Week 10 | Worship

hanny-naibaho-305672-unsplash.jpg

"God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises 'before the nations.' We are called not simply to communicate the Gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the Gospel before them."

- Tim Keller

Worshiping together

We were made to worship Jesus together. Some would say that it is the single most important thing we do. It revives the passion for God within us and keeps us devoted to Him. Elements of large or small group worship involve God's word, prayer, singing and serving. This, of course, is not done as a means to anything but an experience we get to partake in as followers of Jesus. Worshiping together is a means by which we display our inward treasure of God outwardly. It puts our love for God on display - showing others His ultimate worth.

All throughout the scriptures, we see God saving and sustaining a people for himself. In Deuteronomy 7:6 we read, "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."

These people were not chosen because of any good they had within them but because of God's love for them and His faithfulness to the promise He made to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob (v.8). Similarly, the apostle Paul says, “In love [God] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:4–5). Like Israel, we were chosen because of God’s love for us that was expressed before we could try to claim anything inherent in us or accomplished by us. [7]

This week in your groups, as God's chosen people, you'll have an opportunity to enjoy and worship God together. As part of your liturgy you are encouraged to;

• Share a meal together (or have a dessert potluck ?)
• Sing Doxology (click here for the lyrics)
• Read Psalm 63:1-11 aloud (consider having each person read a verse or two)
• Spend time in prayer (consider using the TACOS or ACTS prayer model)
• And share evidence of God's grace with one another. How has God grown your group over the course of the last 10 weeks? How about you as a leader? What has changed?

[7] From the note on Deuteronomy 7:6, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible (Crossway).

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST -  This is a great time to recap the series and the importance of continuing to put these spiritual disciplines into practice so that we can continue growing closer to God. This week you will also need to identify what is next for your group in the coming weeks.

The Summer Social is coming up (click HERE to find out more). What are a few activities that you will be doing so people can get them on their calendars? The goal of the Summer Social is to have fun, build relationships and serve others.


• ACTIVITY -  There are 5 main components that we are highlighting through this time. Often we think of worship as just singing or something we do on Sundays. Instead, we are including various elements to help the body experience the blessing of worship in several ways all done together as a group in a safe and loving environment. 


• CLOSE - Consider sharing how God has grown you through this last 10 weeks. Also, make sure everyone knows when and where the next gathering will take place. Have someone close in prayer.


Week 10 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 9 | Community

debby-hudson-589680-unsplash.jpg

"The more amazed we are at our salvation, the more we will foster a culture of honest, grace-filled conversation about sin."

- Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community, pp. 182

Confession and communion

One great benefit of being committed to other Christians in community is the ability to live out the exhortation of James 5:16, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.”

For Christians, confession of sin in the presence of others is a tangible way in which we apply and celebrate the gospel together. Communal confession is humbly admitting our sins, weaknesses and needs (before others) and acknowledging that God alone is our strength, refuge, and salvation (Ps 28:6-9).

1 John 1:6-9 says, "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is both a warning and a promise. The warning is against hardness of heart that seeks to avoid confession and stay in the dark. The promise is that when we bring our sins into the light through confession, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. The beauty of confession is that it builds community by encouraging each of us to walk in the light of God as the family of God.

In his book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes that "In confession there takes place a breakthrough to community. Sin wants to be alone with people… In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and closed isolation of the heart… Sin that has been spoken and confessed has lost all of its power. It has been revealed and judged as sin. It can no longer tear apart the community.’ (p.110)”

This week in your gatherings you will be practicing communal confession, in response to the forgiveness we have received in Jesus. Then you, as a leader, will get the opportunity to serve communion to your group. It's important to note that communion is only for those who are professing Christians. As disciples, we are instructed by Jesus (Lk. 20:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26) to take communion in remembrance of the sacrifice He made on our behalf. His broken body and shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Setup the time for the evening. Remind the group about the commitment to safety and confidentiality before moving into a time of confession. 
• ACTIVITY - Spend time in confession with one another. This can be done in Subgroups or as a large group. Consider reading or having someone read one or more of these Corporate Confessions listed on Monergism.com. You might even reference the examples in scripture of God's people collectively confessing given at the bottom of the page (e.g., Neh. 9 - The people of Israel corporately "made confession and worshipped the LORD their God."). 

