder us from listening to His voice and from spurring each other?
- Take a minute of quiet time and think about the people in your life today. Who is God placing around you that could potentially be your extended family? What is God saying to you right now?
To be an extended family requires closeness to Jesus and an openness to others. We need relationships where we can encourage and pray for one another, as well as be willing to show our vulnerability and weakness. Who is one person that God wants you to be an extended family for? How can this Life Group hold each other accountable in this matter?