What is the Paseo Pathway?
The Paseo Pathway is the method that we use at Paseo for making new disciples. We feel that disciples are made and shaped through the Spirit of God using the Word of God within the meaningful, generous relationships in the Family of God. We use each Pathway Study to guide our personal study of scripture and time in prayer and then we gather each week in Growth Groups to share what God has been teaching us in the study. The Groups are vital for the effectiveness of the Pathway Study as we hear what the Spirit of God has to say to us through our our fellow group members. The Groups encourage, share with, pray for, and serve one another along the Pathway of Discipleship.
Our Current Pathway Study
The Better Builder
We are currently studying the book of Nehemiah together and seeking to understand how Jesus is building his church. Click below for a copy of our Pathway Study called Better Builder.Download The Current Study
Bible Project Introduction to Ezra and Nehemiah
Better Builder Reading Schedule
Each week’s reading will include three sections of reading: a Nehemiah section, a Jesus section, and a Questions section. The Nehemiah and Jesus readings will be thematically connected each week as we seek to understand how Christ is building His Church.
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 1:1-2:10
Jesus Section – Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 John 1:5-2:2; Ephesians 2:6-10
- Nehemiah starts with confession. The Christian walk starts with repentance. However, confession and repentance are to be regular practices in our life as we recognize our sin and rely on the grace of Christ. How often do you practice confession? What challenges do you find in confessing your sin before God? How can you incorporate honest confession with someone in the Group this week?
- In Nehemiah 2:8, Nehemiah recognizes that “the gracious hand of God” was on his life providing new opportunities for him. Ephesians tells us God wants to show the “incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Why do you think it is important to recognize God’s provision and kindness in your life? Can you recall a time when God’s provision seemed extra gracious and kind? How can you more regularly pause and give God thanks for His “rich grace” in your life?
- What has God been saying to you this week during your time of study and prayer?
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 2:11-3:32
Jesus Section – Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 4:1-16
- As Nehemiah assesses the damage to the wall in Jerusalem, he realizes that the people are in great danger. So, leaning on God’s help, he gets to work rallying the people to work together to rebuild the wall. Chapter 3 chronicles each gate that is repaired. People from all walks of life and in all generations join together in the effort. It is a breathtaking picture of teamwork and unity. As you read the New Testament passages that describe how God is building and using His church, what comparisons can you make to the Nehemiah picture of teamwork? Why is the teamwork God-honoring? What obstacles prevent the church from employing such team efforts in its mission?
- Ephesians 4 tells us that Christ has apportioned to each Christian grace. In other words, each Christian is equipped by Christ. And He gives “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service so that that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith.” Do you know your spiritual gifts and where you can be involved in God’s mission through the church? How can you be better equipped for works of service? What do you feel like you are lacking? Give your answers to your group leader to pass on to the Pastors and Elders. How can you help create a greater environment of unity and teamwork at Paseo and in your Growth Group?
- Read Nehemiah 3:5. Notice that the nobles “would not put their shoulders to the work.” What excuses often keep you from joining in the work?
- All of this conversation about teamwork brings up an important question. What is the work of God to which we are called to join in?
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 4:1-5:19
Jesus Section – Ephesians 5:15-20; Ephesians 6:10-17
- Nehemiah’s efforts to rebuild Jerusalem were met with great opposition. And yet he responds with prayer, resolve, and courage. Scripture makes it clear that the church will also be met with great opposition. We are also told to respond with prayer, resolve, and courage. But unlike Nehemiah, our opposition will not be flesh and blood but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” How often do you think about and recognize spiritual warfare in your life? How has the enemy used circumstances, culture, and people to keep you from being involved in the mission of God?
- What do you think it means to “live as wise and not as unwise for the days are evil?”
- Nehemiah shows great integrity and care for the poor in the beginning of Chapter 5. He asks a powerful question in 5:9 – “Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?” What does it mean to walk in the fear of our God and what does this have to do with how we treat the poor? Does God use enemies to reproach us for disobedience?
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 6:1-7:73
Jesus Section – Ephesians 4:17-32; Ephesians 6:18-20
- Nehemiah’s enemies were willing to do anything, including lying and intimidation, to intimidate and stop Nehemiah’s work. But Nehemiah is able to respond with clarity and integrity because he knows that he is innocent of their charges. He refuses to stoop to their level of behavior understanding that they hope to use ill behavior to discredit him and His work. So he remains faithful and behaves differently. Christ also calls us to live differently in this world saying “you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” In what ways are you to live differently because of your faith in Christ? Why do you think Christians often fail to live differently?
- Nehemiah lists the number of people who are returning from captivity. If you have placed your faith in Christ then you too have been rescued from captivity and will have your name listed amongst the number of saints. In Ephesians 6, we are told to pray for all the saints with all kinds of prayers. How seriously do you take the call to pray for others? Take time now to pray for each person in your Growth Group and whomever else God lays on your heart.
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 8:1-9:37
Jesus Section – Ephesians 3:14-21; Ephesians 5:1-20
- Notice the response of the people to the rediscovery of the law in Chapter 8. They were moved to grieving over their unfaithfulness, and yet the priests encouraged them not to mourn but to celebrate because of God’s graciousness towards them. So they feasted and celebrated and read from the Law of God, having their hearts turned back towards God. We too are told to grasp how great God’s love towards us is in Christ Jesus and to be filled “to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Why do you think the priests told the Israelites not to grieve but to celebrate? What role should celebration play in the life and worship of God’s people? What do you think it means to be filled with the fullness of God?
- Chapter 9 is a sweeping confession of Israel’s sin. Hindsight is 20/20 and in the light of the punishment of the Exile, the Israelites can see clearly their cycles of sin and God’s graciousness. Looking over your life, have their been such cycles of sin and grace? How does one stop the cycles and live a life simply focused on grace and obedience? In what way does Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit enable us to break the cycle of sin?
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 9:38-11:36
Jesus Section – Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:8-10
- In Nehemiah 9:38 they mark their feeble promise to God with their seal pressed into clay. And yet, in chapter 13 they break their promise. In Ephesians 1 God marks the believer with His seal, the Holy Spirit, and it is eternal. What is the difference in depending on your promise verses depending on God’s promise? How do we put our faith in the finished work of Christ? How should we respond when as Christians we are convicted of our sin or are caught in sin?
- Yet, clearly God is calling us to a life of obedience. Faith in Christ does not mean that we get to live however we want. So what is the difference in trying to be saved by works and being saved by faith to do good works?
Nehemiah Section – Nehemiah 12:1-13:31
Jesus Section – Ephesians 2:11-22; Romans 7:14-8:19
- Sadly, after his return from Persia, Nehemiah finds all of his handiwork undone. Sure the wall still stands, but the commitment to obedience has crumbled. He does what he can to help them repent, but the message is clear: the Israelites (like all of humanity) are bound by sin. People need a savior, they need the chains of sin to be broken. READ ROMANS 7:14-8:19. How does the Spirit of God change how we relate to God? How do we live by the Spirit and not by the flesh?
- How have you experienced the bondage of sin in your life? How have you experienced the freedom of Christ in your life?
- Ephesians teaches us that by putting your faith in Christ you are made into something new (A Spirit filled human) and Christ is now using you to build something new through his Church (A Spirit filled community). Spend time talking with your group about how you guys are living life as a Spiritual Community. In what ways could you deepen your spiritual connectedness? In what ways can you minister to each other in more spiritual ways?