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Why We Gather Week 01

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PREPARING FOR YOUR GROUP

Homework: (10-90 minutes)

  • Familiarize yourself with this Group StudyGuide
  • If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon
  • Post this quote from the sermon to Twitter or Instagram: You aren't going to get it right all the time. Others aren't going to get it right all the time. But we desperately need each other to be there. The messiness is part of what helps us grow. #WhyWeGather #cfchurch
  • Read Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Sit in prayerful silence for awhile with God, and then ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that He wants to do during your Group's time together.

KEY REMINDERS

  • We have intentionally provided you with way too much content so that you have plenty of material to work with choose the elements that are best suited for your group dynamic, and leave the rest.
  • Whatever content you choose, follow the order of elements as they appear in this Study Guide there is an intentional progression that is meant to help your group draw near to God.

BEGIN HERE WITH YOUR GROUP

NEXT STEPS FOR GROUP LEADERS
Throughout this series, this section will have some leadership next steps to implement in the life of your Group.

(Week 1)God wants to prepare others in this Group to create community for others. As the leader, pray about who you'd like to invite to become an apprentice leader. If they accept your invitation, then give them responsibilities in co-leading some of the discussion and times of prayer so they can become more comfortable in those roles. Prepare with them ahead of time, and afterwards, give them feedback about what went well and what can be improved the next time they lead.

Setting the Tone: (Say Aloud,1 minute)
Every time we gather, we'll practice a ground rule, goal, or value as a group. Here's this week's Ground Rule: create space to listen to one another. After someone has finished sharing, let's wait for a full 5 seconds before we add to what they have shared. This will help us pay full attention to what is being said, rather than being focused on our own response.

Focus of this Week's Message: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
This week, we read about how intentional and committed the early church was to the practice of meeting together. The writer of Hebrews speaks about how important it is to meet together and encourage each other we'll see how the early church was being called to fully commit to these practices.

Opening Prayer: (1 minute)
Pray the following prayer for your Group. Make the words your own.

(Pray Aloud) God, thank you so much for the gift of the people around us. I pray you make these next few moments not just comfortable and encouraging, but also use it to point out to each of us how desperately need the community around us to be the people God intended for us to be. We love you, and we're so thankful that you've given us this time to connect with each other and with You.

Quick Connection: (Say Aloud, 5 minutes)
Let's have everyone 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."

Creative Engagement with This Week's Message: (5 minutes)
Consider taking a group photo before you leave today's time together. Share the picture with the whole Group, and suggest that everyone would use the picture as their background on aphone or laptop, or display it somewhere where they'll see it. As a group, commit to pray not only for the individual needs represented in the picture, but also for the health and strength of the group itself.

Questions for Large Group Discussion (30 minutes):
(Prompt the group) Let's all have a Bible open and in front of us as we discuss what God was saying to us from this week's message.

Questions for Basic Understanding:
This part of the group discussion is about gaining a big picture, "lay of the land" view of what's happening in Scripture.

  • What do we see in Acts 2:46-47 about how the early church formed and centered themselves around the life of a community? What are we specifically told that they did as a group?
  • How does their community differ from how we tend to meet in groups today?
  • The author of Hebrews 10:19-25 gives us several directives on how we should engage with community around us. What are thosedirectives, and how are we being encouraged to interact with both God and this community?

Questions for Listening to Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is about wrestling with the meaning of what Scripture is saying.

  • In Hebrews 10:24, the author uses the imagery of a spur, which is a tool that is typically used as unpleasant or even painful reinforcement towards a correct path. What does this image call us to do as we guide and lead one another in community?
  • The author of Hebrews talks about "not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing" Why is it tempting to give up on community? How do you relate to or feel challenged by the idea of not giving up on the community around you?

Questions for Being Examined by Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is when we ask God how He wants to take these words from the pages of the Story of Scripture, apply them to our hearts and lives, and call us to move on what He is saying to us.

  • Becky spoke about the three challenges to further rooting ourselves in community stepping up to lead a group, stepping in to join a Community Group, or stepping outas a group that will grow and multiply so that disconnected people can be a part of what God is doing in their group. Which of these challenges is God speaking to your heart about?
  • Becky used the illustration of Jenga blocks to demonstrate the vital role that we can play in the lives of those around us. Think for a bit about the role you play in the life of your community. If you removed yourself from community, what impact would thathave on the people around you? What if someone else removed themselves from the community that you're a part of how would that affect your life?

Closing Prayer (15 minutes):
If your Group is newly formed, it's probably best that you lead the group in prayer.

Pray for the strength and health of your group. Pray that God would develop your friendships with one another, drawing you closer to each other so that you can truly spur each other on towards love and good deeds. Pray that God would give each of you the desire to press into community and be a consistent part of your group.

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