Prepare The Way - Part 2 - Change

MICRO CHURCH GUIDE
December 10, 2023
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

OneLife Students - Christmas Party, Dec 13
As buddy the elf wisely said: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." We couldn't agree more! That’s why this year OneLife Students will be celebrating Christmas with a Christmas Karaoke Party! There will be delicious food, fun karaoke games, and we’ll be wrapping up our Christmas series. It all takes place Wednesday, December 13 at our North Campus. Doors open at 6:30pm and we will wrap up at 8:30pm.

Kid City Christmas Pajama Party, December 17
On Sunday, December 17 Kid City is having a Christmas pajama party during both services! Wear your favorite PJs and be ready for Christmas games & Christmas goodies. This is a fun morning for you to invite other friends to join you as well. We can’t wait to see you there!

The Big Regift Christmas Missions Offering
Each Christmas season we challenge our OneLifers to give their biggest gift to Jesus during the Big Regift Christmas Missions Offering. Every penny will go to support OneLife’s 2024 international mission partners around the world! You can give to the offering using the Big Regift Christmas Offering envelopes or online at onelifeknox.com/give.

OneLife’s Community Christmas Services
OneLife will be holding our annual community Christmas services on December 23 & 24! Come experience the sights and sounds of the season during this modern, yet still traditional Christmas production. From candlelight and Christmas carols to lights, music, and more, this is an event you won’t forget! Visit onelifeknox.com to see all the service times and to reserve your free tickets today.

Baptism

If you’ve given your life to Jesus but haven’t gone public with your story through baptism then it’s time to take that step! Mark the baptism box on your Connection Card and we’ll help you get started.
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GIVE BACK
Give Jesus your best! Make a one-time tithe or offering or to set up a recurring tithe or offering: Click Here To Give Online.
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BOTTOM LINE:  Preparation requires change.

Mark 1:1-4 NLT
This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written:“ Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. 3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,‘ Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” 4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

Repentance - a reorientation of my way of life.

Repentance is a dramatic change - a complete reorientation.

Mark 1:5 NLT
5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

Confession without repentance is only words.

Mark 1:6 NLT
6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

Repentance is obvious and seen outward as much as it is inward.

Mark 1:7-8 NLT
7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

Preparing the way for others is a mark of true repentance.

START TALKING
What are some things you have to complete change or reorient in your life or in your home to prepare for Christmas?

When you have had to completely change or reorient your life to prepare for something new or for a new way of life, how was it as obvious on the outside and publicly as it was privately? What made it obvious that there had been a change for you?

START THINKING
Each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell different parts of the Christmas story from their unique, personal experience. But they all four share one thing in common. Read the following four verses to see what it is:

Matthew 3:3
Mark 1:3
Luke 3:4
John 1:23

What do they all point to? What do you think the significance of this is that the Holy Spirit chose to ensure all four accounts point out this same thing?

Read Mark 1:1-4.
What does verse 4 say is the purpose of baptism? Does it actually do anything or does it show something? Why is this difference important?
How does the act of baptism, which John did differently than the Jews were accustomed to and we do the same now, show repentance?


START SHARING
When you started following Jesus, what was the biggest thing that you noticed being a dramatic change or reorientation in your life?

Which was easier for you - confession or repentance? When have you experienced that confession without repentance is simply words? What was the hardest part about truly repenting and reorienting your way of life?

Read Mark 1:5.
John's repentance was truly a dramatic reorientation of the way of life. While you might not wear camel's hair and eat bugs, your repentance will be obvious and noticed outwardly. What have people noticed about your life - or what would people notice about your life - if you have not only confessed your sin but also repented?

START DOING
John gave his life to preparing the way for Jesus to come so that others would have a chance to experience Him. What did someone or other people do to prepare the way for you to know Jesus? How did they "raise the low places" and "lower the high places" so that you could have a straight path to Jesus?

What can you do this Christmas season to prepare the way for others to know Jesus? We have two ways we can do that as a church:

1. The Big ReGift Christmas Offering. What can you do to reorient your life and be generous so that we can partner together in preparing the way for others around the world to know Jesus? What might it take for you to give Jesus your best and biggest gift this year?

2. Christmas Services. December 23 and 24 we will once again host our community Christmas services at each of our campus. This is a chance for all of us to prepare the way for others to experience Jesus in a real and creative way. Who can you invite? How will you serve to help us prepare the way for others?

In our everyday life we have opportunities to live like John the Baptist to prepare the way for others. What can you do this week to live a life of repentance that will make you more like Jesus and be apparent to those around you?

What can you do in the relationships where you live, work, and play so that you can prepare for others to know Jesus? How does finding opportunities to share your story begin to prepare the way for them?

START PRAYING

Pray for what each of you in the microchurch shared for how you can prepare by repenting and how you can prepare the way for others this Christmas season. Pray that just like John the Baptist saw many respond that we will, too, in our individual lives and in the life of our church!
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CONNECTION CARDS
Be sure to fill out the online Connection Card to let us know next steps, prayer requests, or other information you'd like to share, click here.
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MULTIPLICATION
Share spiritual/missional conversations you've had where you live, work, and play:
  - Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
  - What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
  - How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
  - How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
  - Who in your life do you think could be disciple-able or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
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WHAT'S NEXT?
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?/giveback/giveback
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?

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