Who can remember all seven of our church’s core behaviors? Go around the room and see how many you can name.
It’s so important to us to know our members are internalizing this language and these ideas--we’d love to see a video of your group reciting all seven!
What’s so important about celebration? What does it accomplish?
What’s the relationship between celebration and joy?
Consider the following quote from Frederick Buechner:
“Joy is what we belong to. Joy is home, and tears of joy are more than anything else homesick tears. God created us in joy and created us for joy, and in the long run not all the darkness there is in the world and in ourselves can separate us finally from that joy. God created us in his image. We have God’s joy in our blood.”
What do you think about that? Is it true? Is it true for you?
Do you find Christians to be more joyful than other people?
Read Acts 16:16-30
What is it about Paul and Silas’s behavior that convinces the jailer to convert?
Have you ever celebrated in an environment or circumstance that wasn’t exactly the kind of place or situation in which people celebrate? What was the reaction of people around you? Have you ever seen someone celebrate in unexpected circumstances?
While suffering for the cause of Christ Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Two questions: How? And Why? How do we manage joy in hard times? And why should we rejoice even when things are hard?
What if you’re not a naturally joyful person? Do you get a pass on rejoicing?
Make a list of ways we might celebrate the work of God. Think through ways you’ve celebrated in the past (Remember, celebration isn’t always about throwing a party).
What was the best celebration you’ve ever attended/been a part of? What made it so good? Be specific.
TO READ & PRAY
Read Psalm 145:1-8 aloud together; direct your words to God.
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
Consider spending the bulk of your time in group celebrating God’s activity in your lives. What can you point to this week and say, “Look what God’s done! Thank you, God! We love it!”?