Afterward, then move into a time of response by taking communion together. The elements should be served by you. Here is some guidance for that time together by SmallGroups.com: Build Community Through Communion. As per our normal Sunday practice I would suggest having the participants dip the bread into the wine or juice. However, the most important part is identifying the significance of each element (bread and wine/juice). Allow enough time for people to reflect and pray. 
• CLOSE - Cast vision for the weeks to come. What will you be doing together after the sermon series ends? Identify your goals for your group throughout the Summer Social time (June 17th - August 5th). This is when our groups gather in parks, create parties and events or do service projects together - all with the focus of building relationship with each other and non-Christians. This is a great time to team up with other DGs in your area as well. Close your time in prayer.

Coming up next week: we will covering the topic of worship. In your gatherings you will be sharing a meal, singing Doxology, reading scripture aloud, praying and sharing evidence of God's grace with one another.


Week 9 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 8 | Meditation

ben-white-139141-unsplash.jpg

"[Meditation] is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communication with God."

- J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity Press, 1973), pp. 18-19

Meditating Together

Leaders, if someone asked you, "How do I know if I am maturing as a follower of Jesus?" what would your response be? How would you evaluate your own maturity in Christ?

After being given salvation in Jesus (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5), every Christian begins the process of spiritual growth. The purpose of this growth is to become spiritually mature. According to the apostle Paul, it’s an ongoing process that does not end this side of heaven (Phil. 3:12–14). This process is our growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18) and becoming more like Him each day (2 Cor. 3:18).

Maturity, though, requires us to re-prioritize our desires, no longer seeking to please ourselves but instead pleasing God and learning to obey Him. A process which takes persistence and engagement in those things we know will draw us closer to God. These practices, or disciplines, are gifts of grace and include things such as Bible study, prayer, serving, and meditation. It is important to note that no matter how hard we work at these disciplines none of this growth is possible without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 2 Cor. 1:22). As we learn to walk under the Spirit's control throughout our lives we will see an increase in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). These fruits are the characteristics of Jesus and the essence of what it means to become spiritually mature.

As a group, this week you will have an opportunity to encourage each other to practice the discipline of Christian meditation. Just one of many ways we can fellowship with God and seek to grow in spiritual maturity. Using the exercises given on pages 7 and 8 of the booklet you will, as a group, choose one or more of the exercises to do together. The three listed are; 

  1. Prayer Exercise
  2. Visualization Exercise
  3. Scripture Exercise 

It is important to note that Christian meditation, as described in the booklet, is deeply rooted in scripture. The 4 key aspects of this discipline are;

  • Meditating on God (Ps 63:6).
  • Meditating on God’s word (Ps 119:48).
  • Meditating on God’s work (Ps 143:5).
  • Meditating on God’s promises (Ps 119:148)

Some possible questions for discussion are;

  • What might need to change in your life to enable you to practice the discipline of meditation more often?
  • In what ways could this spiritual discipline help you to disciple someone outside of your group?

 

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Consider sharing with the group how God has been growing you as a leader and why gathering together each week is valuable to you. 
• ACTIVITY - This time together should be slow and intentional. Allow for 30-40 minutes of practicing one or more of the exercises together. It may help to briefly address any misconceptions or fears people might have in practicing meditation prior to doing it.
• DEBRIEF - Check in with the group. How are people doing in implementing the disciplines into their lives? Any breakthroughs? Major changes? Has anyone used them as a way to disciple someone outside of the group? Close your time in prayer.

