Organizing for Fullness

Updated: Jul 31


For the month of July 2022, we will be examining one passage from each chapter of Ephesians in order to organize the Bend church for fullness. Each passage represents a paradigm shift opportunity in the way we do church and how we can more closely align with Paul's church blueprint. Sermon audio will be uploaded and linked here as we go through the series. You can also follow along with the quiet time questions and prayer guides for each sermon below. If you would like a deeper dive into the text, we have more sermon audio and notes linked in each section that gets into the finer details of the passages. Lastly, to experience fullness in our gifting, there will be a spiritual gift assessment embedded at the end of this blog [coming soon!]. Use what is applicable for your situation as you organize for fullness!


 

Universal Fullness | sermon recording

July 3rd [Ephesians 1:22-23]

In order to fill everything in every way as Jesus’ church, we must shift from more effort to more Jesus.

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Quiet time Questions:

  1. Imagine you’ve never been to church and that what you read in Ephesians 1 is your first and only exposure to church. What conclusions or assumptions would you make about church?

  2. Ephesians 1:22-23 tells us the church is a representation of Jesus’s body that can fill everything in every way. What practical examples can you think of in life where one thing can completely fill another thing?

  3. What does the truth of Ephesians 1:22-23 say about the church’s potential for reaching into every part of our city with the fullness of Jesus?

  4. If we were being obedient to and fully realizing the mystery of Jesus’ fullness in us and through us to mobilize God’s people, God’s way, what would that look like for disciples? How would we do it together?

  5. How would this mobilization approach differ from the strategies we currently use to make disciples?

  6. What, in particular, about the passage convicted you personally about something in your life and discipleship?

  7. How well are you doing at revealing the fullness of Jesus where you live, work, learn, and play?

  8. Spend some time praying that God will reveal needed changes in your life and ministry. Pray for transformation in the church.


Prayer Guide:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)

• Pray for fresh appreciation for God’s amazing love, grace, and redemption.

• Ask the Lord, “How are you blessing me?” Listen.

• Ask the Lord, “What blessing do you want to give my church?” Listen.

• Ask the Lord, “What blessing do you want to give to my city? Listen.

• Pray that we will grasp, by faith and obedience, every spiritual blessing in Christ.

”I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.“ (Ephesians 1:17-19)

• Pray that we would grow to know Jesus intimately. Pray that the image of God will be healed in your heart, in the hearts of those in your church.

• Pray that we would grow to know the security of our hope.

• Pray that we would rely on God’s power at work within us.


“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.“ (Ephesians 1:22-23)

• Pray for the fullness of Jesus to fill everything every way in your church, in your personal ministry, and in your city.

Further listening: v19-23

 

Personal Fullness | Sermon Recording

July 17th [Ephesians 2:8-10]

In order to investigate the design that God has uniquely positioned and gifted each of us for good works, we must shift from more volunteers to more masterpieces.


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Quiet time Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 2 and pretend you’ve never experienced church and that what you read is your first and only exposure to the characteristics of church. What conclusions or assumptions would you make about church?

  2. Read Ephesians 2:10 again. What are the stewardship implications to each person being a masterpiece of God with a unique set of good deeds to accomplish?

  3. How well do you know your own Masterpiece Mission?

  4. To what degree are you living out your own Masterpiece Mission?

  5. Every follower of Jesus is made to BE the unique masterpiece God designed them to be within a biblical community of faith. If you were turning Ephesians 2:10 into a mission statement for mobilizing disciples in your church, how would you put it?

  6. Spend some time praying that God will reveal needed changes in your life and ministry. Pray that the upcoming gathering with your church will be transformational.


Prayer guide:

“...it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.... you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

• Praise God for amazing grace and the gift of salvation! Take a minute to remember to rest in that finished work.

• Praise God for His power and provision for us by His Spirit—for His gifts.

• Pray that every missionary in the church would have clarity about their Masterpiece Mission!

• Thank God that He designs each of us as a Masterpiece, sent to our mission context, to make Jesus’s fullness tangible there.


