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Showing posts from June, 2009

Discussion Questions: The Last Supper

When have you been extremely motivated to accomplish a task? What was the task? What motivated you?

What types of things usually motivate you in life? Why?

What types of things often "de-motivate" you in life? Why?

The events at the end of Jesus' life were of extreme importance, but they were certainly very difficult. In addition to a horribly painful death, Jesus knew that accomplishing His mission would require him to be betrayed by a friend, denied by a closer friend, and abandoned by all his friends. Yet, John 13 tells us that He loved them all, even to the end. John 13:1-3 provides an insight into the motivation that enabled Jesus to accomplish all he had come to do.

As a group, read John 13:1-5. How do you think the disciples felt as Jesus washed their feet? How would you have felt?

John 13:1 says that Jesus knew "his hour had come". Talk about a time when a sense of urgency has motivated you to accomplish something.

Should Christians have a sense of u…

Life's Biggest Questions: How Can I Find Peace?

Describe the most comfortable place in your house?

Talk about a time in your life when you have felt a "deep" peace.

How do you think comfort and peace are related?

What are the situations in life which steal people's peace?

Read Psalm 23.

Have a few people talk about their experiences walking (or watching someone walk) through the "valley of the shadow of death."

Verse four refers to fearing evil. What evil things do people often fear?

How do death, evil, and fear steal our peace?

What other life experiences make us uncomfortable? How does being uncomfortable often steal our peace?

What phrases in Psalm 23 are comforting phrases?

The last phrase of the Psalm is "I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

How should knowledge of future comfort help us deal with the current discomforts of life?

Verse one of the psalm says, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." How does contentment bring peace?

What aspects of your life currently are …

4 Spiritual Food Groups

-Adapted from The Adventure of Discipling Others by Ron Bennett & John Purvis.

When I meet with those I'm discipling, I plan our time around the following four ingredients.

New believers need an environment where they are listened to, taken seriously, understood, and accepted. Each time I meet with someone I'm discipling, I spend some initial time connecting relationally. In the early weeks of meeting together, we may need to spend a large proportion of time in this ingredient. Once we establish a deeper connection, catching up since our last meeting is usually adequate.

Practical Truths
Truths of the Christians life that need to be modeled, taught, and developed form another ingredient of our time together. This usually takes the form of some kind of Bible study. This time in Scripture may be formal or casual, perhaps coming from a published Bible study or from meditating over a passage of Scripture.

Pertinent Issues
This ingredient deals with current life issu…

Discuss, Don't Dominate

by Terrell Clemmons

An effective small-group leader directs without dominating. Here are some guidelines for facilitating group discussions.

Wait out the silence. After you ask a questions, don't rush to rephrase or answer it. Allow group members time to think.

Watch faces. If you see the wheels turning, invite members to think aloud: "Mike, did you have a thought you'd like to share?"

Ask follow-up questions. This draws the speaker out and helps everyone think about the subject more thoroughly. You might ask,
"What do you mean by that?""In what way?""Why do you think that is?"Know when to contribute. You don't need to do what your group members have already done. If a member has offered a gentle, appropriate correction to a wrong answer, it's not necessary to add to it. If the group has covered a question well and your answer is the same, go to the next question.However, if you have a different answer to offer, do so respect…

LIFEgroup Questions: Why Are Christians So Intolerant?

As a group, read John 14:1-7.
Jesus begins by saying, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."  Take a couple minutes and have several group members share the things that are currently troubling their hearts.  Spend some time praying for each other before you begin your discussion.
Why would someone's heart be troubled if they did not know "the way" to God?  Why is finding a relationship with God important?
What does it mean that Jesus is the only way?  What are other ways people try to take to God?
How can the certainty that Jesus is the only way to God help to comfort those with troubled hearts?  How does certainty about the future alleviate stress in the present?
Because you are depending on Jesus, what stress in your life are you free to let go?
Who do you know that needs certainty about their future?  How can you use the message of Jesus to help those around you let go of their stress?

It Takes a Small Group

by Esther Bailey

Pictures of impoverished children tug at our hearts. Too often, though, the image fades before we take action, or other financial demands claim our attention. Why not sponsor a child as a group project? By making your commitment as a group, no one needs to shoulder a financial burden, and you are more likely to be faithful in prayer for your child.

To sign up, contact World Vision (888-511-6592), Christian Children's Fund (800-776-6767), Save the Children (800-728-3843), Mission of Mercy (800-864-0200), or Compassion International (800-336-7676). Some programs allow you to choose a child on the basis of age, sex, or country of residence. You can receive a picture and a biographical sketch of the child you choose.

Even minimal involvement will help your group bond with someone in another part of the world. When you receive a letter from your child, or a progress report, you might want to do further study of the area where your child lives. The more you learn, the easi…