BEFORE YOU GATHER
- If this is one of your first group meetings, familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips and/or CLICK HERE to review and remind your group of the Group Agreement.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer/Quick Connection: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s a suggestion of how your group can invite God into your time together.
Read Jesus’ prayer for believers in John 17:20-26 over the group.
- Jesus, thank you for coming to Earth in the form of a man to show us how to love each other. Thank you for showing us how to consistently love with compassion, patience, and grace. Help us where we fall short. Thank you for showing us that love is the greatest commandment and the binding force of unity. May those around us be drawn toward you and believe in you because of the love they see through us loving one another. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” - 1 John 3:14,18
Our church will be attractive to the world when our love for each other is obvious & inexhaustible. What does obvious and inexhaustible love look like?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will explore... Loving one another in the church like Jesus loved so that those around us will know that we are His disciples & be drawn to Him.
Open your Bibles together and read John 13:34-35 and 1 John 4:7-21.
- What did Jesus point to as our identifier that we are His disciples?
- How was Jesus’ teaching radically different than the teaching of the Pharisees who kept rigid rules? How does Jesus’ teaching cause YOU to reflect on how you live to prove you are Jesus’ disciple?
- Our mission as a church is to love each other regardless of our differences. Our commonality is loving God. Have you seen God glue you together in Christ with someone who is otherwise different than you? What did that look/feel like? Why is it so important that we are unified?
- The theological term for God loving people by using other people is “Incarnation” (Latin - carne - flesh). Incarnation did not stop when Jesus ascended to heaven. We are Jesus’ body - His hands and feet. What about you and your story?Share a time when you experienced a love FROM others that drew you closer to Jesus.
- How can someone be “moved from death to life” because of the the way they loved someone else? What can that look like?
- Explain the verse, “God is love.”
- How does our guilt and shame prevent us from fully experiencing God’s love/sharing it with others? How does our view of others begin to shift as we begin to have a healthier view of ourselves through Jesus?
- What is the relationship between knowing God and giving/receiving love? (1 John 4)
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.
- Pray for ways we can become known by our love so that our community will know that we are followers of Jesus & be drawn to Him
- Ask God to help you receive His love and grace so that you are able to share His love with others around you.
- Pray that we are living out what Jesus prayed for in John 17.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
- Find a way to love someone in our church this week.
- Ask God to reveal to you who He wants you to love and what specifically they need.