Garth Brooks famously sang the line, “Blame it all on my roots.” What was he talking about?
What are your roots? If you had to describe your “roots” in three adjectives, which would you choose?
If you’re in the mood for a game, don’t discuss your three adjectives together. Instead, have each group member write their three words on one index card. Collect the cards and spread them out on a table, then have each group member write the name of the person they think wrote the card on the back. See how many you can guess correctly!
Let’s start by re-reading Ephesians 3: 17b-18
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Why is love such good soil?
According to this passage, being rooted in love (loving and being loved by others), enables us to better grasp God’s love. Has that been your experience?
Have you ever had a human relationship that helped you understand the way God loves you? Tell the group about it.
TO DISCUSS & PRAY
This week we have our prayer earlier in the discussion guide than usual. That’s because we’d love for you to discuss this prayer before you pray it.
Consider the roots prayer we gave you on your seed packets Sunday (read it aloud):
Father, plant me among your people.
Help me be rooted in relationships that anchor and nourish me.
Strengthen me to stay in community even when it’s hard.
Make me patient as together we grow and bloom.
Before you pray it, walk through it line by line:
What would it look like to be planted among your small group? What commitments should you make? How might you ensure that you’re devoting yourself to these relationships in a deep and meaningful way? Offer some practical steps you might take to get serious about putting down roots.
How have you seen your small group anchor or nourish you in the past? How do you hope your small group will anchor or nourish you in the future? What do you most need from this group?
Is community hard for you? Are you good at long term relationships or do you struggle? What are some personality traits or skills you have that enable success in developing healthy relationships? What are some personality traits or weaknesses that cause frustration as you strive to develop healthy relationships?
Are you generally patient with relationships? Why is it so important to persevere in friendship? Share a story/example of a relationship you’ve seen bloom over the years that took a while to get going. You might also tell your group about a relationship that’s directly influenced your spiritual growth over the years.
Now, that you’ve discussed it, pray it together. You might have the leader say a line and then have the group repeat, almost like wedding vows. :)
You might also decide to pray your prayer from last week. Lots of prayer is always a good thing.
Lord, bless me by teaching me to trust in You.
Empower me to put my confidence in You.
Plant me like a tree planted by the water.
Move me to send out roots to the stream of Your love and power.
Make me like that tree, unafraid when heat comes;
my leaves always green, alive.
Rescue me from worries in a year of drought
because in You, I never fail to bear fruit.
Watch this video about Pando, the largest living organism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwHyEz0qSnA
What might we learn about community from this story?
ONE MORE THING
If you’re looking for another passage of scripture to dig into this week, Romans chapter 12 would be a great place to go to discuss HOW we persevere in deep, enriching relationships. Hint: It takes sacrifice.