Why do you think God wants his people to gather together as 'Church'?
What do you love about church, and what do you find challenging?
What do you think is God's intention for our church today? Is it different to his intention for other churches at other times or other places? Why/why not?
We're going to look at where Church began, on the day of Pentecost. But first, we're going to look at the final words of Jesus to his disciples, after the resurrection but before the ascension:
Read Acts 1:1-8
Why do you think the resurrected Jesus told his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit before beginning the work he had given them to do?
Look at their question in verse 6. What do you think made them ask this question? And how does Jesus answer their question?
Read Acts 2:1-13
How did the Spirit arrive? Do you think this was anything like what the disciples/apostles would have expected?
Why do you think the Spirit's first gift was to enable them to speak other languages? What do you imagine they spoke about in those languages?
How do you think you would have responded if you had been there? Would you have been amazed, confused or amused?
Peter was empowered by the Spirit to speak a whole sermon (presumably he spoke in either Greek or Aramaic, languages he already knew). Have someone in your group read the entire sermon aloud, while the others listen as if you are really a member of the crowd on that day in Jerusalem.
Read Acts 2:14-36
What did you imagine, as you listened to this sermon? How would those who were there that day have felt as he preached?
What is your own response to this sermon, as you listen to it for yourself? What do you think God is revealing to you right now?
Read Acts 2:37-47
How did people respond to the message? (Consider both the immediate response, and the short-term and even very-long-term ramifications of this moment.)
How did the coming of the Holy Spirit, as well as Peter's sermon, give birth to the Church?
What does this show us about the role of the Spirit and the sharing of Gospel in our church today?
How does all this help us to understand Jesus's response to His disciples' question in 1:6?
Spend some time praying for our church at NVBC, and for one another as member's of this church and the global Church of Jesus, that we would carry on the legacy of Pentecost by the Spirit and the word.