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Discussion Guide: Spend Less

Discussion Guide: Spend Less

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to challenge and encourage your group to reexamine how our culture has informed the way we celebrate the Christmas season. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

What is your favorite Christmas gift you have ever been given? What makes it your favorite?

 

Scripture Reading

James 5:1-6; Matthew 6:19-24

 

Discussion Questions

Read James 5:1-6

  1. What specific injustices are listed in this passage? What do you think leads to these injustices?
  2. What connection, if any, do you see between this passage and what tends to happen when people put their trust in things?

Read Matthew 6:19-24.

  1. What do you think is the difference between an earthly treasure and a heavenly treasure?
  2. Do you think the way you spend money says something about what you think is important? Explain.
  3. How can you stay focused on the meaning of Christmas this Advent season?
    Leader’s Note: In this passage, Jesus says “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” He does not say it the other way around. This seems to indicate that we can assess what we value by examining where we have invested money, time, and energy, but also that investing in things leads to caring about them, not necessarily just the other way around. This flies in the face of a culture that places a strong emphasis on acting based on how you feel. Jesus seems to say that if you want to care more about something you should invest more in it.

Diving Deeper

  1. How do you think people go overboard with different things during Christmas? What is the cost of that?

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Share Your Story

Discussion Guide: Share Your Story

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to challenge and encourage your group to get comfortable sharing their story. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

  1. What is your favorite movie or book of all time? Why?

 

Scripture Reading

Mark 5:1-20

 

Discussion Questions

  1. What comes to your mind when you think of evangelism?

    Read passage.

  2. Does anything jump out to you or surprise you from this story? 

    Leader’s Note: The casting of the demons into the pigs is quite a strange part of this story, and while interesting, is not quite the point we are trying to drive home this week. Feel free to reign conversation back in if it becomes too tangential.

  3. When this man insists upon following Jesus as a natural next step after Jesus frees him from his bondage, Jesus responds to this man by sending him back to his people to share with them what Jesus has done for him. Why do you think Jesus did this?

  4. What has the Lord done for you?

  5. Who do you think are, “your people”, and why is the good news good news for them?

    Leader’s Note: Challenge your group to answer with deeper and more specific thoughts than simply a ticket to heaven.

    Diving Deeper

  1. Share with someone in your community group this week what Jesus is doing in your life right now. This should be specific. If we cannot get comfortable sharing what God is doing among us with those who are part of our community, then we will never be able to do it with those who are not.

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Serve

Discussion Guide: Serve

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to consider what the gospel has to say about our conception of power and position, and to discuss how we can serve our neighbors. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

Who is the most humble person you know? Describe them.

 

Scripture Reading

John 13:1-17

 

Discussion Questions

Read passage. Try to place yourself in the story.

  1. Does anything stick out to you initially from this passage?
  2. In the first century, to wash one’s feet was a lowly task. If they could afford it, Jews would not actually employ other Jews for this job; they would reserve this task for a non-Jewish household employee because they did not think it was befitting for their countrymen. In the absence of a gentile servant, the person at the end of the table, the position where Peter was most likely seated, would fill that role. With this in mind, why do you think that the meal began without anyone’s feet having been washed?
  3. Why do you think that Jesus got up from the meal, dressed himself as a servant, and did for his disciples what they would not ask one another to do?
  4. How would you have felt if you were one of the disciples?
  5. Describe how Jesus’ example of what power and position looks like in his kingdom looks like in relation to what we normally expect those things to look like.
  6. Contextualize Jesus action of washing feet. What does it look like for us to wash the feet of the people God has called us to bless?

    Helpful Resources

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Eat

Discussion Guide: Eat

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to consider how sharing meals with those close to us could help us engage with them more deeply. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

What is your favorite restaurant in the Boston area?

 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 9:9-13

 

Discussion Questions

Read Matthew 9:9-13. This is a frequently read passage, so consider reading it in a different translation to help you read it with fresh eyes. We recommend the CSB, CEB, ESV, NLT, or NET.

