fbpx
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

Discussion Guide: Everything Happens for a Reason

Discussion Guide: Everything Happens for a Reason

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 the different ways that we have experienced Romans 8:28 being “autocorrected” and to begin to question what Paul is actually trying to tell us. 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 something that you have worked really hard to accomplish?

 

Scripture Reading

 Romans 8:18-30 

 

Discussion Questions

 Read passage.

 

  1. Often, passages like verse 28 have been interpreted to mean that everything happens for a reason. Research has shown that the belief that everything happens for a reason is prevalent among  both those who identify as religious as well as those who do not. Why do you think this is seems to be a common tendency?
  2. In this passage Paul is considering present realities of suffering in light of the hope he has in a future reality. Why do you think that train of thought led to this pronouncement that, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose?”
  3. What do you think Paul means by, “Good”?
  4. How do you see this idea affirming or in tension with human free will?
  5. How do you see this idea affirming or in tension with God’s sovereignty?
  6. Are there other places in scripture where you see God bringing good out of bad?
  7. What does this passage tell us about God?

 

Helpful Resources

 

 

 

 

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Name it and claim it

Discussion Guide: Name it and claim it

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 the lostness of the older brother, and to wrestle with he ways in which he is more lost than his more famous, wayward sibling. 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

 

Do you remember your first prayer? What was it?

 

 

 

Scripture Reading

 

Read John 14:14

 

 

 

Discussion Questions

 

 

  1. Have you ever heard of the idea of, “Name it and claim it”? How might passages like this one contribute to that idea?
  2. Zoom out a little and read verses 12-15. Why do you think Jesus says that whoever believes in him will do greater works than him (v.12), and whoever loves him will keep his commandments (v.15)?
  3. During Jesus’n last meal with his disciples, He told them 5 times that he would do whatever they ask in his name. Knowing that he was going to his death, why might Jesus have thought this was worth saying five times? 
  4. What do you think it means to ask for something “In Jesus name”?

     

    Read Isaiah 1:13-17

    Consider this quote from Philip Yancey

    “Thus God flatly declares that, in addition to our private spiritual state, our social concern (or lack thereof)–for the poor, for orphans and widows–also has a direct bearing on how our prayers are received. Other prophets, such as Malachi, get even more specific. Those who pay exploitative wages, who break marriage vows, who treat illegal immigrants badly, who refuse to share food with the hungry or provide shelter to the homeless, risk closing God’s ears to their prayers.”

    1. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
    2. Do you think that our actions have a bearing on whether or not our prayers get answered? Explain?
    3. How might our belief in Jesus and our love for him influence our prayer life?
    4. How might we better understand prayers that do and do not get answered in light of this passage? 

     

 

Helpful Resources

 

 

 

 

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: National Repentance

Discussion Guide: National Repentance

Sometimes  we fill in what we think the Bible is saying or should say with information we bring to the reading.  We take passages out of context and end up making the bible say something it never was intended to say. Like Autocorrect, this can lead to some embarrassing conversations, but it can also have more serious consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icebreaker 

 

When is the last time your Autocorrect led to an embarrassing text message?

 

Scripture Reading

 

2 Chronicles 7:11-16.

 

Discussion Questions

 

  1. Read verse 14 by itself. How have you heard this passage interpreted before?

 

Consider the following quote:

 

If America is found anywhere in the Bible, it is by analogy. And we are not the hero of the story.
We are Rome.
The Roman world had a policy of “Make Rome Great Again”–or perhaps better “Keep Rome Great Always”–and that vision was supported by the always unhealthy alliance of “God and Country.”
To serve the state was to serve the gods and vice-versa.
Rome put before the early Christians the choice of serving Caesar rather than Christ. To choose to serve Caesar was not simply a political decision but a religious one.
It’s no different today.
Even when serving Christ by name, if that service is for the furtherance of political power, of controlling others, of building an alluring city of man and calling it the City of God—when America does that, America is Rome.
When Americans claim divine support by rifling through Scripture and place themselves in that story, that is a Roman tactic.
It is not a move of “seeking God’s face” but of turning away from it.
It is not a “turning from wickedness” but of dwelling in it.
It is not following the Christ but marching resolutely in the opposite direction.”

 

 -Pete Enns

 

 

  1. Who is God responding to? Who does he address?
  2. What is the impact of inserting America into passages like this one? How could this be damaging? What would we miss out on?
  3. What is the impact of interpreting this passage through a lens of individualism? How could this be damaging? What would we miss out on? 
  4. What can we and should we take from what God had to say to Solomon and the nation of Israel?

 

 

Helpful Resources

 

 The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It

 

 

 

The Reunion Team

X