Take time to catch up on the past week (over drinks or snacks if possible). Then ask group members to discuss:
Over this term, we’re exploring the theme of moving. Many of us will have changes and moves ahead: this series allows us to look to God’s word for wisdom.
Ask for a volunteer to read Acts 20:17-38 to the group, praying a short prayer that, however much they’ve come to know God, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
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Suggested questions to help your discussion.
In this chapter, Paul addresses the ‘elders’ from Ephesus (verse 17). Later they are also referred to as ‘overseers’ and ‘shepherds’ (verse 28). As a team, these leaders are called to tend, feed and protect Christ’s sheep. The Ephesian elders are exhorted first to keep watch over themselves, and then over the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made them responsible.
This flock is extremely precious to God (verse 28) – and is ultimately his own. Caring for God’s flock has many dimensions: elders are to teach, care and encourage. In Acts 20, Paul particularly emphasises how elders must keep watch against false teachers who will enter the church and threaten the sheep (verse 29).
Local churches differ on their leadership structures, but the call to church leaders (whether or not they’re called ‘elders’) is identical.
Leaders are to mirror and reflect the ministry of Jesus, who gave himself completely to those given to him by the Father. Their congregations are flocks entrusted to them by God, who they must help become all that they can in the ministry of the gospel.
At the end of the year, as people leave and groups change, it’s easy only to look back. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we’re encouraged to run the race still marked out for us.
Then pray together – especially committing those graduating, going on a year abroad or in industry, or back to a difficult situation in their family home over the summer.
Go out laughing and cheering, celebrating what you’ve shared over the past year!
There are many ways to end your year as an Impact Group together in celebration. You might like to have a barbecue and play some games. You could host an evening where everyone brings some food, go out for a meal or even organising a day trip!
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