Coming up next week: we will be covering the topic of Community. In our groups we'll be taking time to confess sins to one another. Then, in response to the forgiveness we have in Jesus, we'll be taking communion together. As a leader(s), you'll get to serve the elements (bread & juice/ wine) to your group. In preparation for this please consider, based on the convictions of your group members, whether you will be offering juice, wine or both. As well, whether you will need to provide a gluten free option for the bread as some may be allergic to gluten. 


Week 8 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 7 | Serving

nina-strehl-140734-unsplash.jpg

Serving Together

Matthew 22:35-40
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him [Jesus] a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

Jesus here re-writes the script on the commandments. In response to the lawyer, he concisely summarizes all of God's commandments down to two. I really like how the commentators from the Gospel Transformation Bible describe the heart of this passage; "A loving commitment to God, initiated by God himself, results in love for one’s neighbor. When we love God, we love what and whom he loves—because we desire to please and honor him." (ref. 1 John 4:19; see also Rom. 5:8). It is His love for us that enables us to love others and serve them in radical ways. 

This week you will have an opportunity to do just that - by putting the spiritual discipline of serving into practice with your group. If you haven't already done so, work together to identify a way to serve others as a group. For this week you will be serving together during your normal gathering time. But as you are considering what each other's passions are and how you might serve, also discuss how this can become something you do together on a regular basis (weekly, monthly or quarterly). Who can champion and organize that for the group? One benefit of doing something more regularly is being able to build relationships with those whom you serve.

The following questions can help in creating a plan:

  • Who will you serve? 
  • How will you serve them?
  • Who will participate?
  • What supplies will you need?
  • When will you do it?

Some possible ways you can serve those in your community

• Write in and hand out greeting cards to hospital patients, those in a local retirement home or recovery/homeless shelter.
• Identify someone who you could do yard work for and everyone bring supplies and contributes to the effort.
• In your group, create care bags for the homeless (hygiene products, granola bars [no chocolate], water, etc). Then, each person takes a few bags to place in their car and hand out later that week as they meet those in need.
• Prepare sack lunches for the homeless and hand out together. Offer to pray for those you come in contact with.

Other suggestions: Visit the local nursing home and spend time playing games with the residents. Volunteer to read to elementary students or help tutor local school children. Also, prayerfully consider and discuss how your group can make serving others together a regular practice?

To access a list of organizations you can partner with in your area click HERE

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for why they are there - the purpose of being in a Discipleship Group - and the motivation this week's activity.
• ACTIVITY - This week we will be putting the discipline of serving into practice. If you haven't already identified a project to do together you will need to do that as soon as possible. A majority of the examples given require pre-planning and asking that people bring supplies.
• DEBRIEF - If you have time debrief each person's experience through the spiritual discipline. Then, close your time in prayer. 

Coming up next week: we will be practicing Christian meditation together. Ask that everyone bring their workbooks and Bibles.


Week 7 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 6 | Sabbath

cassandra-hamer-470060-unsplash.jpg

"Rest is not a place I collapse into when I’ve finally done enough work — it’s the starting place, it’s the way into the well-fitting, easy yoke of Jesus (Matthew 11:25-30)."

 -Alan Fadling, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest

Learning to Sabbath

Out of all the spiritual disciplines, this may be the most challenging for me personally. Throughout my life, I have believed the lie that busyness equals success. To rest is to be lazy and even weak. Wrapped around that belief are the sins of self-reliance and man-pleasing. Pride and a distrust of God have fueled them within me. They have been a stronghold which has kept me from seeing rest as a gift from God.

Thankfully, praise God, He has been bringing this to light and uprooting these sins within me. By His grace and through repentance I have been able to experience rest in greater ways. Learning to trust God and to commit my work to Him (Prov. 16:3). It is a process I am still in but one where I am redefining success by God's standard, through His word. Where I am striving to not be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2) any longer, but am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. Can you relate? How have you been challenged to find rest in Jesus (Matt. 11:29)? What would it look like for you to start your week from rest?

