Welcome to week 2! I heard lots of GREAT stories about how well groups started off this last week! It's amazing to see how God has brought together such different people and already started bonding them together in our circles! Keep up the intentional pursuit of your people as we round the corner into week 2!
Since “home” is a deeply personal subject, and since we are starting it off so early in the session, this will be the perfect week to reinforce one of the most important parts of our small group statement...
“We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.”
Here’s a quick explanation (from the Mission Groups Essentials Training - page 10) of just why that is so important in creating a safe atmosphere in our groups:
"Cross-talking is usually done with the best intentions, but can come across as hurtful, insensitive, and even rude. It usually starts with… “Well if it was me, I’d…” or “You really should…” or even “What God really says is…”
It’s often not bad advice - but good advice with the wrong approach becomes bad. Groups are not a forum for fixing problems - they are meant to facilitate self-awareness and the process of transformation.”
Take a quick minute to explain this to your group and set the stage for safe sharing, encouraging conversation, and no awkward moments in the middle of group where an advice session begins under your nose!
QUICK TIPS OF THE WEEK
PRAYER REQUEST TRICKS
Praying for each other is an essential part of a Mission Group experience. But sometimes it’s hard for people to ask people for prayer, so we end up praying for a third uncle twice removed with a migraine… Try some of these simple tricks to help build a culture of prayer in your group:
- ONE WORD REQUESTS
It may be hard to share, but most people can think of a word that describes what they need!
- MESSAGE-BASED PRAYER REQUEST
We just spent 45 minutes talking about how to apply the message to our daily lives... so it makes sense that we would pray for each other as such! Ask for requests based on what people want help applying to their lives this week.
- PICK A DAY
To create a culture of praying for each other, you can ask everyone to pick a day when they want to be prayed for. It helps people ask for prayer, and it empowers your group to more simply pray for each other!
You can also find more thoughts about prayer requests in your Mission Groups Essentials Training Packet (page 5).
*** If you have other helpful tricks and ideas, leave them in the comments below to share them with the whole team!
COMING UP AT MISSION
MISSION WELCOME LUNCH - Sunday May 17 @ 12:45p (lunch + childcare)
This is an important first or next step for anyone at Mission who hasn't attended before! It would be a great idea to make an official invite to your group and even offer to attend with them if you can! We'd be glad to have leaders there to help make people feel comfortable and welcomed (even if you've been before!)
Mike began our new message series, HOME, with a conversation about what makes a great home. This series will be the bulk of our time together in groups, and it should make for a lot of great discussions!
You don't have to think hard to realize that everyone has a very different "home" experience! With so many types of homes, families, and relationships, it's hard to know what matters and what's most important. But God wants the best for our home lives, no matter what our situation looks like currently, and where we are in life right now.
Mike started us off with some important Biblical Home Values that we can always come back to, no matter what our situation looks like. They are the basis of what makes a great home, and although they're simple, they are aren't so easy to get right all the time!
You can watch the video of Dynell's "Home" story here.
SMALL GROUP STATEMENT
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. We 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.
THE GROUP QUESTIONS
*optional fun icebreaker*
:: What were your favorite sitcom families growing up, and why?
1. What is "home" to you? How would you describe the perfect home?
- We all come in with different stories, different experiences, and different dreams about what our homes could look like. Getting all of this out on the table right away is the best way to start making progress!
2. Mike talked about four biblical home values (listed in message notes section below) that we find in the New Testament. Which of those values were either missing or present in your home growing up? How does that affect the home you have created or will create for your own family?
- This covers everyone! First off, everyone had a family growing up. And also, everyone is either a child, wife, husband, or parent. So, home applies to all of us. But be aware of all the different stages of life in your group, and work hard to include everyone in the circle! ALSO, be mindful of the hidden pain people may have around this topic that we as leaders may have no idea about!
Before question 3, read Romans 12:1-2 together.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3. Mike said the person I am at home is the person I’ll be everywhere else. Do you often think of life at home in that way? What would it look like to live in view of God's mercy, and as a living sacrifice, in your home life right now?
- Give your group some space to work this idea out, and even disagree with it! This is a big statement that is bound to bring up some thoughts or ideas! And, remember that some people's lives at home are intensely difficult, stressful, or challenging - so this is not always an easy or straightforward idea. Be patient, listen well, and encourage always!
4. Growing up, did your home have values that you all tried to live by? How would writing down your family values (at any point or stage of life!) change your home life?
- In our groups there are singles, young families, divorced, empty nesters… you name it! Think specifically of your group’s make-up and steer the discussion in that direction. For example, for an empty nester or person with no kids, it will be best to lean into the first part of the question - how would life at home have been different if this had happened?
5. What are some of the most important values in your home right now? What can you do this week to reinforce them and live them out personally or together with your family?
- No matter what stage of life a person is in, this question matters. We all are a part of a family in some way, even if we aren't married or if we don't have kids. And, how we live before having a family always impacts our future home. Whether a family at home is in the picture or not because of stage of life or circumstance, this still matters a lot! As Mike said, who we are at home is who we are everywhere else. Get practical and help each other live out the things we find most important!
Biblical Home Values (found in Colossians 3:18-21)
:: Children obey your parents, honor your father and mother
:: Wives submit yourselves to your husbands
:: Husbands love your wives, don’t be harsh with them
:: Fathers don’t exasperate your children
What Makes a Great Home?
Craig Groeschel, Weird
“Our greatest priority as Christian parents is to gradually transfer our children’s dependence away from us until it rests solely on God.”
Mike Hickerson, What Makes a Great Home
"We teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are."
"The purpose of your authority in the lives of your children, is not to hold them under your power, but to empower them to be self-controlled people living freely under the loving authority of God.”
The Hickerson Family Statement
In this home we…
- Love Jesus. Live grateful. Put others first. Believe the best. Forgive freely. Dispense grace.
- Laugh hysterically, sing loudly, & dance often.
- Trust God, surrender daily, & love deeply.
- people > things
- obedience > success
- dependence > striving
- identity > appearance
- character > comfort
- honesty > hiding
- imagination > ipods
- wisdom > knowledge
- love > fear
We eat together, play together, learn together, pray together.
In this home we celebrate, serve, share, comfort, & encourage.
We also cheer for OU football & Kentucky basketball.