This is our last gathering of the summer session (yay, you’ve made it!) and it’s all about applying what we’ve learned through Restless and Joseph’s story over the last seven weeks to our lives. Remember from chapter one of Restless that our feelings of restlessness often point toward a purpose God has for us. Encourage the women in your group to use all God’s revealed about themselves and Himself over the last six weeks to serve others in new, purposeful and fulfilling ways.
We read this statement together before every group discussion. It helps transition the group to discussion time, it reaffirms our highest values, and sets a tone of trust, consistency, and safety for everyone in the group.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
Who is the most famous person you ever met and how did you meet him or her?
FOR THE LEADER
The questions point to what we’re going to do differently now that we’ve read Restless, Joseph’s story, and have done a lot of reflecting and journaling about ourselves. Encourage those who are thinking about serving in a new way. If there is enthusiasm in your group around one area of serving, suggest that your group serves together in some way. What a great way to live out what we’ve learned together over the last couple of weeks!
What’s your main takeaway from Restless? How about Joseph’s story?
What’s one thing you hope to do differently in your life after reading Restless and/or Joseph’s story?
Did you take the online spiritual gifts test? If so, what were your top three spiritual gifts and what do they mean according to their descriptions? Were there any gifts you were surprised to see on your list?
Do you currently serve on a team at Mission? How do you serve outside of the church? Do you feel like you’re using your gifts in your serving roles?
Are there other ways you’d like to serve at Mission or beyond?
For ideas to serve at Mission, open the Mission app and hit the "VOLUNTEER" button, or head to missionventura.com/volunteer. Check out all the serving teams at Mission and fill out the interest form for any roles that interest you. You’ll hear from someone on the team about next steps for serving soon.
Free Friday Flicks is on August 18th. Your group could serve together. Open up the Mission app, hit the "Sign Up" button, and fill out the interest form! Or fill it out here.
Ideas for serving beyond Mission include:
Restore Ventura. Their mission is to see restoration in people's lives and in our city. Most of their community outreach takes place at the Restore Garden on the avenue where they host around 150 youth and 85 adults on a weekly basis for community classes and events. The Kid’s Garden Brigade is an after-school program for youth in the neighborhood that provides mentoring in the context of gardening classes and activities. For more information, click here.
Tender Life Maternity Home. They provide pregnant women with safe housing and supportive services in an environment that instills dignity and promotes self-sufficiency. For more information, click here.
City Center. This transitional housing center is located in midtown Ventura and relies on local churches to help provide spiritual mentoring, encouragement and life skills to their residents. For more information, click here.
Think through your own circle of influence! How can you serve your neighbors, your friends, your community? Be creative and support each other in serving each other's friends and neighbors!
Ask if anyone has any prayer requests this week. Then end in prayer, thanking God for all we’ve learned about Him and each other throughout our summer session together.
Let group members know that Spark groups will be on a break from now until the first week of October. The group may think this break seems long, assure them that those who want to can still hang out during the break and spend some time coming up with ideas for social meet ups and/or serving together. Try to delegate the coordination of each event/serving opportunity to whomever makes the suggestion, or at least share the responsibility. You’ve worked hard all session, let someone else serve the group and make the plans. Thanks for serving the women you lead so well. Enjoy your break, you deserve it!