BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Discussion Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read Mark 2:15-17; 3:-5; 7:14-23
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that he wants you to share during your group’s time together.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Video Resource) Read Scripture: Mark, The Bible Project
- (Video Resource) The Gospel According to Mark, The Bible Project
- (Commentary) Mark for Everyone, by N.T. Wright
- (Commentary) NIV Application Commentary, by David Garland
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
Revisiting Mark as the “First News” encourages us to look at Jesus, ourselves, and our faith anew. Pray that the time you have together increases the bond that exists between the members of your group. Pray that God would give each member of the group boldness to share their heart, and also understanding and compassion to support others. As you did last week, pray again that God would continue to use your community group as a source of strength and encouragement.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Have everyone take 30 seconds each to share a phrase or a moment from this weekend’s message that is still resonating with them. You also have the option to say “Pass.”
Large Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This weekend’s message came from Mark 2:15-17; 3:-5; 7:14-23. If everyone has a Bible, let's go to the book of Mark together.
- (From 2:13-17) Jesus demonstrated his willingness to associate with any kind of people, unlike the Pharisees, who would not touch anything or anyone considered “unclean”. Who the people in your life that you had previously kept in the unclean/untouchable category, and how did things change for you? In light of what you see in Jesus’ life, is he working on your heart when it comes to another category of people?
- Steve talked about the “Kingdom of God within us”. Can you remember what Jesus meant by that? How could this change the way you live your life?
- Steve also mentioned some of the areas (“evil thoughts”) that he has struggled with, and at times still does. He encouraged us to “ask ourselves the questions:
- What does Jesus need to heal in us?
- What sickness does he need to remove and replace in us?
Take a few moments to consider these questions, and then share and discuss among the group. Be sensitive to others who find it difficult to share.
- This was Steve’s conclusion: It’s a movement we are a part of – and we have an opportunity to have the same generosity and compassion, go viral in our neighborhoods and communities, as we welcome people into our groups and homes, hold each other accountable, and work together through what Jesus wants to remove and replace.
Consider and discuss some possible next steps that you could take to make this more of a reality in your own lives.
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
(Group Leader) Consider how God spoke to you through the message and in the group discussion, and share it with the group.
(Group) If you’re willing, share your answer with the group as well.
Then to close, thank God for the promises that Steve mentioned: “God gives us strength. God guides us. He gives us peace. He is with us. He made us more than conquerors, regardless of what we are up against, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Pray that the Holy Spirit would give each person wisdom and to continue to reveal to each of us any “infections” that affect us and hinder our growth in Christ, the courage to share and be helped by those around us, and the compassion and willingness to help those with their struggles without judgment.