Romans: Righteousness by Faith (Romans 9:30–10:13, Matthew 20:1–16)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS — These are announcements specific to the Moscow Campus.

  • Summer Schedule Through August 21
    The Moscow Campus will continue the summer schedule of 8:30 and 10:00 services through August 14, and our 11:30 service will resume on August 21. Enjoy your summer, and whether you’re here or somewhere else, find ways to bring heaven crashing into earth.
  • 201: Discipleship
    August 27, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Real Life, Moscow Campus
    Our 201 class will walk you through the relational discipleship process. As you are going with your family, friends, and co-workers, you can know how to support, encourage, and journey with them in their relationship with Jesus.
    You will learn how to create and utilize relational small group environments that are essential to growth. Sign up at
  • Real Life Men’s Discipleship
    August 20, 8:30–10:00 at Real Life, Moscow Campus
    Real men, discussing real topics, building a solid foundation of leadership for our communities.
  • NextGen Team Volunteers Needed
    As our student ministries grow, we are in short supply of leaders for Monday and Wednesday nights.
    XP3 (middle school Wednesday nights) — Male Leaders Needed
    CRUX (high school Monday nights) — Female Leaders Needed
    Talk to Paule Patterson if you want to help, or email

WELCOME — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.

  • Help new believers, visitors, and members feel valued and welcomed.
  • Start at the moment someone arrives and don’t end until everyone is gone.
  • Establish a foundation for relationships.

OPENING PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.

  • Invite God’s Holy Spirit into our presence.
  • Prepare our hearts for what God has for us.
  • Shift our attention from individual fellowship to the group.

PURPOSE/VISION CASTING — Don’t read through the list; say them in your own words.

“The purpose of this group is…”

  • to mature in our relationship with God.
  • to have the people we need around us to disciple and encourage us.
  • to be here for others in the group; to encourage and disciple others.
  • to live life together; we are here for each other in the joyful and difficult moments of our lives.
  • to invite other people into a relational environment, which means our group will branch at some point; when that point comes, if you would like to lead or host a group, please let me know.

GROUND RULES — Cover all the ground rules.

  • Confidentiality: What’s said in the group stays in the group.
  • Listen: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond or what you are going to say next.
  • Pause: Allow a pause in conversation after someone shares to give the person sharing a chance to finish and give the group an opportunity to consider what was shared before responding.
  • Silence: It is important to allow silence in the group as it provides an opportunity for someone to share and for members in the group to process the topic or question being considered.
  • No Cross Talk: Be considerate of others as they are sharing. No side conversations.
  • No Fixing: We are not here to fix each other. Jesus does that. Give encouragement, speak truth, and point to Jesus. Don’t try to fix each other.
  • No Rescuing: When people are sharing something deeply personal, there can be a tendency to make them feel better about themselves or the situation by providing immediate condolences. This will often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the temptation to rescue people.
  • Sharing: Be sensitive about the amount of time you share.
  • Use “I” statements: It’s easy to talk about the issues of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “they,” “the church,” “us,” “we,” etc.
  • Household Rules: We appreciate those who open their home up to CARE Groups and out of respect to them we need to… (e.g., take shoes off, clean up toys afterward, put chairs back, leave by 8:00 pm, etc.)

OPENING CONNECTION — Use the following icebreaker.

  • When you played games as a kid, were you the rule maker, rule breaker, or rule follower? Give an example.

STORY PREPARATION — Introduce today’s story.

“Last Sunday we jumped back into the Romans series. Aaron led the discussion on how our moral codes and church traditions bring benefit, so long as we don’t attempt to use them to determine who will be a part of the Kingdom of God.”

TELL THE STORY — Story the passage from memory.

  • Matthew 20:1–16

REBUILD THE STORY — Have someone read the passages.

  • Read the passage together.

SERMON IMPLICATIONS — Review these with the group.

  • Righteousness has always been a result of faith in Christ, not a precursor to it.
  • Rather than trying to decide who is in and who is out, we should be in the business of celebrating all people anytime we see Jesus at work.
  • The Gospel message isn’t only about getting in. It is about new birth, new creation bursting forth right in the midst of this one, and everyone everywhere is invited to participate.
  • God is for people — all of them.

DEBRIEF THE PASSAGE — Ask the questions.

  • Which of the implications from Sunday’s sermon meant the most to you? Why?
  • Which character in the story do you identify with today (those who bore the burden of the heat of the day, or those who came at the last hour)? Why?
  • What does this story say about “Kingdom Values”?
  • In what way do you find yourself struggling with the grace of God toward others?
  • Through this week’s message, what do you sense God calling you to?

CLOSE IN PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; choose a way to close in prayer.

  • Take prayer requests.
  • Pray about the conversation that you just had.
  • Break up in smaller groups to pray as an option.