Contrary To Popular Belief (Part 2): The First Shall Be First

#1 Listen to "Contrary to Popular Belief: The First Shall Be First"

Consider this Sunday morning’s lesson. You can listen here:

Or watch here [video will be posted by Monday each week]:

What stuck out to you as interesting?

Did you encounter any challenging or re-orienting truth?

How’d it make you feel?


#2 Power Play

What is power?

Do you have any? Make a list of different areas or people over which you have power (primarily people you know personally and/or by name). Make it as long as you can.

How does it feel to have power? Why do we like it so much?

Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

  • What is it about power that tempts us?
  • Have you ever had a moment where you let power go to your head? Share.

Look at the list you made of your "powers." What's at stake in terms of how you choose to wield your power?

  • Who might you hurt? How?
  • Who might you help? How?


#3 Power Down

How does it feel to be powerless? Think of a time you've felt completely powerless. Funny or serious (either way). Share how you felt in that moment or season.

Read Isaiah 58:1-12.

How can we...

"loose the chains of injustice,
    untie the cords of the yoke,
set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?"

Think practically. How does a modern, Western Christian empower the powerless? Who are the groups in need of justice and freedom? Here in America? Globally?

According to Isaiah, how will God treat the one who uses his power on the behalf of others?

Paulo Freire said, “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”

  • How, practically speaking, can we side with the powerless and against those who abuse their power?


#4 (Not That) Super Power

“It does not take a great supernatural heroine or magical hero to save the world.
We all save it every day, and we all destroy it -- in our own small ways -- by every choice we make and every tiniest action resulting from that choice.
The next time you feel useless and impotent, remember what you are in fact doing in this very moment. And then observe your tiny, seemingly meaningless acts and choices coalesce and cascade together into a powerful positive whole."
― Vera Nazarian

So often, we think of power and immediately think "super power." But power, even the power that comes from God, is actually more everyday.

Paul writes in I Timothy 1:7-8, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God."

  • In this verse, what does God give Paul the power to do?

Have each group member pretend he or she is an "everyday superhero" with one particular "everyday power." Which seemingly ordinary power would you want to have?


#5 Power Sharing

Watch this video with Dr. Keith Brantly. Ask yourselves, how did Dr. Brantly use his power to help the powerless? How does he encourage us to help the powerless?

#6 Slave Masters

Justin mentioned on Sunday that there are more slaves on the planet today than at any other point in human history. Share the following link with your group:

By visiting this site and taking a short quiz, you can estimate the number of slaves required to facilitate your lifestyle. Once you've taken the quiz, you can explore the website for ways to fight against modern slavery.

If you want to do this during your small group time, members can easily complete the quiz on their phones in less than six or seven minutes.