- YourGroup leaderhas beenprovided with way too much content so that theyhave plenty of material to work with please trust their lead as they choose the elements that are best suited for your group dynamic, andespeciallyif they choose to skip overparticular elements or questions.
- If you still wantto engage with a particular question or element that your Group leader skipped over, consider going through that part with a family member, a friend, or on your own.
Setting the Tone: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
Every time we gather, we'll practice a ground rule, goal, or value as a group.
One of our values at Cornerstone is Outreach, because we want to reach people who are far from God. Ask your Group if anyone would need help in pulling off a fun block party with their neighbors, or treating their coworkers to a great lunch or snacks in the break room at their office?
Focus of this Week's Message: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
Jesus came to reveal the heart of God our Father so that we could know that He isn't a Divine Scorekeeper, but a Father who runs after us. When we gather – both in rows and circles it could be an environment that changes peoples' image of God; from a God whose love they have to earn, to a God whorunsafter us.
Creative Engagement with This Week's Message: (Say Aloud, 5 minutes)
Let's look at the Prodigal Son story from a different angle. In the movie Blood Diamond (2006), we experience a fictional retelling of the civil war that happened in the diamond-rich African nation of Sierra Leone. One of the great evils of this war was its effect on children. Warlords made it their practice to kidnap and brainwash young boys and recruit them as child soldiers.
In the film, one of these child soldiers is a boy named Dia, who was kidnapped as a boy, and now lives as a gun-toting teenager. Leading up to the climactic moment in the story, Dia's father Solomon, and a diamond smuggler named Danny Archer have been searching for Dia, when they uncover a priceless diamond. As they are digging up the diamond, Dia finds them. At this moment, Solomon looks up and recognizes his long-lost son.
Watch the clip by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRWve1dr2JI (2 minutes)
How does this clip speak to you about God the Father's heart for you, and for others?
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.
- (Read Luke 15:1-3) Who was Jesus spending his time with?
- How did the religious leaders of the day react to the people in Jesus' life?
- (From Luke 15:11-32) As a group, let's piece together the key moments of the Prodigal Son story; what happened from start-to-finish?
Questions for Listening to Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is about wrestling with the meaning of what Scripture is saying.
- (From Luke 15:1-3) Knowing that Jesus spent time with people who were rejected and scorned by others, why do you think this prompted Jesus to tell 3 stories about things and people that were lost and found?
- (From Luke 15:20-24) Look at the words that describe the heart and actions and words of the father. Knowing that the father in Jesus' story is a picture of God, how is Jesus wanting to correct false and harmful views of what God the Father is like?
- (From Luke 15:25-32) Look at the words that describe the heart and actions and words of the older brother. Knowing that this story was prompted people who were grumbling about the people in Jesus' company, how is Jesus correcting them by writing them into his story as the older brother character?
- How did BOTH the younger and older brothers in Jesus' story need to gain a new understanding of their father's heart?
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.
- How do you need God the Father to change your picture of who He is, so that it is LESS like the youngerbrother's picture, LESS like the olderbrother's picture, and MORE like the father in Jesus' story?
- Who in our life needs to know that our God runs after people who are far from him? What about your words and actions could demonstrate the Father's heart to them?
- We gather so that the lost can be found, and so the found can remember who they are. Today, does your present circle of friends include the people that Jesus went after? What is God saying to you about that?