We hope your first "introductory" week of your Spark group went great and that you’re excited to dive into this week's material with your group. **If you're confused at all... the book calls last week the "introductory week", and this week 1, so we will stay on track with how the book labels it for the sake of clarity!
What a true blessing to have a time to meet with other women, getting into God's word together. Coffee, good food, awesome women, and God's sweet word. It's refreshing already, and it's just getting started.
Our biggest prayer for you, Spark Leader, is that God grants you sweet time with Him, preferably in the morning. Just you, your Bible, your workbook, a pen, a quiet house(!) and a nice cup of coffee or tea; a fresh start. There's nothing like time with our God and we all need it for the journey we’ve committed to as leaders of this study and these women. Leading and hosting a group; while helping to care for their needs and shepherd them spiritually can be invigorating as well as draining and we simply can’t give what we don’t have. Beth puts it this way in Day 1 of our homework...
"Getting down on our faces first thing in the morning has the tremendous advantage of setting the tone for the day." (Beth Moore)
That’s our prayer for all of us this week, that we benefit from that tremendous advantage.
- Please continue to contact any group members who didn’t show up to the first meeting, encouraging them to make it to group this week!
- Pray for the ladies in your group individually, ask God to give you hints on how he may use you to help personally lead each one closer to Him.
- Remind whoever signed up to bring refreshments that it’s their week to bring them!
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. We aim to passionately love Jesus, ruthlessly eliminate ego, courageously live in grace and truth, confidently know who we are in Christ, unconditionally trust God, intentionally live better stories, and selflessly extend compassion.
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.
- Besides a parent, who has been the most influential person in your life and how so?
There is a lot of homework to cover! Since you can't talk about everything, below you'll find some key questions that will help facilitate a conversation around what each of you learned over the week. The questions shouldn't define your whole conversation - use them to draw out what each person experienced and follow where the conversation leads!
- Flipping through Week One’s homework, what points stuck out to you the most? What day’s material spoke to you the most?
- About how long has your journey with God been thus far? How did it begin? [Day One, page 14]
(Really listen to these answers and even take notes on each woman who shares; the answers will tell you so much about where she is on her spiritual journey and how God may want to use you to help her take her next step toward Christ.)
- On Day Two, page 19; Beth writes of the psalmist being on a pilgrimage in which he was a long way from home and from where he wished to be - that he felt like an alien. Can you relate? Do you feel like an alien in some part of your living or working environment? If so, why?
- On Day Three, pages 23 & 24; Read Psalm 121:2. What did the pilgrim call the Lord? What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey and wanting a reminder that your Lord is the uncontested Maker of heaven and earth? Do you have any current need to have those truths hammed into your head, whether concerning your own life or another of God’s children? If so, what is it?
- On Day Four, page 27, Name a few people who are a tremendous help to you in your journey and how they help you. Name specific ways God can help you that other people simply cannot.
- On Day Five, Does anyone want to share the “psalm” they wrote on page 32? How about the short prayer your wrote on page 33?
- Use the last 15 minutes of group to open it up to any prayer requests and close in prayer. If you want, you can try asking for prayer requests that are related to the discussion from your gathering!
- End the study on time, letting people hang out if you can/want to.
If anyone in your group is interested in getting baptized, or hearing more about it, you can point them to the following things!
- The Baptism Class - February 21 @ 12:45 PM in the box office
Before each baptism event, Mission hosts a baptism class that helps people learn more about baptism, ask questions about how it fits into their stories, and hear about other people's journey toward baptism.
- The Baptism Form - found at missionventura.com/baptism
Before being baptized, we ask everyone to complete the baptism form. It's a great way to walk though your own story before making the decision to go public with your faith!
- Send around the prayer requests out after group each gathering so they can be praying for each other throughout the week. Encourage them to send around any more prayer requests that come up throughout the week. Let them know that this is their group and that we’re all here for each other as stuff comes up!
- Pray for your ladies throughout the week, asking God for any promptings on how He may use you to help draw them closer to Him. Then act on any He gives you. A huge (and exciting!) part of leading a group is these extra touches throughout the week that let those you’re leading know you really care about them and are their number one cheerleader when it comes to them growing in their relationship with Christ.
- Contact anyone who didn't show up to let them know they were missed and that you hope to see them next week. Update your CCB group as you hear of additions/subtractions to your group.