(Note for Group Leaders)To make things easier for you, we have combined the Leader and Participant Guides into one. Please remember that we have provided you with too much group content and that's on purpose! As the Group Leader, you are free to choose the elements that will help everyone to engage with the message, and leave the rest.
BEFORE YOU GATHER
Prepare for Your Group: (10-90 minutes)
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Discussion Guide
- If you missed it,CLICK HEREto watch the weekend sermon
- Read John 6:25-71
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and then ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that he wants to do during your Group's time together.
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.
This weekend was about the moments in our lives when we are tempted to give up on Jesus, and walk away from him. As a group, ask God to help you to see where other things and other people have the central place in our lives, and to begin to reorder the affections of your hearts so that everything else is centered around him – and not ourselves.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Haveeveryone 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)
(Note for Group Leaders)There are more questions than youwill likely have time to get through. Choose the questions that resonate the most deeply with you and your Group.
This weekend's message came from John 6:25-71. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- (vs. 25-34) Earlier in John 6, Jesus has just fed a multitude in the wilderness. Do you think that this crowd, gathered now in the synagogue of Capernaum, is here because of who Jesus is, or because of what they are hoping that Jesus will give them? Describe a time in your life when you had selfish or wrong motivations for following Jesus.
- (vs. 35-42) Jesus speaks to the crowd and redirects their focus away from bread that spoils, and describes himself as the Bread of Life. In your own words, what was the "hard teaching" that offended so many people and caused them to walk away from Jesus? Why were people so offended?
- (vs. 43-59) What would it mean for us to consume Jesus, as opposed to other alternatives? Can we really say that he is the source of our life if we don't consume him? Why or why not?
- (vs. 60-71) This won't be the only time in our lives when Jesus causes us to face a "hard teaching." Do you have an example of when you had to do any of these things to face a hard teaching: Honestly acknowledge your struggle? Seek out counsel and understanding? Don't "pick and choose" from God's revealed truth? Remember that Jesus alone has Life?
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.
Is anyone facing a "hard teaching" right now? How do they need the Group's prayer and help? Remember that we are called to "carry each other's burdens." (Galatians 6:2)
PRACTICING THE WAY OF JESUS
A disciple of Jesus is a learner, a student, an apprentice, a practitioner even if they are only a beginner. As disciples, we don't just profess certain views about what we believe, but as we grow in our understanding of what it means to live as citizens of God's Kingdom, we find ways to practice the way of Jesus in every aspect of our lives here on earth.
All month long, we are practicing the way of Jesus through Worship. Here are some examples of how to implement this spiritual habit of Jesus into our everyday lives.
There are many great songs that don't simply center our heart and thoughts on God as the center of our lives, but the essence of the song itself is about the importance of this practice – giving us space and time to ask God, in worship, to recenter and realign our hearts, minds, and affections.
Find one of the following songs on YouTube, Spotify, or other media outlet, and as you sing along, make the lyrics a personal prayer – that God would be your "all in all."
- Center, by Charlie Hall
- Clear the Stage, by Ross King
- The Heart of Worship, by Matt Redman
- Fairest Lord Jesus, sung by Christy Nockels