In Philippians 1:5 Paul thanks the Philippian church for their partnership in the gospel.  The word word translated ‘partnership’ is the Greek word for ‘fellowship.’  

    1. What is a ‘fellowship’ in this context? (A fellowship is a group of deeply devoted friends whose friendship has flourished through the pursuit of a common cause or goal.)  
    2. How is that definition different from the common understanding of fellowship that most Christians have? 
    3. What are the benefits and costs of being part of a fellowship? The opposite of being part of a fellowship is to approach Christianity from a consumer mindset.  What does it mean to have a consumer mindset when it comes to following Jesus?  What are the benefits and costs of this approach to following Jesus.
  1. Read  Philippians 1:7 and 29 - 30.  
    1. How can suffering be perceived as experiencing grace?  How does suffering together produce strong, deep friendships?  Do you have a personal example from your life?
  2. Read Philippians 1:6. 
    1. Why is this important for a church that is on mission to be reminded of this verse?  
  3. Read Philippians 1:9 - 11.  Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was they would love more, know Jesus more and gain more wisdom -- in other words that they would continue to grow spiritually. 
    1. What are some things that would slow or stop someone’s spiritual growth? 
    2. How could a person jumpstart their spiritual growth if they ‘don’t feel like it’ even though they know that they should? 
    3. What would it look like to pray for the spiritual growth of the people in your world that are important to you?     
    4. Recently we have been encouraging you to adopt a new practice, what’s a practice you’ve tried that has brought new growth in your life? (If you aren’t sure - what’s a practice you’d want to try?) 
    5. Rd Philippians: 10-11 What happens if we are not maturing?