  1. Does anything stick out to you from this passage? 
  2. Eating was a big deal in Jesus’ culture. As people who scarf down lunch at our desks so that we can keep working without missing a beat, I’m not sure we are capable of really grasping how central eating was to life back then. Eating with someone was a statement that you wanted to be associated with them. Eating with someone was an affirmation of that person’s value, dignity, and worth. Who you ate with was a statement of who you loved and cared about and considered part of your social class. What do you think sharing a meal with someone communicates today?
  3. Think about a person that God might be calling you to bless. What might sharing a meal with that person communicate to them?
  4. Do you often share meals with your neighbors and coworkers? If so, describe those experiences. If not, what is keeping you from doing this? 


Diving Deeper: The power to build bridges

  1. Read 2 Kings 6:8-23.

  2. What is happening in this passage from verse 8-19?

  3. Had the Syrians captured Elisha, they would have surely killed him. When Elisha has the power to do the same, what does he give orders to do? What tone or mood do you read into that conversation?

  4. After essentially holding a feast for his would be killers, Elisha sends them home and the text concludes that Syria did not invade Israel again. Why do you think hospitality has this kind of power? How would your relationships look differently if you showed more hospitality?

Helpful Resources

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Listen

Discussion Guide: Listen

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to consider how listening to our communities and the individuals around us can equip us to bless them. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

 

 

Icebreaker

 

Name a time when you felt truly heard? How did that make you feel? 

 

Scripture Reading

 

Luke 18:35-43

 

Discussion Questions

 

  1. Do you think that, as a culture, we tend to be good listeners? If so, explain. If not, why?
  2. What do you think makes a good listener?
  3. What do you think makes a good environment for listening well?

 

Read Luke 18:35-43.

 

  1. Does anything from this passage stick out to you?
  2. Describe the differing responses to the blind man in this passage. What do you think are the motivations behind each?
  3. Describe the meaning, as you see it, of Jesus first asking the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
  4. It can be easy for us to make the job of loving our neighbors so vague and undefined that it becomes difficult to do. Dallas Willard said that, “The first act of love is always the giving of attention.” Who have you felt called to bless during this series, and how can you create opportunities to listen to them well?
  5. How can this group encourage and help you with that?

Helpful Resources

 

 

 

 

 

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Begin with Prayer

Discussion Guide: Begin with Prayer

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to explore God’s, “blessed to be a blessing” strategy for making all things new, and our place in that story. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

Who is someone who has blessed you significantly? How has that blessing affected your life and the way that you live?

 

Scripture Reading

Genesis 12:1-3

 

Discussion Questions

Read this article.

  1. How do you interpret the different levels of effectiveness of these two groups of missionaries? What do you think is the significance of this? 

Read Genesis 12:1-3.

  1. In Genesis 12 creation has fallen apart, relationships have been damaged, and the beautiful picture God had painted of a world marked by love and mercy has become vandalized. God’s first step toward repairing and renewing all things is to bless one man, Abraham. Why do you think this might be?
  2. Often, when we think of blessing people, we think of something akin to random acts of kindness. How do you see this blessing in Genesis as being different from that idea?
  3. Reflecting on Israel’s history, when do you think they lived into this idea of being blessed for a purpose? Explain.
  4. Who came into your mind during the section of Sunday’s message where we were asked to think of someone in our lives who we should be praying for? Why do you think God put that person on your heart?
  5. How do you think God might be calling you to bless that person? How can this group support you?

Diving Deeper: Change begins here…

  1. The blessing spoken about in Genesis, and the kind of blessing that we will be talking about throughout this series has a serious flywheel effect. It may start small, slow, and steady, but by design, it has the potential to change lives, families, and communities. In many ways, this is what Jesus was talking about when he said that his followers would do greater things than he did (John 14). What do you think is at stake if we do not take seriously the challenge (even calling) to live into this reality?

  2. Would you consider going through the Neighboring Journal (linked below) as individuals, families, or as an entire group? 

    Helpful Resources

The Reunion Team

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