This week, as a group, you will have an opportunity to discuss this topic and examine what God's word says about rest. One of the great benefits of being in a group with other disciples is that we can help encourage and build one another up (1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 3:13). We do this by pointing each other to Jesus, praying for one another and providing loving accountability that is fueled by grace.

I am praying your time together and that the Holy Spirit would guide you and give you discernment. Thank you for loving and leading Jesus' people. You are a blessing to the body and a testament of God's grace upon our church. I am sincerely grateful for each of you and am thankful to be serving in this ministry alongside you. 

In Christ,
Pastor Tim

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for why they are there. What is the purpose of being in a Discipleship Group? How does that tie to our mission and vision as a church?
• ACTIVITY - This week we will be doing a biblical study on God's intention for the Sabbath and seeking to apply His truth to our lives. Allow enough time to read through the sections of scripture and answer the questions listed in your workbooks. 
• SENDING - Close the time in prayer and ask that each person practice this discipline this coming week. Encourage loving accountability for one another (men for men/ women for women/ married couples for each other). It would be great if each person had someone to connect with (call, text, email, etc.) and pray for this week.

Coming up next week: we will be serving others together as a group. This week discuss and choose a project you will do as a group so you can plan and prepare. See below for some ideas that you can do in your group.


Serving Others Activity

Some possible ways you can serve those in your community

• Write in and hand out greeting cards to hospital patients, those in a local retirement home or recovery/homeless shelter.
• Identify someone who you could do yard work for and everyone bring supplies and contributes to the effort.
• In your group, create care bags for the homeless (hygiene products, granola bars [no chocolate], water, etc). Then, each person takes a few bags to place in their car and hand out later that week as they meet those in need.
• Prepare sack lunches for the homeless and hand out together. Offer to pray for those you come in contact with.

Other suggestions: Visit the local nursing home and spend time playing games with the residents. Volunteer to read to elementary students or help tutor local school children.


Week 6 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


Sermon Recap Video

Week 5 | Fasting

jonathan-pielmayer-388602-unsplash.jpg

"Fasting, like the gospel, isn’t for the self-sufficient and those who feel they have it all together. It’s for the poor in spirit. It’s for those who mourn. For the meek. For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness."

 - David Mathis, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines.

Fasting Together

This week we are going to be talking about fasting. And, as a group, you will have an opportunity to do a fast together.

I want to ask that you send out a message prior to your group, well in advance. To encourage your group. To let them know that we will be practicing this together this week. And to give them some direction on what that looks like. As well, more importantly, to provide the purpose for fasting. See the purposes for fasting below.

We are asking that participants within our groups, and yourselves, to fast for 12-24 hours prior to your gathering. This could be one meal. This could be fasting from two meals. If someone has dietary issues or the need to eat certain foods throughout the day, they could fast from technology or from something else. We also want to ask that people not fast if they are unable to identify a purpose. Fasting without biblical purpose is worldly and is not God's will for us. In addition, if someone is not ready to participate, that's ok. Our pursuit of these disciples should be from delight rather than duty.

The goal of this exercise is for us to grow in our need and hunger for God. That's most important. To strengthen and sharpen our affections toward Him and to enrich our joy in Christ. That's what we want our people. For ourselves. Then, in your gatherings, break the fast together by sharing a meal and your experiences with one another.  

Fasting can be abstinence from other things. But, if you are able, we ask that this be a fast specifically from food. See page 7 for examples of fasting that are most common. Also, see page 8 for some guidelines we recommend when fasting from food. It is suggested to drink lots of fluids when abstaining from food.

As Christians, we fast not without intention. Rather, we are to fast with a spiritual purpose. In fasting, we are trading dependence upon something physical for God alone.

