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Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 2

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 2

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 discussion is to consider why we have such an aversion to any sense of boredom, and what that might be doing to our spiritual life. 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. In what circumstances do you find yourself getting bored?
2. What do you do when you are bored?

 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 3:16-4:2

 

Discussion Questions


1. Imagine you were reading the story of Jesus’ life for the first time. How would you have expected him to begin his ministry?

Read passage. Ask your group if anything sticks out to them.

  1. Often, it is easy for us to read this text and feel as though being sent into the desert seems like a sort of punishment, like a divine time-out. Clearly this was not the case, since right before going into the desert Jesus is told how pleased the Father is with Him. Why do you think that the Holy Spirit wanted Jesus to start His ministry this way?
  2. John Mark Comer said of this passage that, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness because it was there, and only there, that Jesus was at the height of his spiritual powers. It was only after a month and a half of prayer and fasting in the quiet place that he had the capacity to take on the devil himself and walk away unscathered.”

    And Henri Nouwen said, “Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life… We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to Him.”
    Do you agree? Why or why not?

  3.  What do you think you miss out on because of your intense allergy to boredom?

  4. How can you seek to recapture that and help others to do the same?

    Diving Deeper: Silence

    1. Watch this 15 minute guided silence video

    Helpful Resources

    For our Lent calendar text LENT to 617.415.4466
    The Reunion Team

    Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 2

    Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 1

    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 discussion is to wrestle with what it is that we are beholding and how that is affecting 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

    The average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. What is the most embarrassing time your attention span had failed you.

     

    Scripture Reading

    Psalm 27

     

    Discussion Questions

    Read passage.

    1. Describe the overall tone of this Psalm.
    2. What is the focus of the Psalmist?
      Leader’s Note: The Hebrew word in verse 4 that is translated as gaze upon or behold carries with it the idea of joyfully seeing and experiencing.
    3. Consider the following statement from Ronald Rolheiser:

      “Today, a number of historical circumstances are blindly flowing together and accidentally conspiring to produce a climate within which it is difficult not just to think about God or to pray, but simply to have an interior depth whatsoever….

      We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion.

      It is not that we have anything against God, depth, and spirit, we would like these, it is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have any of these show up on our radar screens. We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and shopping malls and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.”

      How distracted are you? What are your primary disctractions?

    4. We all behold something. On Sunday, we explored the idea that what you behold is what you become. Do you agree or disagree with this?

    5. What are your beholding and what is the logical conclusion of that?

    6. What might it mean for you to behold Jesus? What would that look like?

    7. What impact would that have on you, your family, and your community?
      Read passage.

      Helpful Resources

    For our Lent calendar text LENT to 617.415.4466
    The Reunion Team

    Lent at REUNION: From Distraction to Focus

    Lent at REUNION: From Distraction to Focus

    Lent is a season of preparation. It’s a season where we give up good things so we can focus on better things. It’s not a rote ritual of fasting simply so we can fulfill a religious requirement. It’s an opportunity to give up some things for a season, so we can focus on Jesus and align our hearts with his.

    In many ways, Lent can feel like a desert; it can be dry, difficult, and go on forever. Yet, the challenges of Lent can also allow us to experience the joys of Easter anew. As we learn to give up things we often pursue and allow to become distractions in life, we learn again to focus on and put our trust and hope in Jesus.

    Fasting Together

    Below are descriptions of what we will be giving up as a community. Each week is a different fast from a different habit or thing we rely on regularly. Every weekend, we will break our fast to rest and celebrate the goodness of God in this season. THIS IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE FAST. We will only fast from one thing each week. The next week we will move on and fast from a new thing.

    This is also an experiential fast. When we fast we don’t simply abstain from certain things and try to suffer through it, but we set our attention and give our time to other things, better things. As we fast together as a community, we want to be intentional with our time and attention. Each day of the week there are suggestions of actions you can take as you fast to draw closer to God, learn more about yourself, and love your neighbor.  

    Pray & Join us. 

    Week 1: Alcohol & Caffeine. Let go of your wine, beer, and spirits. Put away the coffee, soda, and tea.

    Week 2: TV, Movies & Video Games. Turn off the screen and dive into the Bible and quality time with others.

    Week 3: Social Media & the Internet. Do without things like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Week 4: Sweets & Treats. Say goodbye to things with added sugar and sugar substitutes.

    Week 5: Meat. Cut meat from your diet. 

    Week 6: Excess. We buy more than we need, throw away tons of garbage and often still don’t feel like we have enough. Give up excess this week. Eat less food. Use fewer resources. Recycle. 

    Here are just a few things to keep in mind during the season of Lent.

    Move from Distracted to Focused. Lent is not about suffering aimlessly. As you put down things, make sure to pick up habits that deepen your faith like prayer, bible study, and reflection.

    Be Smart. Some fast items can be difficult/dangerous for small children, the elderly, or pregnant and nursing mothers. Make sure to fast in a way that preserves your health.

    Follow Your Conscience. Some things we have chosen to give up as a community might not feel like much of a sacrifice or may be too burdensome for some reason. It is okay to add or take away as your conscience lead.

    The Reunion Team

    Discussion Guide: Community and My Mental Health

    Discussion Guide: Community and My Mental Health

    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! With 1 in 5 adults struggling with at least one mental health challenge, the goal for this evening is to help your group consider what role the 4 in 5 adults who are not struggling can do to support their loved ones who are. 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

    When is a time you have felt supported by your loved ones?

     

    Scripture Reading

    Numbers 13
    Joshua 4-6
    1 John 3:18

     

    Discussion Questions

    Read or summarize Numbers 13 and Joshua 4-6.

      1. Describe how the Israelites are feeling in these two passages.
        Leader’s Note: It may be helpful here to paint a picture of the Exodus journey from Egypt and the wilderness wanderings.
      2. Joshua does not make promises to the people, but rather points to existing promises and the God who made them. What can we take from this?
      3. What promises do you believe God has made to us, and how can we remind each other of them?
      4. On Sunday we discussed that as we support our community we should: Be consistent, speak truth to the lies, and point to the hope that is beyond us. What do you think that each of these steps looks like practically for you personally?

    Helpful Resources

    Text HEALTH to 617.415.4466 for counseling resources. 
    The Reunion Team

    Discussion Guide: Community and My Mental Health

    Discussion Guide: My Faith and My Mental Health

    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 help your group become more aware that God is with them in the midst of their mental health struggles. 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

    Describe a time in your life when you felt alone. 

     

    Scripture Reading

    1 Kings 19

     

    Discussion Questions

     

    1. Who can recap the sermon from Sunday?

    Read passage.

    1. What is the background of our text? Feel free to reference 1 Kings 18.
    2. How would you expect Elijah to be feeling after 1 Kings 18? Is his depression a surprise to you? Why or why not?
    3. How would you expect God to respond to Elijah in the midst of his depression after having seen God’s power first hand?
    4. What do you see in God’s response to Elijah, and how does that response make you feel? (Notice that God is the one who continually initiates communication when Elijah feels alone)
    5. What role does our faith have in helping us along our mental health journey?

       

      Helpful Resources

    Text HEALTH to 617.415.4466 for counseling resources.
    The Reunion Team

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