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During the sermon series, A Better Way, we will explore what it means to see and do things as Jesus would. We approach every situation based on our own experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. We choose the way that seems best to us… the most comfortable or familiar way… the way someone we respect or admire would recommend… the "right" way. In the Gospels, however, we see Jesus approach life and its endless choices through a different lens... His lens. As our faith and trust increase, we find ourselves seeing things His way... a different way... a better way.
For each week of the study guide, your group will watch a brief video teaching that is designed to complement the corresponding sermon. The study guide includes at least one warm-up question designed to help your group focus on the primary Scripture passage and its theological implications. The discussion section will jump into the meaning and impact of the scripture’s major points, often providing you with a link to view the passage in several different translations of the Bible. We’ll wrap things up with questions that explore how the passage applies to us today as followers of Jesus in a modern and chaotic world. For all questions, including the warm-up, feel free to ask all of them or just pick several that work for your group. If you need more info and ideas to help you lead your group, visit our sermon series resource page.
Please also encourage your group members to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week!
Leadership author John C. Maxwell said, "People don't care how much you know — until they know how much you care."
- When you think about this statement, what ways come to your mind to show someone that you care about them in the course of an ordinary conversation?
- Why does showing someone you care about them and their perspective become even more important when the conversation is about a disagreement, offense, or conflict?
- How comfortable are you with conflict? Do you tend to engage in a disagreement? Why do you feel compelled to engage? Or, do you prefer to disengage? Why?
WATCH THE VIDEO for WEEK 2
Watch this week’s video teaching from John Orozco, worship pastor for Cornerstone’s Livermore campus.
Think about the last time you had a healthy disagreement and compare that with a time you experienced an unhealthy one.
- What made one disagreement healthier than the other?
- How did each type affect your relationship?
- In the end, did anyone change their mind at the conclusion of either conversation?
It seems that in our current political, social, and cultural climate, impassioned disagreements have become commonplace in our media, social discourse, and online. As Christ-followers, we are uniquely positioned to model for others how to approach disagreements in a way that builds community and reveals God’s heart toward people.
Below is a list of Bible verses outlining principles for how God wants His children to disagree with one another as well as others outside the faith. Divide up the passages among your members or select a few that would work best for your group. Have group members work together to identify qualities that God wants us to emulate as we engage in disagreements with others.
- James 1:19-20 “My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose.”
- Titus 3:2 “And remind them to never tear down anyone with their words or quarrel, but instead be considerate, humble, and courteous to everyone.”
- Proverbs 18:2 “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
- Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”
- Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
- Colossians 3:12-14 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
- Proverbs 17:14 “The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.”
- Romans 14:19 “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
- Philippians 4:5 “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
- Matthew 5:23-24 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
- Colossians 4:4-6 “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
- 1 Timothy 1:5 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Disagreeing with others in a Christ-like way
In the sermon, Pastor Steve Ingold said, “The better way to disagree is to minimize me.”
- What are your initial thoughts and reactions to this statement?
- If you were to explain this concept in your own words, what would you say?
- Why is it hard to minimize ourselves? What is the risk?
- What happens when we minimize others instead?
Pastor Ingold said, "The ability to empathize is being able to sit at the table and put yourself in someone else's story.”
- Why would it be beneficial or important to put yourself in someone else’s story while engaging in a conflict-filled conversation?
- How does exhibiting empathy have the potential to change the conversation? The relationship?
- Recall a time when you've experienced empathy from someone else in a difficult conversation. What effect did receiving empathy have on you?
- With your group members, generate a list of questions you could ask during a disagreement to help you better empathize. (i.e.: What experiences do you have with _______ that has shaped your perspective? What have you learned that makes you think that way? What am I missing that you can see?)
In his sermon, Pastor Steve also said that when we are facing disagreements with another person: “Don’t be a jerk, don’t be a pushover, be an advocate.”
- What does it mean to advocate for someone or something?
- What kinds of things, ideas, causes, or beliefs do you feel personally called to advocate for?
- During difficult conversations with others, what is the difference between behaving like a jerk, being a pushover, or acting as an advocate?
- How does advocating for causes or beliefs differ from advocating for people?
- Which type of advocacy do you think is most effective in resolving conflicts or diffusing difficult conversations? Can either type make conversations more difficult? Why?
- How can we make sure that what we choose to advocate for is in line with what God calls us to support?
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Everyone has a next step with Jesus...What's yours?
Spend Time Alone with God
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - A BETTER WAY - WEEK 2
Get Your Worship On!
Do you love the worship music at Cornerstone? Then our new worship YouTube channel is for you! Enjoy all your favorites now featuring the worship teams from all of our campuses!
CF Worship Channel on YouTube