According to Donald S. Whitney, fasting's spiritual purposes include:

  • Strengthening prayer (Ezra 8:23; Joel 2:13; Acts 13:3)
  • Seeking God's guidance (Judg. 20:26; Acts 14:23)
  • Expressing grief (1 Sam. 31:13; 2 Sam. 1:11-12)
  • Seeking deliverance or protection (2 Chron. 20:3-4; Ezra 8:21-23)
  • Expressing repentance and returning to God (1 Sam. 7:6; Jon. 3:5-8)
  • Humbling oneself before God (1 Kings 21:27-29; Ps. 35:13)
  • Expressing concern for the work of God (Neh. 1:3-4; Dan. 9:3)
  • Ministering to the needs of others (Isa. 58:3-7)
  • Overcoming temptation and dedicating yourself to God (Mat. 4:1-11)
  • Expressing love and worship to God (Luke 2:37)

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for the activity before the gathering.
• ACTIVITY - The plan for this week is to fast together prior to meeting. Then meet and break the fast over a meal.
• DEBRIEF - After the meal share your experiences together as a large group. Discuss how you could, or plan to, integrate fasting with spiritual purpose into your life. Encourage one another and end the time in prayer for each other.

Coming up next week: we will be studying God's intention and purpose for the Sabbath.


A message about the workbooks

Pastor Bubba answers some questions we have received about the references and content.


Week 5 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


Sermon Recap Video

Week 4 | Silence

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.  -Psalm 62:5-7

Practicing Silence Together

This week, as a group, you will have an opportunity to practice silence together. Silence is one of the most challenging and least experienced disciplines among Christians today. Living in a world full of noise and distraction, some of us may even fear silence. Yet, in Psalm 37:7a, we are instructed to “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”.

Being still, waiting patiently, or remaining silent takes practice though. For many of us, this can often be uncomfortable. So this week we'll begin our time in prayer and in God's Word. Then after, take some time to debrief the experience as a group.

One of the greatest benefits of this exercise is it realigns ourselves to what is most important. This is an opportunity to step away from the busyness of life, away from social media, away from mobile devices, away from television to spend time with Jesus. We don't want the "cares of this world" to choke out the word (Mark 4:19). Instead, we want to be like Mary of Bethany sitting, attentively, in the presence of Jesus (Luke 10:19).

As a side note, the goal here is to not expect to get anything from God. We simply desire to be with Him. To experience His presence by quieting our hearts, reflecting on God's character, His truths and our relationship with Him. See the workbook for additional tips. 

Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

• VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for the evening and for the activity.
• ACTIVITY - Read through the tips in the workbook together. Ask that everyone refrain from looking at their phones. Begin by reading, or having someone read, Psalm 63 and  Colossians 3:1-17 to the group. Then invite them to spend 15 minutes in silence. If there is enough space in the home you meet in, you could have people scatter out. Acknowledge the awkwardness of the exercise but help everyone understand the benefit, the goal and God's desire for us through this.   
• DEBRIEF - After the 15 minutes, join back together to debrief and discuss everyone's experiences. Encourage the group to continue practicing the exercises and engage with the devotionals in the workbook throughout the week.

Coming up next week: we will be learning about fasting and you'll be asking your group to do a set fast 12 - 24 hours together prior to your gathering. The goal is to fast together, then break the fast by sharing a meal and sharing how the experience challenged and grew them closer to God. 


Week 4 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 3 | Prayer

"Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God. . . . We must know the awe of praising his glory, the intimacy of finding his grace, and the struggle of asking his help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of his presence." 

Tim Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

Prayer Walk

This week we would like you to lead a prayer walk with your group. As disciples, this is an opportunity for us to stretch our legs and get outside of our normal spaces. If your group has kids, consider having them join in as well. For many of us, this will also stretch our comfort zones. But how fortunate we are to be able to walk our streets praying for our neighborhoods and cities, celebrating the goodness of God our Father (James 1:17), the unlimited joy we have in Jesus (1 Peter 1:8-9) and guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). God's will for His people is that they would rejoice always, pray continuously, and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). One way we can put this into practice is by praying for those in our neighborhoods and cities while we walk. This is also a step in living out our vision as a church - to impact every city and neighborhood in the South Puget Sound with the gospel.

