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: (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.
Lord, may we be transformed from the inside out by the renewing of our mind. May we have wisdom to discern your good, pleasing and complete will. Amen.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
When you wake up in the morning, what are your first thoughts?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will practice “Lectio Divina” (Latin for "Divine Reading"); a practice of reading scripture, meditation and prayer where we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.
Follow the guide below as you lead your group through this practice and then discuss as a group what each person received from God’s word. The beauty of this practice is seeing how God speaks to EACH OF US in a very personal way.
Have people open their Bibles or open up a Bible App and go to Romans 8:37-39. They will read silently with you as you guide them through the experience. The scripture will be read three times - you, as the leader, can read all three times or you can find two other people to read it. As you read the scripture, go slowly and with each reading emphasize different words or phrases. Enjoy the space and time it takes to slowly move through this practice as a group.
SCRIPTURE READING - Romans 8:37-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- READ (Lectio) - Read the passage out loud, slowly, allowing the words to resonate and settle in your heart. After a pause, re-read the passage out loud. After another pause, re-read the passage. During the readings, listen for the word or phrase that catches your attention.
- REFLECT (Meditatio) - Take time to sit with your word or phrase. Re-read the passage quietly to yourself and listen to where the word connects with your life right now. Write down or illustrate what your mind is reflecting on. How is God speaking to you? What do you hear?
- PRAY (Oratio) - Talk to God about the word or phrase he has highlighted. How has God addressed you in his Word and invited you to respond? Allow the scripture to lead you in a prayer response.
- SHARE with the group the word and/or phrase that spoke to you and how it relates to your life today. Share how you will apply this in the next 24 hours.
- REST (Contemplatio) - Rest in God’s presence. Deeply receive God’s word and rest in his presence and love. Take God’s word with you throughout the week.
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here is a suggestion of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
- Thank you Jesus that You speak to us in such a personal way. May our minds be open to your discerning voice and through your unfailing love we lean into your wisdom so we generously love others this week.