Small Group – Life Together

Life Together

We are the kind of people who live life together in small groups and we practice sharing our stories as part of the bigger story of God at work in the world.

Resources:

SESSION 1: Week of September 12
SESSION 2: Week of September 19
SESSION 3: Week of September 26
SESSION 4: Week of October 3
SESSION 5: Week of October 10
SESSION 6: Week of October 17

SESSION 1: Week of Sept. 12

Life Together: The Big Story

A look at the Big Story – creation, fall, redemption, restoration.

Welcome and Introductions.

  • Ask each person to share their name and something that made him or her smile in the past week.
  • Have each person complete the sentence, “Jesus is…”
  • Pray

Read Luke 24:13-30

  • Why do you think the companions on the road did not recognize Jesus?
  • “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
  • How do you see all of Scripture pointing to Jesus?

Discuss

  • CREATION – Origin Story: Who or what do you credit for who you are?
    Everyone has a fundamental belief about their Origin — who or what gave them their existence, made them who they are, and shaped them into the people they are today
  • FALL – Brokenness: Why are things and people not the way they are supposed to be and who is to blame for it? (Give specific examples of Brokenness.)
    There is a reason for why people, community and the world is broken. Each person has a fundamental belief about the cause of brokenness and has a deep desire for Justice in the form of Righteous Judgment. People blame their parents, family, friends, boss, government etc…. for what they’ve become AND want justice by putting the blame on someone else for the pain and brokenness in the world. Everyone has a “Fall Guy” mentality — Someone is to blame and someone deserves punishment.
  • REDEMPTION: Who or what will rescue me and redeem what is broken?
    Everyone has a solution they believe in, a remedy they look to, or a savior they believe in to redeem the brokenness in their life and world. Many are looking to a philosophy. Others look to a plan for self-improvement or personal growth. Many believe some kind of reform in education or politics will change things. Everyone believes in a redeemer or in a self-improvement plan of sorts.
  • RESTORATION: What will the world (your world) look like when all is as it should be?
    Every person has a picture of the future when everything is as it should be. Some see a utopia with humans all living at peace with one another. Others believe Mother Earth and humanity will be one. Still others see another world they will go to where they will be at the center. Some people’s future hope is to be married… have children… get a job… be rich… etc.… Everyone wants something better… restoration of what they believe their world should be like.
  • Which part of the story do you relate to the most?

Watch

 

Pray

    • Ask for praises and prayer requests that relate the four parts of the big story.

SESSION 2: Week of Sept. 19

Life Together: Your Story

Framing each of our stories with creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.

Welcome

  • Ask each person to share what they consider to be their hometown.
  • Pray

Engaging a Story

Once we start to understand some person or culture’s story, we want to begin to engage them in their story with the hope that can: 1) Find common ground to build from, 2) Confront or Correct the inconsistencies or brokenness in their story, and 3) Complete with The Story.

Common Ground with THE STORY

As you listen carefully, pay close attention to where the story you’re hearing lines up with some or part of the Gospel story. They could have a whole section of the story they agree with (i.e. Environmentalism agrees with the Fall—it’s Humanity’s fault… but the rebellion is against Mother Earth, not God.), or there may be parts of a section that agree but still miss the Gospel (i.e. Jesus did come to redeem us, but it all depends on how well we behave or perform for him.).

Finding the common ground creates a point of agreement and potential Gospel foundation from which you can work outward both to lay more foundation and/or show the weakness of their prior foundational storyline.

Read Acts 14:8-18 and Acts 17:22-34 and consider the following…

  • What common ground did Paul start with?
  • How did he move from the common ground to what they didn’t yet know or believe?
Confront and Correct the Inconsistencies or Brokenness

At some point through dialog, it is imperative to identify where the story they believe in does not hold up under close scrutiny. Generally one or more fundamental parts of their story do not line up with the rest of their story, OR the life they’re living does not line up with the story they hold to.

If you are listening closely to a Christian’s story, your goal is to help him or her see where his or her life or doctrine does not line up with the truth of the Gospel. If the person is an unbeliever, your desire is to encourage him or her to work out the fullness of his or her story’s implications to see where he or she does not or will not live fully in line with his or her story OR that his or her story will not accomplish what he or she hopes it will.

  • What do you notice about how Paul made the gospel relevant in two very different situations?
  • What role does listening play in engaging well with the gospel?

Discuss

  • What key events or experiences have most significantly shaped your life? Try to identify 2-3 of them:
  • In what ways has the Gospel Story better interpreted or completed those events or experiences?
  • How are some of those events or experiences still writing the dominant storyline for you?
  • How does the Gospel speak to that?
  • What key hopes, dreams, or life changes are you looking forward to? Try to identify 2-3 of them:
  • How are they grounded in the story of the Gospel?
  • Where do they need to be corrected or completed by the Gospel storyline?

