(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 8
- Get a feel for the Book of John as a whole by WATCHING THIS VIDEO
- 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.
Thank God for His mercy and grace. Thank Him for paying for our sins, driving away our accusers and calling us to a better life. Ask Him for guidance and vulnerabilIty as you work through this discussion together.
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 8. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- Read John 8:2-11 out loud. What intrigues you about how Jesus responds to this volatile situation?
- In this story, Jesus drives away this woman's accusers and forgives her sin. It'slikely that she did not expect this response. Can you think of a time when you expected judgement but instead, you experienced compassion?
- Jesus says to the woman, "I don't condemn you; go now, and leave your life of sin." After Jesus forgives our sin, He calls us to a better life. As you consider the trajectory of your life, what are some areas that have changed the most since meeting Jesus?
- In the message Pastor Steve said that grace can sometimes seem soft on sin, but it's not; instead grace changes who pays. Who in your life could use grace and mercy? How is Jesus calling you to put that on display for them?
- Jesus is the Light of the World, and He exposed the religious leaders' dark, harsh, judgmental hearts. Are there any areas of your life where God is calling you to release a harsh or judgmental attitude? How can you open up that area to Jesus' light?
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.
Ask God to reveal anyone in your life that may need His grace and mercy. Ask for help from God so that you can demonstrate this forthem. Pray for help in any areas you've become harsh or judgmental of others.
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 throughworship. Here are some examples of how to implement this spiritual habit of Jesus into our everyday lives.
Often times when we hear the word "worship," we think of singing songs in church. While this is a great way to worship God, worship is simply praising or giving adoration to God. When we actively and intentionally spend time adoring God, we choose to take the focus off ourselves and put it on God, where it belongs. Our problems and concerns grow smaller when compared to the greatness of God. As the old hymn says, "The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace" (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus).
This week, spend time each morning reading Psalm 34 and praising God for who He is. This Psalm will help to guide you as you praise and thank God.