Week 35 - Sent to Suffer
» LEADER GUIDE
(approx. time: 25 minutes)
Prayer - As you begin, take time to pray with your group, aligning your hearts to God, praying for the upcoming season, and bringing specific requests to the Lord. This is an opportunity to set the culture for your gathering. By starting off with prayer you are acknowledging that fellowship with God is a priority and a necessity for the life a disciple. Try and keep this around 15 minutes. For some this will be a challenge. If so, it is okay to let there be silence. If your group is larger you might consider breaking into smaller groups, 2-3 or 4-6.
As you pray spend time;
Blessing the Lord (Ps 103:2; Ps 100:4; Ps 145:10) - giving praises and thanks to God.
Praying for “all the saints” (Ep 6:18) - our church family, other churches, those in your group.
Praying for the lost (Acts 26:18; Rom 10:1; 1 Tim 2:1-6) - those in your workplaces, neighborhoods, and families.
Group Commitment - As discussed in your cohorts this month, the group commitment form is a tool that can help you cultivate gospel culture in your gatherings. Take a few moments to go over that document with your group. Then invite questions and confirm that everyone is in agreement with the expectations.
See the link below to view online or download.
(approx. time: 45 minutes)
Testimonies - In the beginning of this week’s passage we read that Paul, upon returning to Jerusalem, “reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry” (Acts 21:17-19). Those in attendance, who heard these accounts, then responded to his reports with praise to God (v.20a). This event, which occurs prior to the talk of Jewish customs and the suffering that Paul endures, is a proclamation of God’s grace and ability to save those outside the law. Paul’s testimony of the Gentile’s challenged those who believed that the commands would only be kept out of fear of punishment, or that the law must be kept in order to live a righteous life.
As you are now regathering from the Summer break, take time to share evidences of God’s grace with one another. You might recall us doing this activity at the beginning of the SENT series. This is an opportunity for your group members to proclaim the ways the Spirit has been working in and through them over the last 6-9 months. Whether they have experienced conviction and forgiveness, shared the gospel with someone, or grew in resting in Jesus these stories have great value and are cause for praise. Let this be a time to celebrate and declare the goodness of God. To help facilitate this segment, I’ve included a link to the document from last Winter. Feel free to use that file or use another method. Again, these are not conversion stories but small testaments to God’s faithfulness in our lives. Allow this to be a time of acknowledging and glorifying God for the work he has done in and through us.
See the link below for additional direction on this activity.
(approx. time: 5 minutes)
Vision Cast - To close your time together, share your heart for the group and recap the main ideas; God is gracious and is calling each of us to live sent. These stories that you shared with each other are stories that you can use to share God’s goodness to others. They are evidences of His working in your lives. Invite your group to share these stories with others, but also cling to them when they doubt, when fear arises, or when they go through times of suffering. Lastly, encourage your group to continue praying for one another as the week continues inviting them to text, call or email one another.
Prayer - Invite someone from the group to close out your time in prayer.