This week in the ‘Uncomfortable” series, we talked about how the church is made up of people we may not always get along with or agree with – but that’s something God can use for our good.
1.  Are there people or types of people that have made church uncomfortable for you?  Have you tended to “tune them out” or try to find ways to get along with them?
2. Church means community.  (life together, faith together, supporting on another, serving one another) Has church and community been a part of your life?  Why or Why not?
3.  What did Christopher mean when he said many of us have a “personal faith”? (we remove community from our faith experience and leave it all to our own efforts whether we grow or not.)  What is good about a personal faith and what is bad? (good – our conversion and faith stories; bad – we believe we don’t need others and our individual faith only shrinks our experience of God and saps the full power of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  We need others and God to grow in our faith.)
4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14.  How are we connected?  (We are all one body and we need each other, we all share the same Spirit and it makes us family)
5.  Read Acts 2:42-47.  The early church modeled for us how we are to do life together.  What are the 4 values they modeled?  (1. shared their stuff with one another.  2. shared their hearts with one another.  3. they stayed together and embraced the pain and grew up and old together.  4.  Their family was everyone and they treated everyone the same.)  Your Connect Group should model this early church.  In what ways can you see this as true?
We continued with our “Uncomfortable” series and this week we focused on the cross.  We should expect some uncomfortableness because the crucifixion and what Jesus did on the cross is at the very center of our faith.
1.  Pastor Jim talked about being a Jesus follower.  What is the difference between being a Jesus follower and a disciple?  (no difference.  🙂  Just wanted to make sure that people understood this.)  What does it mean to be a Jesus follower?  (to develop a relationship with Jesus, strive to be more like Jesus in thought and action, learn about the Bible and Jesus, and serve Jesus and others with time, treasures and talents.) 
2. Read Mark 8:31-34.  What does Jesus mean when he says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”?  (sacrificing ourselves for others, living for Jesus and others rather than for our own selfish desires.  Our own cross is different for each one of us because we are all designed differently.)
3.  What do you think your cross is in your life?  Would your life look any differently if you “took up your cross”? 
4.  Why is the cross considered the center of our Christian Faith? (the greatest example of the sacrificial love when Jesus gave his life for you.  So that you would have eternal life!  Also, without the death and resurrection, you wouldn’t see how Jesus defeated death and how He is still alive to day.)
5.  Do you believe that in taking up your cross that you can live more fully?  Do you believe that your life can be more complete in following Jesus?  Following Jesus is a choice.  Taking up our cross is a choice.  Where are you with that choice?
We started a new series on Sunday entitled “Uncomfortable” and this week we focused on Embracing the Discomfort. The Christian life – especially when it comes to being part of a church community – is full of discomfort and awkwardness, but God uses these challenges to help us know Him better.
1.  Jim’s dad told him at the age of thirteen “challenges are merely opportunities to grow in ways never before imagined… and they’re supposed to be uncomfortable.  You either embrace the discomfort and grow… or you retreat to a place of comfort and never achieve all that you could have…”  Do you feel that you tend to embrace the discomfort or retreat to a place of comfort?
2.  Church isn’t about what YOU want or what I want.  Church is about understanding GOD more and meeting GOD where He is.  This is an uncomfortable AND beautiful thing.  What do you think about this?  What is church to you?  (There isn’t a right a wrong answer here.  It’s important that people really think about what church means for them and perhaps wrestle a bit with it.)
3.  Read John 12:25-26.  Following God is about dyeing to ourselves and this isn’t always a comforting thought!  What does dyeing to ourselves mean?  (listening to God, learning about God, serving others and putting God and others before ourselves. what we want isn’t most important anymore because we know that God will provide for us and take care of us)
4.  What is something that makes you uncomfortable about following God?  Are you willing to try to leave your comfort zone in order to grow in your faith?