Like we said last week, the arrival of summer signals a change in our small group format. Beginning June 4th and running until school starts back in August we won’t be providing small group discussion questions. We do, however, encourage you to keep meeting and deepening relationships.
If your group is NEW, we encourage you to continue meeting weekly and engaging through discussion. Contact Dan Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org for resources.
If your group is SEASONED, you are encouraged to pursue whatever you think is the best path for your group (though we’d definitely encourage you to meet). You might study a book together, use video curriculum or simply use the summer as an opportunity to grow closer through fun and fellowship.
Whether your group is NEW or SEASONED, we ask that all group leaders would contact Dan to discuss their plans. Thanks so much!
What is the most expensive thing (besides a car or house) you’ve ever purchased? If you don’t want to share that, think of the first legitimately expensive thing you ever bought. How did you feel about it? Was it worth the sacrifice?
We said on Sunday, summarizing the hero’s journey, “You don’t start where you end. You don’t end where you start.” Does that truth give you hope or make you nervous? Or both. Share how you feel about the inevitability of the journey.
There comes a time in most stories when the character is confronted with the reality that gaining what they want most will require them to sacrifice something dear.
Think of a moment in a movie or book you love when the hero is called to give up everything for the sake of the thing she most wants. Share with the group.
As you’ve followed Jesus He’s repeatedly asked you to give things up. What’s been one of the hardest things you’ve sacrificed in following Christ and taking up your cross?
What kinds of things might God call us to sacrifice? Make a list together. Include the things you’ve already shared as personal examples.
Sometimes the things God calls us to sacrifice are very, very important to us (our lives, for example). Are you afraid of what God might call you to give up in following Him? If so, share a little about that. What in particular are you afraid of? How might you conquer that fear? What do you need to know, what do you need to see more clearly, and what do you need to do to get over your fear?
Because following where God leads will definitely take you further than you “want” to go, what do you do with the tension between your priorities and God’s priorities? Where are your priorities different than God’s? Give specific examples. How can we better align our priorities with God’s priorities?
On Sunday Justin paraphrased Jesus’ words to his disciples, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,” this way:
You’re going to be so concerned with getting the most out of life--and so you’re going to work more than you should and keep as much as you can so that you have as much money as you want. And you’re going to sleep with whoever you want so that you enjoy as much pleasure as you want. And you’re going to lie so that you don’t get into trouble; And you’re going to be selfish with your spouse because you want to make sure that you get taken care of; And you’re going to compromise your morals so that you fit in and people like you.
And the whole time, you’re going to be doing it to “save your life”--to get the most out of life...and it’s going to be such a cruel irony: that very effort is going to produce the opposite of what you want. You’ll end up losing your life--missing out (now and later) on the best.
- Did this touch you or convict you or move you in any way? Share.
- Do you think you’re doing this, sacrificing the reward to come (and the reward offered here on earth) on the altar of your desires and urges? Are you losing your life trying to save it? Take this opportunity to reach out to your group for help.
Though it will cost you everything to follow Christ, following Christ pays more than it costs. Make a list of the rewards of following Jesus.
For this series’ small group scripture readings we’re looking at some of the hero’s journey stories in the Bible.
This week, read Deuteronomy chapter 34.
What must it have been like to be Moses? As he was about to die, what do you think went through his head? What scenes from his life played on the movie screen of his closed eyelids?
What did Moses give up to obey God? Think through everything God called him to sacrifice.
Do you think it was worth it?
Things to pray for:
What you’ll do as a group this summer, that it would be a blessing to you and would draw you closer to one another and to God.
About your willingness to give up everything. Ask God to grow trust in you. Ask Him to make you a willing living sacrifice. You might also pray through your fears, sking God to lift them, naming them.
Thanksgiving for the many ways God gives us life when we’re willing to give up our lives. Refer to the list you made earlier in the discussion.