PREPARING FOR YOUR GROUP
Homework: (10-90 minutes)
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide
- If you missed it,CLICK HEREto watch the weekend sermon
- If a certain quote from the sermon resonated with you, consider posting it to Twitter or Instagram. Here's a sample:Human beings were designed to thrive in a tribe. #whywegather #cfchurch
- Read1Peter 2:4-12
- 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.
- 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.
God is going to call your Group to make room for others who need to be here. Ask everyone to suggest if the best approach is to add some more seats for new people, or if it's time to get a few people ready to launch out and create a new Group. Reach out to your Community Leadership Team if you need help/discernment with this.
Setting the Tone: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
Every time we gather, we'll practice a ground rule, goal, or value as a group.
This Week's Value: One of our values at Cornerstone is Community, because you can't do life alone. Does anyone have a story of a person who has helped them to become more like Jesus? How have you grown as a Christ-follower because of how this person has impacted your life?
Focus of this Week's Message: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
We were designed to function in groups. And we flourish when our group accepts us for who we really are and holds us accountable for all that we can be.
Everyone is looking for their tribe – a group that they can be open and honest with, depending on them through life's ups and downs. As we become these groups, we look like the Church as Jesus intended it to be.A healthy local church provides the encouragement, support, and fellowship we crave.
The Church that Jesus built is also designed to provide something that no other group could ever provide: eternal solutions.
Opening Prayer: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
Pray the following prayer for your Group. Make the words your own.
Dear Jesus, you are our Cornerstone. We fit together, around you, to become your Church. Help us to be useful and pliable as you build us together. Give us unity and love as we work together to reach out. Give us abounding grace with those we find it difficult to love. Give us courage to challenge others to be better. Give us discipline as we seek to be the best we can be. Most of all, give us your Spirit to guide and lead us. Amen.
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)
Jesus' disciple, Peter, says each of us is a "living stone," being crafted together into a spiritual building by God. Take a few minutes to reflect on the image of a stone archway below.
Consider what would happen to the archway if any of its stone were removed. As a body of believers, how are we similar to this archway?
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.
- This weekend we talked about finding our group a tribe that spurs us on to be more of who we should be. In 1 Peter 2:5, how are we described? As a group, what does it say that we are being built into?
- Read 1 Peter 2:9. What are the four descriptions Peter uses for who we are? And what is our purpose?
Questions for Listening to Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is about wrestling with the meaning of what Scripture is saying.
- Peter says that we are "living stones" being built together into a spiritual house. What does this language convey about the way God created as individuals? Why is each of us so important to this house?
- The spiritual building that Peter is referring to is the Church. Based on these verses and others (like Hebrews 10:24-25), what is the Church designed to be and do?
- These verses challenge us to be part of a group and lean on each other. Why is isolation so dangerous to the life of a Jesus follower?
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.
- Each of us has gotten to where we are with the help of people around us that believed in who we could become. Does anyone have a story about a person who identified your gifting and challenged you to develop it?
- Pastor Steve said that people who are more content are those who have regular interaction in meaningful relationships. How have you seen this as true in your life? Have you ever become grumpier in the times when you were more isolated?
- Share an experience where you found encouragement, support, and/or fellowship from the local church. How have you drawn from that experience to be like that for others?
Closing Prayer (15 minutes):
If your Group is newly formed, it's probably best that you are the one who prays. If this time of prayer requires some vulnerability or transparency, be the first to pray so that you set a tone of honesty for everyone else.
Pray that each person in your group finds their tribe and God reveals to them exactly where they fit. If you ask, and anyone in your group would say that they are in a lonely season also take some time to pray specifically for them.