We are passing over the halfway point of our last group session before summer break! Let's keep pressing though the crazy schedules and keep focusing in on our goal of building significant relationships with the people God has entrusted to us!
All of our groups have the talkative types, but we also have the strong silent types… you’ve probably started to figure out which people are which types, so use that knowledge to your facilitating advantage! Try asking the silent types to share early on in the discussion, and get that “first share” out of the way for them while it's still low-cost and easy to engage. Also keep in handy that ever helpful phrase, “…what about someone we haven’t heard from yet?” :) Don’t let the dominators dominate!
And keep an eye out for the people that have more under the surface. Ask them out to coffee, or offer to meet up with anyone who wants to "talk about this idea some more". Give people an alternative environment to talk about things that they may not know how to share yet in a larger circle.
QUICK TIPS OF THE WEEK
FORM PAIRS OR MICRO-GROUPS (3-4 people, or by gender)
We work hard to make sure everyone has a chance to be heard, and to create safe environments for sharing to happen. For one of the questions or for prayer requests, you can split up the group. This will create a smaller, closer environment that may help break down walls. Adapt it to your group and do what fits best!
*you can find more about this idea in the Mission Groups Essentials Training Packet on page 8!
COMING UP AT MISSION
SPARK - A WOMEN'S EVENT - Monday, June 8 @ 7:00pm
Save the date for this women's event at Mission! More details to come. This would be a great way to spend a night together with the women in your group!
The third week of Home brought us to the most important question that we can ask the people in our home: "what can I do to help?"
Mike brought us through the idea of all the ways we can "submit to each other out of reverence for Christ." Submission is not easy for us, because it means voluntarily placing ourselves under other people. But Jesus modeled submission for us in the most profound way when he washed his disciples' feet, giving us the mandate to follow in his footsteps and do the same for the people in our lives.
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
1. When has someone in your family gone out of his or her way to help you? How did that affect your relationship with that person?
- The quick answer is that it probably affected the relationship positively! But delve more - what changed about the dynamic of the relationship? What lasting effects were there? How did trust increase? How were you moved to reciprocate? Ask good follow up questions!
2. Mike said that submission is the “ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way (Foster)”. What are some obstacles to practicing mutual submission in your relationships? How can you overcome those obstacles?
- Another thing Mike said is that submission leads to freedom. But there are obstacles everywhere, even though we all want freedom: pride, selfishness, broken trust, misaligned expectations, to name a few. Be real and open about the obstacles you face, because only by starting there can you start working through those obstacles! The work is worth it!
3. Ephesians 5:21 says to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ". How is submitting to each other connected to reverence for Christ? What about our submission honors and reveres Christ?
- As Mike said, practicing submission makes us more like Jesus (Philippians 2:1-7). We follow his example when we put others before ourself, and that is the goal of our lives: to love, reflect and become more like Jesus by loving others as he did.
Before question 4, read John 13:3-5 and 12-17 together (found in Message Notes below).
4. Why was it so important for Jesus to wash his disciples’ feet? What does this story tell us about the purpose of the influence we have in people’s lives?
In what relationships have you used (or can you use) your influence on behalf of the other person?
- Take a pause between the first questions of #4 and the second line below them.
- We all have influence, and it's something to steward wisely. Jesus, who had all power and influence, chose to not only save and redeem us, his servants, but also to place himself under us so that we would go and do likewise. This has huge implications on our lives! And when we choose to submit to others, we also encourage them to submit to those on whom they have influence.
5. Mike gave us some challenges for the week (found in Message Notes below); which challenge do you want to focus on this week in your own home life, and how can you make that happen?
- Get really practical and choose one of the three! Even come up with action points and talk about what kind of help from your group members that it would take to make it happen! Think about specific relationships and even ask how it went next week!
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
:: Submit (v.) - to voluntarily place yourself under
Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline
Submission is the ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
For husbands, this means love your wives as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.
Children, obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
What I’m Learning About Submission (Mike Hickerson)
:: Forces me to admit “it's not about me”
:: It leads to Freedom
:: Moves me from “here I am” to “there you are”
:: Enables me to serve
:: Makes me more like Jesus (Philippians 2:1-7)
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Normal View of Authority
Authority → Accountability → Affirmation → Acceptance
Jesus' View of Authority
Acceptance → Affirmation → Accountability → Authority
:: Live with a high mission
:: Be someone worth following
:: Give each other grace
:: What can I do to help?