Watch

Pray

  • Updates from week 1, praises and requests.
  • Identify by name the people with whom you want to know their story better.
  • Pray for these people by name.

SESSION 3: Week of Sept. 26

Life Together: Telling Your Story.

Framing our story within the Big Story. Welcome
  • Ask each participant to share one hurdle or challenge they have faced in recent days.
  • Pray
Read Acts 9:1-18
  • What do you find most interesting about Paul’s conversion story?
  • Which of the four parts of the Big Story (CREATION, FALL, REDEMPTION, RESTORATION) do you see at play in Paul’s story?
  • How do you suppose early Christians related to Paul’s story?
Discuss
  • Invite participants to share their stories. (A conversion story or a more recent story of growing in faith)
  • Encourage each other after each person shares.
Watch
  Pray
  • Follow-up from earlier weeks.
  • Share praises and requests.
  • Pray

SESSION 4: Week of Oct. 3

NOTE: For the remaining sessions you will need access to Right Now Media. See Watch below to sign up.

Life Together: The Reason for our Hope

As family, servants and missionaries, God uses us to reach others.

Welcome

  • Ask each participant to rate her or his energy level.
  • What improves your energy? What drains your energy
  • Pray

Watch: Join His Hear(Right Now Media – Life Shared, session 1)
…need access to Right Now Media? create free Cedar Hills account.

  • What caught your attention in the video?
  • What inspired you?
  • What challenged you?

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Discuss

  • What do these verses tell us about evangelism?
  • Have you ever had a moment in conversation where you felt like you stepped into what God was already up to?
  • What prevents you from slowing down and noticing God and people more?
  • Why do you think our culture has such a negative perception of the word “evangelism?”
  • What excites you about sharing your faith?
  • What makes you nervous about sharing your faith?
  • Can you share a time when you were inspired by radical hospitality?
  • How can we practice the art of hospitality more frequently and effectively in our context?

Watch

Pray

Take a moment to write down the names of three people in your life who don’t yet know Jesus and spend some time praying for them.

SESSION 5: Week of Oct. 10

Life Together: Reaching Out

The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness.

Welcome

  • Ask each person to share something they are looking forward to.
  • Pray

Watch: You’re Invited  (Right Now Media – Life Shared, session 2)
…need access to Right Now Media? create free Cedar Hills account.

  • What caught your attention in the video?
  • What challenged you?
  • What inspired you?

Read Acts 1:8

Discuss

  • What fears come up when you think about God wanting to use you to reach others?
  • In what way(s) does the Holy Spirit empower us to share our faith? What do you think about the idea that God can use unlikely people?
  • Have there been times when you have viewed people as projects? What do you think Danielle meant by that statement?
  • Have you seen evangelism practiced like this? When it comes to the idea of God using us to reach others, what kind of unnecessary pressure do we put on ourselves?
  • Think back to the person that God used in your life to invite you into a relationship with Him. What made their witness so compelling and attractive to you?
  • What would it look like for you to change your posture by asking the questions that Danielle suggested like, “How can I serve? How can I love? How can I connect?” in your local context

Watch

Pray

Spend some time as a group praying that the Holy Spirit would give you:

  • Love (Romans 5:5)
  • Boldness (Acts 4:29)
  • Fearlessness (Romans 8:15-17)
  • Power (Ephesians 3:14-21)
  • Wisdom and Opportunity (Colossians 4:2-6)

SESSION 6: Week of Oct. 17

Life Together: Restoration

Reaching out with word and deed for the sake of bringing God’s kingdom and will on earth as it is in heaven. Welcome
  • Ask each person to share a highlight from the time spent in this group.
  • Pray
Watch: Take a Step (Right Now Media – Life Shared, session 3) …need access to Right Now Media? create free Cedar Hills account.
  • What caught your attention in the video?
  • What inspired you?
  • What challenged you?
Read Luke 10:25-37 Discuss
  • How does the story of the Good Samaritan connect with what Jay shared in the session?
  • Do we define neighbor in our culture differently than Jesus defines neighbor?
  • Praying for people by name, getting to know your neighbors, extending an invitation etc. These are all things that you can do. What would it look like to take the next step in any one of these areas as a group or individually?
  • Jay made the statement that, “Evangelism moving forward will be mostly worked out and lived out through hospitality.” What do think about that statement?
  • Why do you think meals were such a significant part of Jesus’ ministry?
  • Given your own context, what are some practical ways you can get to know your neighbors?
  • Are there needs in your group that you can start to meet in a practical way, together?
As a group, commit to take a step towards sharing your faith. You might find it helpful to write it down. I commit to: Examples:
  • Invite a friend to Alpha
  • Learn the name of a neighbor
  • Host a meal at your house with your neighborhood
  • Take a co-worker to lunch
  • Write a note of encouragement to a friend who doesn’t  know Jesus
  • Invite someone to join our small group or attend with you at a worship service.
Watch
  Pray for courage and boldness to share your lives and your faith with others.