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INFLUENCE: Invest and Invite

What is the greatest investment another person has ever made in your life?

Read Mark 2:13-17.

Jesus' command to Matthew was, "Follow Me".  If Jesus were to say those words to us today, what do you think he would mean?  What would we do if we actually followed him?

Apparently Matthew had a lot of friends who were not very religious.  Do you think he wondered what they would think of him if he followed Jesus?  Why do you think he decided to follow?

Why do you think the Scribes and Pharisees objected to Jesus' eating a meal with the tax collectors* and sinners?

With what kind of person do you think the Scribes and Pharisees expected Jesus to spend his time?  Can you think of a modern day example in which one Christian might get upset about the type of people another Christian is spending their time with?  How would Jesus respond?

In this story, what do you think makes a person sick (according to Jesus)?

In this story, is it a good or bad thing to be considered "healthy" by Jesus?  Why?

In today's world, do you think it is better to be considered "healthy" by Jesus?  Or is it better to be considered "sick" by Jesus?

What does Jesus do for those who are sick?

How would it look if everyone in this group decided to INVEST and INVITE?  In other words, what would happen if everyone here invested themselves in the life of a "spiritually sick" person and then invited them to meet Jesus?

What are some different ways you can invite someone to meet Jesus?

*Tax Collectors were so despised in this setting that they were considered to be among the bottom two groups of people.  "Tax Collectors and Sinners" was like saying "theives and murderers".

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20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.