As a side note, if disabilities or other issues make this activity difficult for your group, then we suggest spending the time of 40-45 minutes praying together as a large group. This is an extended amount of time and is intentional. The point of this exercise is to help our church body grow; in fellowship with God, with one another, and become more missional within the community you gather in. 

I am praying for you and your groups - for safety, good weather, unity among your people, for a movement of discipleship among the church and most importantly that we would all grow in our love for God. Make sure to take a look at the workbook for more information and if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Love you guys!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Tim 


Here is a guideline for your gatherings:

VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for the evening and for the activity.
ACTIVITY - Then send the group out in small groups. Probably no more than four per group. Have them spend 40-45 minutes in prayer time. See the workbook for additional direction. Given that the sunset is around 8:00 pm right now, it might be best to start the walk early and gather for a meal or snacks after. Again, if your group is unable to do a prayer walk then have them spend that time praying as a large group.
DEBRIEF - Join back together to debrief and discuss everyone's experiences. Encourage those who participate and share.

Coming up next week: we will be spending time in Silence together.


Week 3 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 2 | Bible Study

"...Jesus has made the Bible the storehouse of nourishing, living soul food for his saints. It is stocked full of promises, and he invites us to come eat our fill for free (Isaiah 55:1)"

-Jon Bloom

Lectio Divina

For this week, we will be spending time studying God's Word together. We'll be using a method called Lectio Divina. The term is Latin for "holy reading" and has been in use for over a thousand years. It has four aspects which will help us digest and consume God's truth. They are; reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

“Man does not live by bread alone, but . . . by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3Matthew 4:4).

Too often we are fast food eaters, quickly shoveling down the Bread of Life (John 6:31-35) rather than slowing down to properly savor our time in God’s Word and find joy in connecting with Him.

This week is an opportunity to help one another slowdown. To learn to treasure God's Word and do so in a safe, loving and encouraging environment.

Here is a guideline for your gathering:

VISION CAST - for the evening and for the overall culture you desire for the group.
ACTIVITY - Play the recap video in the app or by clicking HERE. Afterward, start the exercise in the booklet. You'll want to give the group 10-15 minutes to pray and write out responses. Then ask people to share their experience and what they wrote down.
PRAYER - Spend time in prayer as a large group. Encourage people to bring their requests to the Lord and pray in response to God's truth.

Coming up next week: we will be doing a Prayer Walk together (weather permitting).


Week 2 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


SERMON RECAP VIDEO

Week 1 | Exp. God's Presence

Journal and Discussion

For week one, we will be spending time in prayer individually and writing out responses to questions in the booklet. See page 15. This time and the activity are purposeful. In our culture, it is rare that we quiet ourselves enough to hear from the Lord. Give your group the opportunity to sit and reflect upon the Scriptures, God's goodness and his desires for their lives. After everyone has had time to answer the questions, give them an opportunity to share. 

Remember each activity and time in the group is meant to be formative. We are helping people experience methods and practices which will cultivate a greater connection to God. This most likely will be uncomfortable at first. As a leader, I suggest taking time before your gathering to practice this yourself with a friend or spouse. If so, you can share how this activity impacted you and/ or challenged you before the group tries it out.

Here is a guideline for your gathering

VISION CAST - give vision and purpose of the series. Include the type of culture you desire and the purpose for gathering together.
ACTIVITY - Gather the group together and play the recap video. Then allow everyone 10-15 minutes to do the activity in their booklet. Spend 30-40 minutes discussing the results as a large group. 
PRAYER - Spend time in prayer as a large group. Avoid taking prayer requests, rather encourage people to bring their requests to the Lord.

Coming up next week in our groups we will be doing a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading called Lectio Devina.


Leaders, know that I am praying Galatians 5:22-23 for each of you this week. Praying that the Spirit would grow your love - your love for God and your love for those around you. That the character of Jesus seen in Gal. 5:22-23 would be increasingly evident in your life more and more each day.

In Christ,
Pastor Tim Chavira


Week 1 Workbook

Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.


Sermon Recap Video