Further listening: v8-10


Use a digital gift assessment tool! This tool will determine your gifts, passion, and story as well as your spiritual influencing style based off of the APEST functions from Ephesians 4:11. If you do the digital assessment, please still review the “Biblical “Explanation” and “Thinking Soberly” guide in this PDF. The PDF can be printed out so that you can have other disciples evaluate your gifting along with your own self evaluation. I highly recommend taking the above digital gift assessment tool, as well as reading the PDF. If however, you would like the short version, take this five minute assessment which will determine your influencing style based off of the APEST functions from Ephesians 4:11.


 

Communal Fullness | sermon audio

July 24th [Ephesians 3:16-21]

As we dwell on the love of God for us and in us, it will overflow through us. Ministry is the overflow of the Spirit’s work within us. His love is the only sufficient motivation for our mission.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Quiet time Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 3. Like the previous lesson, imagine you’ve never experienced church and that what you read in Ephesians 3 is your first and only exposure to the nature of church. What conclusions or assumptions would you make about church?

  2. Carrying the fullness of Jesus into every corner of society is our goal when mobilizing God’s people, God’s way. Ephesians 3:16-21 says that it is a foundation in love that positions us to be filled with the fullness of Jesus. What can happen when our motives for mobilization are rooted in anything other than love?

  3. Make a list of the different possible motives you have when making disciples. What causes you to have motives other than love?

  4. What, in particular, about the passage convicted you personally about something in your life and discipleship?

  5. How well are you gospeling yourself? How deeply are you receiving the love of God?

  6. What are the shadow, extrinsic motivations of which you need to let the gospel heal you?

  7. How well are you doing at balancing general and secondary calling in your own life?

  8. Spend some time praying that God will reveal needed changes in you, your household, and your ministry. Pray for transformation in the Bend church.


Prayer Guide:

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

• Pray that the Spirit will deeply root and establish us in love— with all our being, for our neighbor as ourselves, for our family in Christ, and for those without God and without hope in the world.

• Pray that God will stir in us an awe in the unreachable boundaries of His love for us.

Pray that knowledge of Christ’s love will not only fill our intellects, but fill our hearts, and be the deepest motivation for our service and obedience.

• Pray that we will live in the Spirit’s power, rather than human striving and unbelief.


Further listening: v14-16


 

Ecclesial Fullness | sermon audio

July 31st [Ephesians 4:11-16]

Regardless of your theology on leadership or gifting, there is wisdom in empowering our combined strengths to express His fulness and allow Kingdom impact into every sphere of our city.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Quiet time Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 4. Imagine you’ve never experienced church and that what you read in Ephesians 4 is your first and only exposure to the character of church. What conclusions or assumptions would you make about church?

  2. How would you put Ephesians 4:11-16 into practice? Would you organize around it? Why or why not?

  3. What, in particular, about the passage convicted you personally about something in your life and discipleship?

  4. How well do you know your own Influencing Style or function in the body from APEST?

  5. How well do you work together with others around APEST? To what degree are you helping others discover their influencing style?

  6. When you look inside a large growing company (ministry or secular), you see many critical roles such as visionary leadership, R&D, engineering, quality control, training, marketing, branding, etc. In what ways are the underlying characteristics in APEST an expression of the natural roles needed for growing any organization?

  7. What is the consequence when followers of Jesus do not discover and engage their unique sweet spot of personal calling, which is given by Jesus so that each person can play his or her unique role in the mission for the church?

  8. Which of the these five functions do you think is your church’s greatest strength? Which is your church’s greatest weakness? Could you help meet that need?


Prayer guide:

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

• Pray for all five influences of APEST to grow in synergy in your church.

• Pray for intentional and effective equipping to happen in our Sunday gatherings, in personal discipleship, and our prayer walking.

• Pray that Spirit would build up your church in spiritual maturity and unity, and that we would attain to the whole measure of fullness that Jesus has in mind.


Further listening: v4-10 , v11-16



 

Worship Video: “Fill Me with Fullness” by Housefires