Looking Ahead Q&A

Are the life group sermon questions available through the app?

Unfortunately, they are not at this time. We are always looking for feedback on how we can improve the app, so we will add that to our list. At this time, the sermon questions can be found here.

Doesn't connecting to Christ include connecting to the wider Church (the Church Universal) through the common creeds, the Lord's prayer, the cross, and other liturgical and hymnodical means?

Absolutely.

Isn't the Greek in the Great Commission more precisely translated "as you go"? We do not make disciples, but the Holy Spirit through us makes disciples?

I don't know that I'd say "as you go" is a more precise translation. It helps people to understand the spirit of what's being said, but what's a "precise" translation depends on so many things that to say one is more precise than another really depends on what the goal of the translation is. In Matthew 28:19, a common misunderstanding is what is the actual command being given. The "Go" (or "as you go") isn't the command; the "make disciples of all nations" is the command given by Jesus to His disciples. Yes the Holy Spirit plays a part, but the command is given to the disciples to obey.

In Hebrews 13:17 what is meant by "give an account" in regards to spiritual leaders and those that obey them?

Throughout the Bible we see that every person will "give an account" to God (see Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5). For leaders in the church, part of their "giving of an account" will not just be personal (how they followed God), but also how they led the people they were responsible for. Were they diligent in leading or lazy. Did they have an eternal focus for the people they were entrusted with or did they allow temporary things distract them from the eternal destinies of the people?

Going back to the first sentence in this response, every person will give an account. Though not explicitly stated, implied is that the Christians will also give an account as to how they submitted to and obeyed their leaders. Whether or not they make it a joy for their leaders to lead them.

This is why church membership is so important. Without it, I wouldn't know who I will be giving an account for as a pastor. Some, who think membership isn't as important, would need to clarify as to who exactly I'm responsible for as a pastor. Everyone who attends Gateway? How many times do they have to attend? What if they stopped attending 10 years ago and don't go to another church? What if they watch my sermons online and live in another part of the world? What if they don't want me to be their pastor, but attend Gateway because it "gets their spouse to stop nagging them about going to church"? Am I responsible for all of them?

I've never heard a good response from those who oppose church membership, but am open to learning with God's Word being our guide.