Date: July 2, 2023
Barnabas and Paul
The Point: Expect mentoring relationships to change over time.
Get Into the Study
Use the following before asking Question 1.
For many, the idea of stepping on the scales or measuring the waistline is dreadful. So it was probably a relief to some Air Force personnel when the abdominal circumference was removed from their Physical Fitness Assessment in 2020. In April of 2023, however, the Air Force began using Waist to Height Ratio (WHtR) as their new measure of overall health and fitness.
According to the Healthy Weight Forum, the Waist to Height Ratio is “a far more accurate way of measuring healthy weight than the traditional Body Mass Index (BMI).” The WHtR is also much simpler to calculate as you simply take your waist circumference and divide it by your height. Another benefit is that the WHtR can be used across different age, gender and ethnic groups with 0.5 “generally accepted as a universal cutoff for central obesity in children (aged ≥6 years) and adults.”
The apple-shaped person (carrying most of the excess fat in the abdominal area) is at greater health risk than the pear-shaped person (carrying excess fat in the hips). This is because excess fat in the abdominal region is associated with a number of health concerns that, according to the United States Air Force, “negatively impact physical readiness.”
Measuring weight and physical fitness is not fun for a lot of us, but it is essential to the maintenance of our health and well-being. A lot of other measurements are significantly less dreadful to calculate.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide, p. 61]
Play a video showing someone measuring growth in some area of life. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Share the following after discussing Question 3.
Serving together as believers results in deeper relationships and greater effectiveness. A recent Lifeway Research study found that significantly more churchgoers serve within the church than within the community. In fact, “on average, 42% of adult churchgoers volunteer in their churches, but only 27% volunteer in their communities.” While serving in the church is essential, impacting the community through service is equally important to fulfillment of the Great Commission.
“A church faithfully reaching out to its community will be seen in a new light,” says Jennifer Matenaer, an Iowa missionary. She went on to say, “Neighbors will remember the folks who gave their kids school supplies, packed meals for the homeless, or passed out bottled water after a hurricane. The meaningless steepled building at the corner of 5th Avenue and South Street transforms into a place of familiar faces, kind words, and hope. When a person faces a crisis, they will know where to turn.”
Serving alongside fellow church members certainly builds a sense of intimacy through shared experience, but it also builds a bridge between the church and the surrounding geographical area. Matenaer went on to say that churches prioritizing service inside and outside their own walls “will find it leads to growth in their churches, their communities, and themselves—and to a restored connection of the church with the community.”
Melinda Wallace lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with her husband Stan. They have two grown children,. Her passion is leveraging her love of language to exalt Jesus and invite others to enjoy Him as He is revealed by the Holy Spirit through Scripture.
- When have you grown the most spiritually?
- How have some of your friendships changed over time?
- How can we depend on other Christians to help us through difficult times?
- How can other Christians help us through difficult times?
- What might a new believer need to hear that would stimulate spiritual growth?
- What are outward signs of inward repentance?
- Who has been a “Barnabas” in your life?
- Who was a Barnabas in your early days as a Christian?
- Why is serving the church a natural outcome of spiritual growth?
- When have you had a meaningful experience serving with other believers?
- How were you motivated to begin serving your church?
- What could you do to encourage others to serve the Lord?
- What are your favorite ways to serve within the church? Why?
- What are some ways we can encourage others to step up and serve?
- How might a kingdom-focus prepare believers for a potential separation between a mentor and one that is mentored?
- Why do believers sometimes struggle with the concept that division often leads to multiplication?
- How can we address differences of opinion with others in a way that honors God?
- What is your initial reaction to these verses? Why?
- What positive lessons have you learned through a partnership or friendship that became difficult?
- How do we manage sharp disagreements in a godly way?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- Mature Living – The Narrator
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.